1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale - Laughing Dog Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

149 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 17.96%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | 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:
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 added by: woemad on 07-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Bottled 4/24/13.

Pours a murky light yellow-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, metal, and sugar free artificial berry syrup aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and indistinct berry flavors on the finish. There is a slight amount of acidity on the palate that lingers long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is pretty decent taste wise but the artificial, sugar free aromas are pretty poor for a fruit beer.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, light yellow body with tons of carbonation spewing forth a tall, airy head fed by continued streams of effervescence.

Smell: Tart, tangy fruitiness overtop mild base malts (with some sweetish hints about it) and even milder hops.

Taste: Mild maltiness (just barely bready) given a liberal dusting of powdered sugar for a fair degree of sweetness. It's fruity and lightly tart, as one might imagine, with a flavor reminiscent of blueberries but a bit different and more distinctive. Mild hop character and bitterness. Berryish, sweet finish with a lingering hint of blue-colored cotton candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high, fizzy carbonation for a lively mouthfeel.

Overall: It's alright for a fruit beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, from a recent trek through southern Idaho. Hottest day so far this summer, so it's fruit beer time!

This beer pours a mostly clear, medium golden amber hue, with one finger of creamy, and yet weakly foamy dirty white head, which leaves but a few specks of lace around the glass as it evenly settles, where it becomes evident that there seems to be a fair bit of fine particulate suspension as well.

It smells of donut-topping sweet huckleberry fruit, and doughy creamy malt - very reminiscent of the huckleberry ice cream I had somewhere on that trip. The taste is mild pale malt, and some strange tart citrus/huckleberry fruitiness, that devolves into a more green vegetal fruit essence, joining with the earthy hops to dry this sucker right out.

The carbonation is average, manifesting in just a wan frothiness throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and a little edgier than desirable for true smoothness, but decent enough in that respect. It finishes off-dry, barely, the weak malt overrun by that lingering semi-sweet berry fruitiness.

I had a bunch of this in a previous lifetime in Sandpoint - wasn't wowed then, and am not particularly wowed now. Interesting enough to try, but nothing I'd want to continue putting back on that patio I'm dying to get to today.

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin white head that slowly vanishes.

The smell is tart with faint berry (huckleberry, of course).

The taste is of mild tartness/slightly sour with berries - huckleberries, as expected - with bready and light malty notes and a bitterish touch.

The carbonation is somewhat fizzy/prickly. Light-bodied.

Fruit is dominating, but is there. It says on the label that the berries are known for their sweetness and texture. Well, when translated to this beer, there's not much in sweetness (which is fine, as many fruit beers push the sweetness too far, in my opinion - but this could use a kiss more), and the texture has been hampered a bit from the fizz/carbonation on the prickly side. The tart quality - while I can appreciate it in a fruit beer, is a "different" here. This isn't a mediocre brew because it is run-of-the-mill, in fact, I think it is different. Of course, that may be from having a cream ale base rather than typical pale wheat, but I still am not so impressed. A bit too tart, bready and bitterish for what it is, and I certainly don't want to be dominated by the huckleberries, they could use a pinch more. In the end, I didn't mind having the one, it's okay...

Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Bottled 03/27/2012.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent pale copper-yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Sour yeast/bacteria, berry, cream, and clean malts. An intriguing aroma for a cream ale. Fairly strong. I'm excited to try it.

T: Yeasty, with candy/sweets notes throughout. Berry certainly comes through. I'm reminded of a Halloween candy I can't quite remember. Nicely tart. Clean malts lend it body and provide the backbone. It isn't quite as creamy as say, Kilkenny, but it does alright for itself. Imbalanced. Not real complex or subtle, but it does experiment with the style - which I like. I just don't know that I find the flavour appealing. The tart finish is lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thin and lacking sufficient body. Not as creamy as it needs to be. A touch overcarbonated. Perhaps a bit watery as well.

Dr: It's drinkable, but the taste isn't particularly great. It might be a niche appeal, so try it - just don't expect much. Decently priced for what it is, I guess.

C

Photo of wrightst
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, cute label quite 90's Northwest,

A: Pours a clear gold with a small white head, very minor lace. Nice head retention.

S: Very fruity, jammy dominated by the huckleberries, pleasant and much more pungent than I expected.

T: Huckleberry flavour especially on the back end. Light sourdough bready malt. That's it. Not a particulary robust or even fruity flavour, the base beer is quite light, but I guess that's to be expected from a cream ale.

M: Light-bodied, with a crisp carbonation. Maybe a light too biting. Fairly clean finish.

O: Definitely a unique idea, but nothing to separate it in the end from a lot of the mediocre fruit beers out there.

Photo of Gavage
2.63/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a 1/2" head that breaks apart immediately. No lacing develops on the glass.

Smell: lemon zest and some berry tones are very light and hard to detect.

Taste: light malt profile with some tart lemon zest, light fake berry flavoring, and some green grapes. Bitterness is very mild.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout.

Drinkability: this beer just did not have a good flavor and was very hard to finish.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy pale to medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass and some faint apricot highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a very thin film covering the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of huckleberries (slightly sweet) over the top of lighter aromas of grainy malts and just a hint of lemon citrus.

T: Upfront there is a slightly sweet moderate flavor of grainy malts. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet slightly tart huckleberries and just a light amount of lemon zest flavors. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy albeit a touch thin.

O: I enjoyed this one and found it extremely easy to drink. Definitely sessionable and I think the huckleberry additions to a cream ale are a winning combination in my book.

Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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!

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of rab53
1.75/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of atrocity
2.25/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of Zaphog
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of beerthulhu
2.2/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From what I understand this is their cream ale that has huckleberries added.

A: Poured a hazy lemony color very similar to their cream ale with a quickly rising, as well quickly diminishing eggshell white head that left a poor, spotty lacing. The haziness was thick, swirling with a light-medium effervesce detected underneath.

S: On the nose was a mixture of sugary sweetness and tart raspberries upon first opening. Unfortunately while in the glass the aroma was less then enthusiastic, powerful, and incentive. Soapy, detergent like scents were picked up mixed in with a berry tartness of what im guessing was the huckleberries (my only exposure to huckleberries previously was huckleberry hound from my cartoon childhood so im unsure of what they are suppose to taste like). Light underlying tones of sour oranges can be picked up on the finishing trail.

T: First impression taste wise yielded tart, citric tangerines, but was watery and seltzer like in nature. A musky damp yeastiness of grapefruit, oranges and lime combine with a sour pineapple fruitiness bringing mixed results. There seems to be a light carry-over from the aroma with noticeable soapy-detergent like hints mixed in with tart berries (blue and black). Stale citrus and berry juice is noted on the finish which was slightly bitter, acidic and thankfully short on the fade (no sense hanging around). Needless to say some soapy off flavors and flaws lends this to a unimpressive showing and rating.

M: lightbodied with a heavy handed carbonation gives this a macro-like feel. Soapy-alkaline lacing does little to help things out here and continues to be an re-occurring theme throughout the drink.

D: A cream that drinks like a tart, watery macro influenced fruit beer. A struggle to put down just one yielding little enjoyment, unless you count dumping it down the drain. Avoid at any and all cost.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.