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Bog Water - Beau's All Natural Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bog WaterBog Water

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boszormeny
2/5  rDev -45.7%

boszormeny, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Cramshawbar
2.13/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Oh, no. This one is not the worst beer I had but....well, the third worse.
If I wanted to drink sauerkraut juice, I would buy sauerkraut or at least have a bottle of the awful Cuvée Des Jacobins Rouge. And I don't want either.
Please bring back Strong Patrick.

Cramshawbar, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Caudalie
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

Caudalie, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

Sammy, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of StephenRich
3/5  rDev -18.5%
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/

StephenRich, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of RyanPollock
3/5  rDev -18.5%

RyanPollock, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
3.2/5  rDev -13%
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.

EgadBananas, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of basementbrewer
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

basementbrewer, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of hunterjames
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

hunterjames, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of bigox420
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

bigox420, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

biboergosum, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled November 30 so nice and fresh.

A - Pours a murky looking deepy ruby red colour. The head came out as a fizzy light brown but fizzled away really fast. Good carbonation coming up. The colour sure looks like a bog. No retention obviously and no lace. The murky looking element of this saves it from failing miserably.

S - A Sahti-like aroma with lot's of herbal notes, candied fruits, berries, and twigs.

T - Much the same with more berry notes, dark fruits, twigs, candied fruits, herbal notes. Alot like Sahti actually. Interesting.

M - Nice fizzy carbonation with a light to medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - Interesting. Not overly pleasant though. A small sample would have done. The Sahti similarity is cool and the novelty of it scores it points, but more malt backbone would have dones this good with caramel or bready notes.

tbeckett, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of kjyost
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired from the brewery, poured into a Beau's ceramic Octoberfest mug. Also consumed at SmoQue Shack on draft.

Pours a deep, rich raisin brown that seems fairly clear with a nice head that leaves very light lacing. Tons of belgian esters on the nose including barnyard aromas along with notes of chocolate. Body is quite sweet with raisin notes and some herbal notes along with tartness and a cloying finish. Tart & cloying mouthfeel over time... Holy hell this is sweet. While I appreciate the attempt, I do not really like it... Meh. So much initial promise.

kjyost, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Digimaika2
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful clear amber colour with a fingers worth of fizzy head that quickly recedes to a ring. Good spotty lacing down the glass.

S: Herbal qualities, brown sugar, belgian-like spices and yeast, a favourable sour element, and subtle bread-like aroma. An overall appealing grainy-herbal forward smell.

T: Herbal-grassy taste, brown sugar, a slight sourness, and a biscuity malt presence. If I had to pick a fruit I'd say crisp and sweet pears. There's a distinct and lingering herbal finish, but it's a nice natural taste.

M: Lighter body with a moderate carbonation, both about average for the style. Slightly oily with a generally crisp and clean texture.

D: Quite good with a strong herbal-grassy farmhouse-like element as advertised. Might not be something regularly stocked in my fridge but certainly would occasionally pick this up again.

Digimaika2, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

JohnnyBarman, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

spinrsx, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of decimator
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

600ml bottle poured into a goblet. ABV 6.6%.

A - Poured a dark brown with auburn highlights. Thin beige head was quickly reduce to a few surface bubbles. No lacing. Looks like cola.

S - Brown sugar, caramel, fruity (bananas, apricot, dried fruit), herbs, some spice in the background.

T - Light brown sugar, some sour fruity notes, dried herbs, some cloves, some tea, mild bitterness in the finish. The herbal bitterness covers the inside of the mouth and lingers a bit.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation, sticky, oily, just a hint of heat, mostly clean finish. This one could use more carbonation.

O - It's Dubbel like profile is pretty average but the use of myrtle instead of hops certainly gives this one an interesting flavour.

decimator, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of Foddz
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, hazy, caramel brown. A finger and a half of medium bodied foam that subsides to a thin rim around the glass. No lacing to speak of.

S: Dark, earthy, and a herbal spiciness to it. Ripe banana and other dark fruits. An underlying sweetness to it all.

T: More fruit. Reminds me a little of banana bread. Ripe bananas, malty bread notes, and a nice bit of herbal zing from the bog myrtle that the hops have been replaced with. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. A little weak on flavour in the back end.

M: A little thin, but nice and smooth. Mediocre carbonation. Not much to it.

O/D: Quite a pleasant brew, but under-performs in a couple of areas. Would benefit from a more robust late-taste/aftertaste, more carbonation, and a little more substance. That said, one could enjoy a few of these in a sitting without too much difficulty at all.

Foddz, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of mtomlins
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

mtomlins, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of SandS
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

SandS, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of ludachris
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

ludachris, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Yoozeo
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Yoozeo, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of KeKeKumba
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

KeKeKumba, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

deonreds, Dec 24, 2013
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Bog Water from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.