Heather Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heather AleHeather Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

15 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 15
Hads: 72
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 3.13%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Dope on 08-21-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 15 | Hads: 72
Photo of scotorum
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had tried the revival of Zero Gravity's gruit at the Brattleboro Vermont Brewers' Festival in June, and being half Scottish I was interested to try this.'

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: Clear amber with a finger thick white head which receded to thin patchy surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Spicy floral.

t: Quite spicy and floral flavor forward over a medium malt base. Later more grassy vegetal notes become as priominent as the spiciness.

m: Light. Minimal carbonation tingle.

o; An interesting and spicy gruit, light and flavorful. (573 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber with a loose head that fades to a slim ring around the edge. Sweet heather and lavender floral aromas with fresh herbs, grass, and a festive, almost cookie-like toast and spice. Flavor duplicates the nose almost exactly. Prominent earthy, spicy floral notes and sweet toasty grain with an added slight lemony tartness. Kind of soapy by nature, but in a good way. Medium bodied, slick, and lightly carbonated. Glad to see this is about as good as I remember it from several years ago. (489 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Almond gold and muddy. Tiny head and a ring of retention

S: Very interesting kind of dank aroma. Wet flowers, spice, and beef stew herbs. Carrots, other root veggies, and cookie malts. Perhaps sherry. Very different and pleasantly so.

T: Spicy, floral, and juicy. Herbs and root teas. A bit of cranberry-like tartness and a touch hickory-meaty. Soft but evident bitterness accompanied by creamy dryness.

M: Liquidy with a gradually building powdered spice texture....like nutmeg or cinnamon perhaps.

O: This is pretty interesting. Spiced and herbal all over. It's like seasonal fall cookies meets beefy stew all topped with a flowery bouquet and a dash of white cooking wine. (685 characters)

Photo of ColdOneKev
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright bronze with a thin white head that almost disappears immediately.

S - Toasted grains, pepper. lemon zest

T - Ginger, pepper, nutmeg, lemon grass

M - Bubbly light, lingers on the palate, so maybe it is thicker than I think.

O - Very interesting, my first foray into the gruit style. I enjoyed this, I would recommend it. I don't see myself buying it again though. (387 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Dive Bar, Worcester. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pint glass pour out of the tap with a dark bronze-golden body with just a slight haziness. Small foamy white cap falls fairly quickly to a small ring. Lacing is sparse.

S- Interesting mix of sweet toasted malts, caramel, dark red fruits and a pronounced floral and herbal spicy note. Brown malts, toasted nuts, lavender, flowers, nutmeg and lemon zest tea all come to mind.

T- Reminds me of a pumpkin ale in a way actually, with the toasted malts and spices. Sweet caramel malts, toasted nuts, cracked cereal grains, big honey and flower petals all combine into one flavorful sip. Wheat, light lemon and grassy herbal hints as well.

MF- Medium bodied overall with a creamy, foamy texture. Fluffy moderate carbonation and a light bitterness from the spicy hops (and maybe flowers/spices too). Somewhat watery.

I like how the toasted malts, spices and apparently flowers come together. It reminds me of some pumpkin ales but also has an added complexity not seen in those. (1,030 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dirty golden brown color, almost like honey or a light cream soda. The head is massive and creamy white with big rocky soap bubbles that leave foamy, clinging bits of lacing on the glass. The beer’s body is fairly clear with a nice light haze murking the body enough that this beer is not entirely translucent. On the nose, this beer smells sweetly herbal with a good grainy kick. The herbs pack a lovely cornucopia of spices onto the nose, moving from minty to spicy, to everywhere in-between. The beer almost smells like a super spicy hefeweizen, as it has some awesome banana and clove esters lying as the backbone of this beer. The smell is quite enticing. On the tongue, the beer tastes like a liquefied and refreshing spicy bread with light touches of banana. The heather shines in the beer, obviously… leaving an almost minty tingle on the mouth. The beer begins with light grainy bread with a faint touch of banana esters, before it opens into an herbal wonderland that starts more spicy, moves towards grainy, then bursts with big cooling herbal mint flavors before rounding itself into perfect balance of all of the different flavors listed. The aftertaste is of light tingly herbal mint (heather?) with a touch of grainy bread. On the mouth, the beer feels light to medium in body with a certain congealing feeling to it as it stretches out over the tongue. The beer is supremely refreshing and clean feeling, though the strong herbal flavors in the middle of the taste do place a slight graininess on the tongue. The mouth is left clean with some nice little puddles on the sides of the my tongue begging for more of the beer. Overall, this beer is supremely tasty, and another excellent example of the burgeoning American Gruit scene. Bready, complex, refreshing, rejuvenating… my list of descriptions for this beer could go on and on. This is a delicious success from the stellar CBC, and definitely a beer you should try. (1,959 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this mysterious ale. Copied from notes from last week. This was Batch 1/Aug 2012 bottling.

Pours into a snifter a hazy copper orange with quite a bit of dusty sediment floating about. White head retains nicely with some good lace left behind.

Scent reveals lemon, grass, floral notes. light and outdoorsy. Good strength.

Taste is similar but opens things up a bit more. Floral, wheat/breadiness, lemon, some toffee and sweet malts, hints of vanilla. Kind of reminds me of very solid a summer wheat ale.

A bit overcarbonated but a decent mouthfeel. Light-medium body, refreshing, lots of flowers but not overpowering.

I am definitely unfamiliar with this style, and went into it only knowing it as "an ale brewed with heather flowers", but I thought this was great. Floral is not over the top, this would make for a great summer ale. (865 characters)

Photo of charlatan
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wetherspoons real ale festival in Inverness. Light gold colour beer with a medium head and a honey and heather nose. It feels oily on the tongue in a fairly pleasant way. It begins with honeylike sweetness and a slight creaminess before turning more bitter and finishing with the other heather. Importing heather to Scotland seems more ironic than coals to Newcastle but this was worth it. (389 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light fizzy head rises up to almost 1 finger before fading back quickly, with very little lacing, over fairly clear golden brown tan color.

Nose erupts with tons of heather, almost pure floral heather in the aroma, light floral spices, quite aromatic, a very light toasted malt, touch of sweet malt.

Taste has some light malts, a little sweetness, light toasty malt and a light wheat like flavor. Then pure heather, light floral spices and plenty of heather and aromatic spices. little floral with some bitterness, more bitterness from the herbs and I don't think any hops. A touch of a grainy sweet malt. Finish is drier but not too dry, little gritty and abrasive, little grainy malt, plenty more heather and herbal flavors, light bitterness.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, little abrasive dry finish, good carb.

Overall pretty good, plenty of heather and herbal flavors and aromas, light malt base, fairly floral, light but decent bitterness, a dry and weirdly abrasive finish. (992 characters)

Photo of jonb5
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the JDW real ale festival. Half pint, bronze colour, clear, small head, retention ok. Slightly strange rubbery aroma, almost latex like. Tasted like a lemon left in the fridge too long, hints of salt, carrot and mineral, watery finish. No real carbonation, quite smooth, thin texture. Different to most other beers I've sampled, similar to the Gose style. (365 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a hazy honeygold color. Fat bubbles rise to further build the rather white head. Head is about a quarter inch high. The head is very reluctant to leave stains upon the glass.

S-Mashed peas and Gerber baby food. Lavender bath soap. Nose is quite vegetal. Floral with coriander. I have smelled this aromatic component before and I am struggling to define it.

T-Tastes like I ate flower petals. Herbal and perfumey (non-hop derived). Well malted. A sweetened earthy flavor. God, it is quite difficult to describe. Tastes like an amalgamtion of multiple bathsoaps. Rosemary, flower petals, moss, anise, soot and spinach.

M-Light bodied, but its nearing on medium bodied. Bubbles are plentiful but soft. Despite the crazy flavor, it goes down easy. Not dry, not bitter.

O/D-I was perplexed by this brew. Wasn't a huge an, but I would still regad this as a "must try". It's cool, and unique, but it isn't that easy to agree with. Regardless, I can tell this was well made. God forbid I try an "Ancient Herbed Ale" from a lesser brewery. Odd but awesome? (1,060 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Batch: 01
Bottled: August 2012

Pours a nice hazy dark orange color, very nice carbonation, with a one-finger fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slightly yeasty, with some nice spice notes. The taste is pretty nice, malty, some yeast/flower notes, nice touch of spices. Medium body. Overall a pretty nice brew, my first from this brewery. Thanks Bill! (451 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick head with lots of lumpy lace. Cloudy with an orange-amber color.

Wow, there's an unbelievable amount of lavender and other flowers to the nose. In the background is cinnamon, clove and white pepper. Very strong aroma but inviting.

The spiciness is strong on the tongue. There's a thin body with an above average carbonation. Lots of pepper to the swallow. Long aftertaste. Works well with Mexican food, but this is an unusual offering for people who expect the "usual". (477 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this last weekend at the brewpub in MA for about $4ish. Bottl is batch 1, bottled 8/3/12. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with one finger of slightly off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of grains, spices, herbs, flowers, floral hops, earthy notes. Load of spices in the nose; interesting but nice.

t - Tastes of grains, herbs, spices, pepper, flowers, earthy notes, bready malts, floral hops, dough. Spices seem to work a little better here with the grain/bread than it did in the nose; a step up for me.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink at 5% ABV.

o - Overall an interesting, pretty good beer, though I could see people not liking it. If definitely has a lot of a herbal/spicey taste to it, though it works pretty nicely and none of it is bad. Definitely not something you'd drink a few of or would want to drink all the time, but cool to try and well made. (978 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New bottle from CBC labelled simply "Heather Ale", dated August 2012 with 5.0% ABV.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a medium sized fizzy white head. Fades fairly quickly, leaving only moderate lacing behind.

S: Instantly get tons of floral character (of course). Lavender and...rosemary? Bready with a touch of honey. Finally a hint of herbal tea. A very pleasing, crisp and refreshing aroma.

T: Very spicy up front. This is a terrible review because I can't figure out half of these flavors. Lots of spices and herbal flavors. Even a bit earthy. It's again, very crisp and refreshing. In the middle the malt is mostly bready and I again get a hint of honey in there. Ends with a little lavender flourish and some more spices.

M: Medium bodied, not as light as you'd expect for a 5% ABV brew. Smooth.

O: A refreshing, aromatic and tasty brew. Perfect for summer. Drinkability is quite high as it's not too heavy or overpowering. I really enjoyed this unique style. (975 characters)

Heather Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.