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Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale - Laughing Dog Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

58 Reviews
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Reviews: 58
Hads: 163
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 17.51%
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 JohnGalt1
3.77/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of younger35
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Grabbed a bottle of this over the summer and just found it last night in the back of the beer fridge. Thought I better do it a favor and put it out of its misery. Drank from my Laughing Dog pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a pinkish gold (looks like Rogue Chamomile Ale) with an off-white/ivory one finger head. Left a nice cap and collar along with plenty of lacing. The carbonation looks pretty aggressive on this one.
Smell- Lots of fresh huckleberry fruitiness seems to burst out of the glass. It’s a lot more prominent that I expected. A bit of floral hop and that’s about it other than huckleberries.
Taste- Starts with a kick of huckleberries that is semi sweet and first but sorta turns medicinal. Something like a watered down berry cough syrup. Finishes with a overly bitter aftertaste that has a lemon like linger.
Mouthfeel- Medium to light body with little or no “creaminess” due to the strong carbonation. I wish the carbonation was toned down about 3 notches.
Drinkability- Overall the beer is ok and the huckleberry reminds me of the raspberries in Framboise. There is a slight medicinal taste to it but if you’ve never had berry cough syrup you have no frame of reference anyway. I couldn’t drink more than one of these but the girlfriend enjoyed and it would be quite refreshing on a warm summer day!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.79/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of WonderfulSam
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is interesting...

Appearance: about a hand-worth of white, coarse head. I had to pour this one over about 10 minutes because it was so highly carbonated and foamed up so much despite my best efforts. I poured a nice clear golden color with bubbles like champagne.

Smell: It smells about like hiking through the Goat Rocks Wilderness on a hot late summer day when all the huckleberries are ripe and warming in the sun. Smelled great!

Taste: Not very complex. There was a bit of a sharp bite in addition to a strong huckleberry flavor. This is definitely a novelty beer in my opinion. No realy hop flavor, some bready malt, though. Like toast. Good, but not great.

Mouthfeel: Too freakin' carbonated. That combined with the biting flavor that I can't identify, and this actually was harsh in my mouth.

Drinkability: The nice huckleberry flavor made this nice to drink, despite the carbonation and bite.

So I wonder if this just doesn't bottle well. Sounds like it's pretty good on tap...

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Photo of RJLarse
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
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?

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Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.12/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

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Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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