Bog Water - Beau's All Natural Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bog WaterBog Water

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BA SCORE
83
good

76 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Beau's All Natural Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malty, with a plum-like fruitiness that is offset by spicy, earthy bitterness.

(Beer added by: CanuckRover on 02-18-2008)
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ludachris:
Photo of ludachris
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taking the name into consideration, its hazy deep caramel body is quite fitting. About a finger's worth of tightly knit, creamy off white head forms after a sturdy pour, leaving no lace as it dies down.

Big, over-ripe banana streams from the glass with a musty, slightly sour backing I can't quite put my finger on. Cooked tomatoes and celery come through but moreso in a hardy, stew-like way. DMS in a less off putting form I suppose.

The taste is quite interesting. A smooth, mellowed out banana sweetness coats the palate. It reminds me of sugar coated bananas without being cloyingly sweet. A unique earthy, hardy, slightly peppery character follows close behind. There's a quick flash of spice midway through. A touch vegetal in the finish but much less pronounced than the nose. The last impression, extending beyond the finish, is both earthy and minerally laced with a soft sweetness. The pepper quality becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Carbonation is a tad below average, helping to accentuate the sweet banana character while still being able to impart a stern dryness that prevents the sweetness from getting carried away. Medium bodied with a bit of a watery feel.

This is one of the more interesting and unique Ontario offerings I've had to date. With that being said, it's not an exceptional one. I prefer their Kolsch over this. I'd still say this is worth a try.

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of R_Kole
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had a good chance to scratch my gruit itch recently (other than from the Historic Ales of Scotland pack), so it was very nice to see this offering from Beau's hit the shelves. I've been meaning to try this for quite some time, but their distribution has only really taken off this year. Still, quite glad to pick up a bottle.

Kudos to Beau's for their dating info - not many Ontario brewers do this consistently. Bottled on November 30th, served in a dimpled ale glass on a disgustingly wet, boggy December afternoon.

The name "bog water" conjures up images of stagnant Ontario lakes fillled with lilies, reeds and dank, brown water. And that's precisely the image that Bog Water seeks to replicate. Dank, chestnut brown, slightly hazy, light brown when given some sun. The head is negligible, quickly dissolving into a thin ring. Eh, the beer is called Bog Water - what do you expect?

Nose is slightly spicy, but the dominant smell I detect is that of a dunkelweizen - cocoa, dark malt and a bit of over-ripe banana. It's faint, but it's there.

This brew is extra malty, with a big caramel-chocolate sweetness rushing out of the gate. But that same over-ripe banana continues to nag at my tastebuds. It's not until the finish that the gruit begins to show, with a nice herbal bitterness. Slightly flat, oily, and with a tangy carbonation kick. Surprisingly dry on the tongue.

Not exactly what I was expecting, but an interesting brew nonetheless. And hell, it's almost 7% - always a plus in my book. But not really the gruit fix I was hoping for. Worth a try at any rate.

Photo of BGDrock
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: average head; incredibly clear as like all Beau's brews; stunningly deep, rich, brown amber - like the edges of a port wine

Aroma: sweet; sharp, slightly acidic fruit, like a barleywine; raisiny, dried fruit (prunes)

Taste & Mouthfeel: interesting mouthfeel stands out with the first sip - almost thick and fatty, coating and clinging to the tongue; just slightly sour; there's something herbal, like a rustic tea; hops are replaced by bog myrtle and the change is noticeable - lacking that dimension; sweetness is "natural" like flowers or honey (not sugary); short length

Overall: a very interesting and complex experiment, like a lighter Belgian Abbey, but the hops and length are missed

Photo of basementbrewer
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at BeerBistro.

This beer appears a hazy reddish brown colour, with no head, and no lace. It smells herbal, floral, and organic, like the center of a sunflower, and a bit medicinal. The taste is floral, vegetal, and weedy, with some mild sour cherry and earthy nuttiness. The carbonation is quite low, the body lighter, but not light, and a bit prickly, and it finishes dry, earthy, and um, boggy, but yet fairly clean overall.

Weird olden-times brews like this are neat to try, and I would probably drink more of this if hops were to suddenly vanish, but in the meantime, one is enough for my new-fangled palate.

Photo of mintjellie
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany colour, hazy. Large but fast dissipating head, but I sort of expected that without much in the way of hops to help the retention. No lace. Really, it looks like a headless dunkelweizen. Mild aroma shows banana, raisin, and herbal/floral notes. Tastes of toasted malt, a gentle sweetness with banana and dried fruit notes, spicy phenols, and a slight soapy character in the finish. My glass is well-rinsed so I don't believe it's that - maybe Bog Myrtle just tastes a little bit soapy to me? Anyways, it doesn't bother me. Cilantro is a little bit soapy too, and I don't mind some of that either. No bitterness.

Medium-bodied with somewhat low carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel. Nice beer, and I don't mean this as a complaint since I enjoyed it, but there really is something about it that makes it seem more dunkelweisse than dubbel. But hey, those Belgian yeast strains can be pretty estery and phenolic as well.

Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

myrtle is lemony and adds a citrus tang to tea. As a hop replacement, this is odd and different and queer. Dark brown with off-white soapy head, and lacey. Horse smell in there, vegetable aroma and in taste. Medium mouthfeel and aggressive carbonation.

Photo of CanuckRover
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is Beau's first seasonal and second brew after their flagship Lugtread. The beer is made with bog myrtle or sweet gale. Sweet gale was a popular plant for flavouring beer in Northwest Europe up until the 16th Century. The brewery harvested the plant from Northern Quebec. As far as I can tell, this is pretty unique today, the only other one I can find on BA is Porse Guld from Denmark, and that seems to be a completely different style than this. Steve from Beau's let me try a pod from the plant and it offered a very interesting taste. Very aromatic, slightly medicinal with a huge peppery punch.

They call this a strong and spicy dirty brown ale. This is a pretty tough beer to nail down. Thank god for the herb/spiced beer category! Growler was filled at the brewery. Beer is unfiltered and they said it was aged 6 weeks. True to the description, the beer pours a dark, dirty brown. Offers a finger thick off white head, spotty lacings. Unfiltered, the beer is slightly cloudy and has an orangey tint.

This beer has some nose on it. A grassy sweetness, similar to heather. Sweet gale is apparently a traditional inclusion in bouquets and pot-purri and it shows. Strong floral note with a very spicy, herbal backing. Slightly astringent evergreen holds the overall sweetness from a very strong malt backbone at bay.

I find it hard to take this beer apart. Many herbed beers rely on the special ingredient, in this case the myrtle simply takes the place of hops, the malt is still a star in its own right. Medicinal herbs fill the mouth and nose and hang around while the tongue picks its way through the four continental malts. When I tasted it yesterday I got alot of stout qualities from it, not so much this time. Very bitter chocolate. Slightly burnt caramel. Bitterness from the mytle comes on quick and coats the tongue with pepper and the herbal notes. A little bit of spice, almost Belgian, cloves standing out the most. Alcohol is well contained.

Mouthfeel, thinner than I had thought it would be. Carbonation offers a tingle to go with the myrtle bitterness, but not too much. This goes down pretty easy, especially for the ABV.

A standout beer, especially in Ontario. Beau's has taken an ancient tradition and used it in a completely different style. Ottawans can say they've got a beer nobody else does. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy... or it could have been the beer.

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO $4.35.

A- Very good. Opened well. Poured a generous 1" head that dissipated quickly. Nice amber nearing brownish

S- Spicey

T- Very good. Spicey with hints of honey. Opens well with caramel and clove

M- Creamy good. Excellent carbonation. Pleasure if cellared for some time

O- Very good. Will not buy for the cellar but a nice spiced beer offering

Food Pairing

This wonderful little spiced beer will pair will with... Meat Pie.

This slightly smokey offering pairs well with a beef or beef and pork mixed pie

Thx for reading

Photo of Stocean1
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of light sugar and caramel notes with light herb undertones. Taste is a mix between a solid malt backbone with some herbs and some light candi sugar. Body is fuller then average with low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting though some additional carbonation would have helped.

Photo of Rukasu
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful ruby amber color from the bottle with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

Very yeasty on the nose with wheat and tropical hints.

Taste is a pleasant, equally yeasty typical dubbel, brown sugar, banana. Caramel malt notes. One wouldn't be able to tell that this didn't have hops in it if they never read the backstory. There is a slight bitterness from the myrtle, which lingers after swallow, but has a milder sharpness to hops.

Bogwater is only lightly carbonated and little body, it comes and goes in the mouth and is very drinkable.

An interesting concept and an enjoyable beer, but little stands out to make this different from the dubbel pack.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark copper, semi opaque, tanned head finger, moderate retention.

Aroma: greasy, sweet, fruity, caramel, figs, plums, nutty, yeasty.

Taste: plums, dark fruits, esters, caramel, rye bread.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, stingy sort of, lighter body, a little rough.

Overall: interesting. Though I'm not too familiar with the style. Seems over carbonated, making it a little harsh, but its quite palate able overall.

Photo of cdean801
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of mtomlins
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of StephenRich
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

There are many different types of brewers and beer lovers out there. Some people are looking for the cleanest and smoothest beer they can create, other strive for the wildest and most extreme beer imaginable. Some target the style specifically and try to hit the nail on the head, and more still are inventing new styles every day. There is another group of enthusiasts who love the history and tradition of beer; it is both lucky and unlucky for them that people have been been brewing beers for thousands of years in all sorts of conditions with a massive range of ingredients and techniques. Unlucky then because it is hard to find many traditional styles of beer that have gone by the wayside, but lucky because it opens the doors for unique and exciting experimental recreation. Enter the Beau's Bog Water Gruit Ale.

In modern beer hops are what is used primarily (and almost exclusively) to add bitterness to beer to balance the sweetness of malted barley. This was not always the case though, and in the long history of beer hops are a relatively young ingredient first being introduced to society somewhere in the 1400s. Before then brewers would use an herbal mixture to bitter and flavor the beer called gruit. Today, there are many avid home brewers and a few enthusiastic breweries who still produce beers in this manner, known as gruit beers, or gruit ales. Beau's Bog Water is exactly that, a Gruit Ale brewed with Belgian influenced malts, and an herb used extensively in brewing until the acceptance of hops called bog myrtle.

The Bog Water is 6.6% abv, and I have no clue how to even consider the Bittering Units it may have. Thanks to my good friends at Beau's I have had this 1.8L jug of Bog Water in my fridge just waiting for me and some friends to enjoy it. The Bog Water is a seasonal brew and is only available on tap at select pubs, and from the Brewery store in Vankleek Hill. I opened the Bog Water up cool around 10C (50F) and emptied the jug into several snifter glasses. The pour was very smooth and gentle only building froth towards the end of the fall. It did eventually create a very striking beer that glowed deeply; totally opaque and hiding somewhere between brown and purple the Bog Water showed me murky mahogany, dark amber browns and only faint bits of red into the light. The dense and very creamy head was impressive at first, but very quickly faded to a mere film on the beer.

The nose was unusual at first, but I sat there and tried to dissect it. The malt is smooth and mellow with a soft strength that comes through with some presence, but not power. It is faintly fruity and shows hints of roast and cocoa, but is clean and thin like a pilsner. The herbal remedy used in the seasoning of this beer is certainly pronounced adding a tea-like sweetness and a wild melange of spices and herbs. Its quite earthy and shows a slight bitterness - it definitely smells like bog myrtle... Whatever that is.

The first sip was similar to my first smell; confusing. Again, I tried to break the beer down piece by piece so that I could make more sense of it. The malt is very nice actually showing me easy and simple caramel, fruit and toffee flavors. Its got that Belgian Dubbel kind of roundness to it with a significantly lighter mouthfeel and body. Beau's states that the beer was brewed with Munich, Caramunich, Carafa and Pilsner malt - I expect Pils was the greatest proponent here contributing to its light body, but Munich malts to add a reasonable depth of flavor, and the Carafa bring hints of roast and wood across the top of my mouth.

All this though is pretty idle when compared to the unique spicing that the Bog creates. Remember, no hops here, so all the herbal, rustic, easrthy, mulled spice and wild flavors that you absorb from this beer are derived from the gruit. It does add well enough bitterness to balance off the beer, but adds no freshness or cleaning factor the way hops tend to. The beer is left with a bit of a flat finish in my mouth, but is interestingly satisfying.

As it probably sounds, I was, and am having a very hard time pinning down if I enjoyed this beer or not. Really though, I did - it has challenged me more than many beers have recently, and provided me with a new beer experience - something I am always looking for in beer. Thus, this is a welcomed seasonal brew from Beaus, and makes me very excited for their just unveiled Bog Father - and 8% version of the Bog Water.

Pics at: http://definitionale.com/2011/01/24/tasting-the-beaus-bog-water-gruit-ale/

Photo of Caudalie
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

600ml Bottle

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is basically no lacing. The head was gone in a flash.

Smell - Malts, caramel, banana, raisins/dates

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with butterscotch/caramel and some clove. There is also a fair amount of banana flavour mixed with raisins/dates and an earthiness. It ends with a malty light fruit aftertaste.

Overall - This one actually reminded me a bit of their 'Dunkel Buck' but with a lot less sweetness and taste. It had a very poor appearance and there was really nothing exciting about the beer. It almost tasted like "gruit lite" if such a thing existed. It needs a bump up in the flavour department and some more sweetness in the aftertaste.

Photo of Mr_Rocca
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of SandS
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml bottle into a pint glass. Batch 1894, packaged November 30, 2011.

Poured a translucent maroon, with some big head as the glass filled but disappeared as soon as the pour finished. Nose head, no lace and some modest carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass. Nose has lots of sweet caramel, some interesting yeast/fruit qualities that almost resemble a weizen in some respects (lots of banana here). Some interesting herbal notes, with a hint of spice. Quite intriguing, maybe a hint of alcohol as well. Taste has some overripe bananas, a hint of spice, with a touch of cocoa and caramel. Sweet malts, somewhat of a banana bread character to this; a touch of spice as well. A bit of bitterness and some definite alcohol in the finish, although it isn't too prohibitive. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, and carbonation is low, but kinda helps this out. An interesting pint, I would revisit this.

Photo of SebD
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice murky deep copper/amber color to it. It has a nice light beige head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramel, herbal notes, some breadiness, brown sugar, dark fruit and some spices.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet caramel, herbal notes, sweet raisins, a subtle spiciness and a slight breadiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Bog Water from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.