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Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream AleLaughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

58 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 58
Hads: 163
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: woemad on 07-24-2006

The huckleberry is native to the Pacific Northwest and it is prized for its sweetness and texture. To celebrate summer and the huckleberry picking season, we have blended real huckleberries from last season with our cream ale.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 163
Photo of silverking
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- vibrant gold, wit a Thin White head that fades quickly. no apparent lacing.

S- very ripe berry aromas. Almost artificial.

T- just straight huckleberry. Wonderful and refreshing.

M- light bodied, watery, very short lived. Once again, very refreshing.

O- I love it. it brings back fond memories of picking huckleberries up north. (336 characters)

Photo of ElGordo
4.12/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. Part one of my huckleberry beer face-off against Couer d'Alene's Huckleberry Ale.
Pours a rich golden hue topped by a small, bright white head that doesn't stick around for very long. Huge aroma of sweet, fruity huckleberries and just a touch of mild sweet malt. Palate is a nicely-balanced cream ale up front, with sweet malt and a touch of hops. A second after it hits the tongue, though, the huckleberries emerge full force. The fruity sweetness continues long through the swallow and onto the aftertaste, where a slight vanilla creaminess comes through as well. Body is nice and creamy, very well done. A tasty, easy-drinking beer that manages to be both very fruity, yet not overwhelming. I have to say, as far as fruit beers go, this one is pretty top-notch. (817 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a standard pint glass.
A - A clear golden ale with a white 1 finger head that leaves nice ringlets of lace clinging.

S - The smell is very jammy. A real strong huckleberry scent like muffins or a tart w/ a gentle ale scent in the background.

M - A light sweet, refreshing and carbonated ale.

T - Sweet cream ale w/ a heavy dose of fruit flavor. The fruit reminds me of an Ihop pancake syrup flavor. They claim to use real huckleberries and I believe them since it has no cloying attributes. The ale leaves a nice clean taste in your mouth herbal tea flavored with fruit.

D - A fruit flavored ale quaffer's delight. Not too fruity to be considered a 'beer cooler', but a fine amount of fruit for a cream ale. A great beer for summer. I would quaff this again if given the chance. (810 characters)

Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.29. The name is Huckleberry Cream Ale, not just Huckleberry Ale as I previously reported. LD's Cream Ale with pulverized huckleberries added, essentially. I remember the brewer telling me he used one of his already existing beers as a point of departure, but I couldn't remember which one it was (probably because I'd had about 6-7 beers by the time I'd left!). The label is somewhat of a departure for LD. Instead of the usual drawing of Ben the Lab's smiling face, this label features what appears to be a photograph of a meadow with one of the Selkirk Mtns in the background. But Ben is still present, sitting on the grass.The label around the picture is colored a "(huckle)berry color," and has the usual description on the side that LD favors.

This poured a copper-ish color with a two-inch white head that took about 4 minutes to subside, sinking slowly into the beer and leaving sheets of foam behind.

The huckleberry smell is fairly dominant. There's not much to get out of the nose beside that, as it's fairly one-dimensional. The good news is, like my experience with it on-tap, the huckleberries have not been aided by any sort of syrupy sweetness designed to bring in the novice drinker that would otherwise be drinking some sort of flavored alco-pop. So it smells like tasty huckleberries without being a sugar bomb.

The taste of this beer isn't far from the smell. Whatever level of hops are in this beer, it's not very high. The huckleberries are the star of the show here - hops and malts are deep in the background on this one, and that's where they are meant to be. This beer is fruity yet crisp, so I could drink this in very warm weather (though the weather here is actually going to pot as I type this).

This is a relatively light -bodied beer, befitting's its cream ale origins. The mouthfeel is perfect for outdoor grilling weather. Not somethig that's going to weigh the drinker down. I've had some fruit beers where the carbonation is too low and the results are a thick, nasty flat fruit soda kind of experience. Thankfully the level of carbonation here is sufficiently high to keep this from bogging down.

I tried this beer at the brewery back in July and took home a growler, as I judged it to be a tasty warm weather beer. I'm glad to see it hasn't appeared to have lost anything in the bottle. (2,396 characters)

Photo of chumba526
3.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears golden color with a small white head.

It smells tart, slightly berry like, a little earthy and slightly sweet.

It tastes slightly acidic and tart. There is a nice natural earthy berry flavor. There is an ever so mild sweetness from the berry. There is a mild bitterness that helps balance all the flavors together.

The carbonation is moderate high.

The drinkability is quite good. It is light and it goes down easy. There is tartness but the tartness is so mild that the beer goes down quite smooth.

Overall a decent huckleberry ale that is much better than other huckleberry beers I have had. (606 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Laughing Dog "Huckleberry Cream Ale"
12 oz. can, no apparent freshness dating
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE

This is not the first time I've had this beer. I recall having had a 22 oz. bottle at one time years ago (although they only do 12 oz. now so maybe it was just a single...?). I recall not being impressed with it at the time because it was kind of blocky, but I feel that Laughing Dog has really improved their brewing across the board, and this was nicely balanced and rounded. And what makes it stand out now is that it's unique. There are plenty of raspberry wheats and so forth on the market, but I can think of only a small handful of other huckleberry beers. With that said, I can't really describe Huckleberry as I've never actually tasted the actual fruit, but I think I get the gist of it through drinking this beer: it's kind of like a soft red raspberry, but not... there's more to it... like a sweet blueberry. And whatever you might come up with, it works really well in their cream ale base because it's got the fruit character, but it's neither too tart, too sweet, nor too bitter. I think it would make a great summer ale, and I'm sure that it would work really well as a dessert beer if paired properly with the right accompaniment. (1,267 characters)

Photo of alexhahn82
3.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- a very slight and mild reddish tone to the color, less than .25 finger head, no "real" lacing if you will.

S -- wow, smells like a candy store (minus any chocolate candy). Sugary almost Fruity Pebbles like smell and or Apple Jack like scent, pleasant yet somewhat intimidating smell (aka WTF can this taste like?)

T/M - Tastes a litte "Soapy" I know that's a weird description but that is how Huckleberry's normally taste to me. Almost like real purple kush. Soapy bitterness and or tongue coating residual textures. Taste is about 10% of the intensity of the smell of the beer.

O - Unknown ABV, I would figuire within the high side of 4% to slightly below 6%. Not too shabby, SPOT on Huckleberry flavor, not so much a cream texture. These guys don't skimp and add Blueberry fillers, this is a legit product!

PP (Price Point) - $1.79 for a 12oz beer, unknown ABV, is an extremely fair deal to me, and if you LOVE Huckleberry's this is the most legitimately tasting Huckleberry product I have ever had (not just beer's, but syrups, flavoring and any other Huckleberry product I have ever had). (1,101 characters)

Photo of crhensel
3.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(bottle into pint glass) Holy fruit!!! Poured with little to no head and was a cloudy, almost murky dark golden color. The first thing that smacks you out of the bottle is the smell of the fruit, almost like a juice. Since I do not know the smell of a huckleberry alone, I was picking up hints of grapes, raisins, plums, and apples throughout at different points in the pour. I was very surprised at the taste, however. It was very creamy in the mouth with a lively carbonation, and the fruit, while very strong, was still met with a nice hoppy bite at the end, reminding you that this was still a beer. Had it with a nice sandwich, and a little off season. This might be a nice refreshing beer for after you finish the lawn on a hot summer day though. (752 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy yellow with very light brown color. Full head has thicker carbonation bubbles. Decent retention and streaked lacing.

S: Citrus, pungent, slight berry aroma.

T: Sour beer - not expected but it is a nice offset with the huckleberry flavor that is definitely present. Good flavor.

M: Light but not creamy despite its name. Carbonation is closer to soda on this one.

O: Decent brew, don't often see huckleberry's used for flavoring beer so its a nice twist. (473 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I originally reviewed this on-tap during my visit to the Pacific Northwest back in 2007, but when I spied CANs in the cooler at Max's on Broadway in Baltimore, MD, I was ecstatic and ready to re-review it!

From the CAN: "The huckleberry is native to the Pacific Northwest and is prized for its sweetness and texture. To celebrate summer and the huckleberry picking season, we have blended real huckleberries with our Cream Ale."; "Smooth and creamy with a light touch of huckleberries, it would be great at the lake, a BBQ or simply just relaxing away a long summer day."; "Just like the berries, Huckleberry Creme [sic] Ale will be available for your enjoyment for a limited time! You never know when it will be gone until next year."

I love the squirters! I Crack!ed the CAN open, only to have a squirt of beer across my knuckles. Hee hee. My gentle pour still netted me a finger of fizzy, bone-white head with decent retention before becoming a skim on the surface of the beer. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. My Gelt Guys (Mammon, Croesus and Midas) quickly appeared to see and taste what was up as I made my preparations. Nose smelled like fruit jelly! I would be jelly if I didn't have a CAN of my own. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was sweet and very berry-like. Ha! I really tasted pancakes with berry syrup in my mouth. Suddenly, it was 1995 and the Black & Gold Brigade was in Oxnard to visit me and we were off to breakfast at an outdoor-seating coffee shop. I had pancakes with bacon and slathered with berry syrup as we sat and laughed when Mad Dog spilled something. I love those guys. I was really loving this beer! I was an underage beer drinker who favored Genesee Cream Ale in CANs above all others and this is so evocative of those salad days. Finish was smooth, sweet and simply satisfying. Scoff all you like, but me likee!



This arrived with just a thin coating of head, but that was par for a fruit beer, so I was down with it. My CouchSurfing host, Phil, said that he noted cloves on the nose, which was certainly within the realm of possibility, but I just got a very berry-like sweetness, like jelly. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a very berry-like taste in the mouth. Finish was still intensely sweet with huckleberries. I probably would not want a steady diet of this, but on a hot summer day with pizza, it was perfect. Looking over my shoulder at the taps, the dog continued to laugh. Good boy! (2,479 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 6/5/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Good spotty lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big tart huckleberries, berry skin, bread, straw, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Very nice aromas with big fruitiness that smells very pleasant, and quite balanced. Taste of biscuit, huckleberry, toast, herbal, earth, grassiness, and light spiciness. Slight fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of huckleberry, grass, herbal, biscuit, and earthy spices on the finish for a short bit. Quite dry on the finish as expected. Taste has good flavor balance; but is a bit weak and there is not as much berry flavors as the aromas suggested. Very authentic tasting fruit flavor; no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and very crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good cream ale. Good amount of flavor and balance; very refreshing and smooth to drink. (1,135 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a cloudy yellow color with just a thin ring of white head that had OK retention and no lacing.

A sweet, berry scent dominated the front of the nose, but upon a deeper sniff the solid base grains showed through to provide a good platform. The taste was very good, a solid base brew that was nicely complemented by the the slightly sweet, slightly tangy berries. The beer had a nice earthy presence.

The body was the typical medium-full of the style, with a pleasant smoothness and a surprisingly dry finish, given the sweetness of the berries. Drinkability was very good, I could easily drink these all day long during the warm weather. Overall, a very good brew. A must try if you see it and probably worth some effort to try if you like these types of brews. (793 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.79/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orangish amber with a golden rim... that murks up nicely on the final pour. My hope was that there would be a hint of huckleberry blue, but no such luck. I hope enough berries were used. The ivory colored cap looks decent enough and is beginning to leave a tattered curtain of thick lace.

The nose delivers a surprising amount of fresh, bursting berry lusciousness. I know that huckleberries are supposed to taste a lot like blueberries, but this beer smells better than blueberries to me. There's a sweet, floral quality that I'm enjoying immensely.

Huckleberry Ale is good stuff. Let's get its faults out of the way first. I love hoppy beer, but there's a little too much bitterness here. Beer of this sort needs to be either neutral or needs to favor sweet and pale malty. While it isn't a deal breaker, cutting the hop additions in half would be a good place to start. Now, on to its merits.

Like the nose, the berries come though loud and clear on the taste buds. Why the beer isn't some faint shade of blue, I have no idea. It's easy to appreciate the vanilla-like qualities of the base cream ale, along with a light sweetness that does what it can against the alpha acids. The flavor proportions are just right. A wee bit more huckleberry jam would be great as well.

The mouthfeel is at least medium for the style, perhaps a shade more creamy-full. I have no complaints about the 'just right' amount of carbonation either.

In the end, I've decided to knock the taste and drinkability scores back one notch due to the bitterness. It keeps me from really enjoying what could be an outstanding fruit beer. With a single tweak, Huckleberry Ale could be one of the best summer seasonals that I've had in many a summer. Thanks JohnGalt1. (1,743 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very fresh (March 2013 bottling) 12 oz bottle with a trace of sediment in the bottom. pours a red-orange-amber; clear; small head that soon reduces to a tiny bit of film and a partial ring.

S: Nice fruity smell; natural huckleberry is believable. Sweet but more fruity than like candy. Light baked bread in the background.

Taste: Huckleberries!! Taste rating bumped up for the high quality fruit treatment here. Also features a bready malt base and a touch of hops. .

M: nice smooth feel in this medium bodied ale. Well chosen, moderate level of carbonation.

O: I had this as a light dessert beer and it worked well. Refreshing, with a pleasant, natural fruitiness. Moderately sweet but not cloying or candied. (717 characters)

Photo of bum732
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

S: Huckleberry, some wheat tartness, quite fruity.

L: Crystal clear golden yellow, white head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Fruity huckleberry with some creaminess. Some graininess with a mild bitterness. Finishes quite dry with berry element.

M: Medium light mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Not bad, better than expected, then again, i love huckleberries. Needs a bit more carbonation. (392 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from Bucket O'Brew in 8th Street Marketplace for about $1.40.

Nice 2 finger head drops leaving good lacing.. atop a clear pretty orange/lite amber brew.

Aroma is like huckleberry candy without the sweetness... the berries hint at an underlying sweetness, but it's more like a berry essence... smells very nice.

Flavor is a basic beer with a bunch more huckleberry finish that lingers to a very slightly sour berry end. Middle of the road bready malts forces the berry flavor front and center... Not getting alot of hops... but a little citrus is evident. Light body that tastes thicker than it is... good carbonation helps keep the flavors moving across the palate.

This beer is great fresh... and still very good with a few months on it. I honestly don't care for most fruit beers, but over the summer, I drank a bunch of these while working out in the yard. (868 characters)

Photo of wrightst
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Huckleberry cream pours a nice medium amber, with a cooperative head. The right pour will give you anything from no head to a full white foam. But you don't drink the appearance.

The nose has a distinctive, impossible to miss, fruity character. I don't know from huckleberry, but I suppose this has to be the fruit in question. Something like a blackberry, but not quite.

Once the beer hits your tongue, the fruit flavors become assistants, and not the lead. The beer has all of the good traits of a cream ale, full flavor, full feel, mild hop and distinct barley. This is a beer. The fruit is there, and the sharper your palette, the more obvious it will be - probably even distracting to sharp paletted non-fruit beer people. But I liked it quite a bit. It is not overly sweet. An example of experimentation gone right.

The fruit characters re-emerge in the finish, lingering longer than the barley. (904 characters)

Photo of leaddog
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours an amber gold with a half finger of bubbly white head.

Smell- huckleberries, wheat, lemon. It has sweet aromas overall.

Taste- Hit right away with pleasant tart huckleberries and then the wheat comes in to help balance this brew out. There is a slight grassiness at the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- Laughing Dog really delivers on the natural huckleberry flavour without making this brew too fruity. This beer could use a little more creaminess to the body to be more reminiscent of a cream ale. Otherwise, a good session beer. (588 characters)

Photo of tbeck
3.72/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a light golden yellow with a thin white head. Aroma was of huckleberry's as waste the taste. I was able to get a slight hint of malts and some hops. The taste was pretty good, not to strong. Very well balanced. The texture was good, light but a little on the thin side. A very refresing taste, but the fruiteness might be to much for a session beer. I was suprised, it was not what I expected. (400 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had a couple of pints of Laughing Dog Huckleberry Ale at an area sports bar.

Pours a rich gold color. Nice foamy sticky white head. Good lacing.

The smell is sweet sweet and berry-like. Fairly one-dimensional.

Taste is good with a sweet and bitter combination. Nice tart finish with a little bread flavor.

Mouth feel is crisp clean and well carbonated.

Drinkable enough but it has a strange bitter aftertaste after a while. Maybe just a couple? (463 characters)

Photo of shand
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This beer is a slightly hazy light golden color with a finger of head. The aroma is very fruity with what I'm assuming is huckleberry (I've never actually had huckleberry). It's sweet and slightly tart. The taste is just as expected, it's very sweet and fruity at first, then finishes with a bit of tartness. The initial sweetness might be a bit overbearing, and I think a little too much of the base cream ale might be contributing to that. Otherwise, it's a solid fruit beer. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, and the drinkability is good. (599 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice semi-translucent straw with lots of visible carbonation with a very nice white head that leaves very nice lacing. The huckleberry really dominates the smell profile, but there is a slight grain profile. Tastes real fruity but with a good grain backbone. It is very sweet and balanced. Beer is carbonated just right and for its light body goes down real smooth. Overall, a very good beer. (454 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is great, malty, yeasty, very nice blueberry scent, with some caramel. The taste is malty, yeasty, sour, nice blueberry notes, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, if not for the soury taste I would rate this higher, but it is tasty though. (421 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A big, fruity aroma - incredibly sweet-smelling - with traces of malt.

T: Tasted mainly of the advertised huckleberries, with some malt and cream in the finish. As it happens with some fruit beers, the flavor doesn't quite live up the expectation provided by the aroma. Still, a decent enough taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a crisp finish. Light-bodied.

O: This beer is uneven in spots, but is still enjoyable. A drinkable brew. (614 characters)

Photo of watermelon
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: translucent golden body with a three finger white head. Medium retention and lacing.

S: Strong smell of what I presume is huckleberries

T: Taste of berry syrup.

M: Crisp and light

O: Its ok It probably would have been better If I had had it fresher. (297 characters)

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Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.