961 Lebanese Pale Ale - 961 Beer

Not Rated.
961 Lebanese Pale Ale961 Lebanese Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

78 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 20%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
961 Beer visit their website
Lebanon

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.32% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: FrankieW on 03-02-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by jneiswender:
Photo of jneiswender
4.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a 12oz bottle into a nonic glass, cool.

A-rocky head off white, clear amber body

S-sumac front, meat marinade, very middle eastern, as it warms you can smell more malt and hops

T-very pervasive herbal and spice flavors. Sumac is very apparent here

M-medium

O- I really like this beer. I was surprised of its appearance based on how disappointed I usually am of imports and how well some of them hold up. I feel that this should be recatergorized as a fruit and vegeatble or spice beer. It is NOT an IPA and makes not pretenses of being one. I will give it high marks but based on it being a spice beer NOT an IPA.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ammertime
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft, served cold in a 10oz goblet.

A- a pale, clear copper with minimal head.

S- Exotic and complex, like a middle eastern spice blend, the sage and sumac are strong. A pleasant herbal/medicinal smell.

T- most reminiscent of a Moroccan mint tea, lightly sweetened. There is none of the bitterness that the scent might indicate. The hops and malt are muted, almost unlike a beer at all.

M- normal, leaning toward the thinner side.

O- This is one of the best smelling beers I've had. I was amazed from the first sniff. It is definitely something you want to try if you like spiced beers but be forewarned it does not resemble any "normal" English pale ale. The spices dominate this brew.

Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very distinctive and lightly spicy, so I had to investigate. 961 says "with ingredients such as za’atar, sumac, mint, sage, anise, and chamomile. The use of such herbs and spices makes this distinctive craft brew truly Lebanese."

The aroma is moderate in strength with a complex spice blend with herbal and floral notes. Puttng my nose in the snifter is like sniffing a jar of mixed herbs and spices.

Spicy, mildly bitter flavor. Again, complex and interesting. Mixed spices linger on and on afterwards.

Feel: medium body and near medium carbonation.

A very interesting and distinctive brew dominated by za’atar.

Photo of Roguer
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick notes:

Very pretty, clear amber body, but very little head, and poor retention. Not an inviting appearance.

Aroma was sweet, malty, and spicy - full of herbs. Nothing stood out immediately.

Flavor followed perfectly. The herbs aren't easy to identify; I get cilantro and ginger, surrounded by a lightly hopped, sweet malty body hinting at honey. Unlike most spiced beers, the added flavor was noticeable without being overpowering.

Great mouthfeel: slick, relatively full-bodied (certainly so for the style), lively with no sting.

This is not a bad beer at all. I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again, but it's unlikely to be the worst offering on the menu.

Photo of WoodBrew
2.56/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Wow...this is different. I think I smelled spearmint at the bottle opening. The beer poured a nice clear copper with thin white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent definitely screams herded/spice beer...I smell a lysolly type pine. The tastes a lot like a US Xmas ale...almost like a Xmas tree. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall....its ok....I don't think I'd ever buy a six of it...luv the build your own six at Binny's.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with a large head.
Smells like lebanese bread, with a massive thyme hit. There's a little sweet malt underneath but lebanese bread is the perfect descriptor here.
Flavours follow along the same line but the herbs also add some astringency and medicinal notes. A metallic character works its way in too.
Nice idea, and the aroma is great but it doesn't quite work. Perhaps if the base beer was maltier.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of sumac and mint is incredibly powerful and maybe a tad too much for my own taste. Taste is also dominated by huge amounts of sumac and mint with a dry caramel malt base that is tame compared to the spice mix. Body is a bit light with medium carbonation. I could barely drink half of the bottle as the spice mix was way too rich for my own taste.

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

An off white two finger head is poured with some staying power, fairly consistent sized bubbles for the head formation. Body is super crystal clear, orange amber in color and with microscopic carbonation rising. Solid looking brew.

Bouquet is strange on this one. A dry spice hint of cinnamon, some kind of nutty floral sense, and a real odd green herbality I can not pick out. I don't get the impression this is from hops, it's really unique, doesn't seem to come off like an IPA but I do enjoy it. Reading the bottle it notes numerous herbs (sage, thyme, mint).

Palate hits with an incredible amount of green herb aromatics. Thyme and sage burst in the mouth with a nice sweet mix of caramel. Minor hop bitterness on the finish mixing with a minty character, and solid sweet malt backbone. Huge notes of herbal like tea meet throughout hinting at English character.

This is one of the most interesting beers I have had in quite some time. Never had a beer like this before, and I enjoy it, even though it's taste is completely unexpected.

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear copper in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of herbs are present in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of herbs—thyme and sage seem to stand out in particular—and also has notes of bready and caramel malts along with hints of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I was really impressed with this beer from the Middle East and thought that the herbal flavors made it quite interesting and unique. The herbs weren't over the top because there was enough underlying malts. This would go great with a variety of foods but hummus and lamb are two that immediately come to mind.

Photo of rarbring
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear sparkling copper brew, a small off-white head, little lacing but good curtains.

Smelling spicy (!), black peppers, herbal tea, pencil/ceder.

Sweet ginger bread cake, herbal bread, grape-fruit peel.

Medium carbonation, sticky and slightly coarse, a good body.

Spicy, hard-to-describe, but quite good.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium copper in color with some moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some orange + amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized thin patch of larger bubbles with a medium patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of herbs + spices (camomile, sage, thyme, mint, and anise) over the top of some lighter notes of caramel + toasted malts. There are hints of spicy earthy hoppiness in the background as well.

T: Upfront there is a solid malt backbone with light amounts of caramel sweetness but the complexity of the flavors really comes from the herbs + spices that are present. I can definitely detect the camomile, thyme, sage, and just a hint of mint. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish from an earthy spicy hop presence which lingers slightly.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: It takes a little bit of warming up of the beer for the herb + spice smells and tastes to really start to separate and become discernible. The herbs/spices do not dominate the beer and taste like they would be very complementary with Middle Eastern foods as they are the same herbs/spices used. Definitely enjoyable and worth grabbing if you come across it.

Photo of Rtrickey
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Very herby. Kind of spicy. Could be a grower.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A pale ale brewed with Lebanese spices and such? I'll try anything once... This stuff pours a clear amber topped by a finger of dirty off-cream foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuit, black pepper, spicy herbs (I can't quite distinguish one from another in the haze), and a touch of anise in the background. The taste generally brings in more of the same, but things are decidedly blander, muddled to a sad degree. The only distinct flavor comes near the finish, and it resembles the spiciness at the end of pizza sauce. In a good way. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, an okay beer, one that makes decent use of the various spices unusual for brewing, but one that comes across too muddled to be truly good.

Photo of JimKzoo
4.51/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Refreshing unusual beer with a great story

Photo of ShamasUVA
4.56/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this as a Herbed/Spiced Beer (Base style: Pale Ale), this beer scores exceedingly well.

The underlying pale ale hits all the marks, it is a well crafted pale ale, one that is dry enough to drink several of, but with enough maltiness to balance out the hops.

The real treat in here though is a single note of zata'ar that comes mid-palate. right after the initial sweetness but before the hoppy finish. It is clear and firm, but does not linger.

I do not typically like Spiced beers but this is something special in my opinion, and from a really unexpected place.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear golden copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, lime, tangerine, apricot, chamomile, mint, tea, herbal, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hops, spice, and bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, lime, tangerine, apricot, chamomile, mint, tea, herbal, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Light earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, apricot, tangerine, chamomile, mint, tea, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of hops, spices, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced pale ale style. All around good balance, complexity, and robustness of hops, spices, and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of FrankieW
4.88/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer!! Has to be my top favourite in the 961 Beer range. Not only is it co-brewed with Anders Kissmeyer, who received the award for Best Brew Master by the Scandinavian School of Brewing, but it is also made with the best selection of Lebanese herbs. These include zaatar (wild thyme), sumac, mint, anise, and chamomile. It is based on the English IPA but has distinct Lebanese flavours and aromas.

A: Great amber colour. When being poured an off-white creamy head about a centimetre thick forms, and lasts for around a minute. Not too many CO2 bubbles visible, thus not over carbonated.

S: Smells of all the herbs that must have been added during the boiling period. The strongest being that of the wild thyme with a tiny hint of citrus.

T: Very unusual and unique taste. There's a little bit of caramel in there, but the zaatar comes out on top again, leaving a little bitter after taste. Is full bodied.

Absolutely love it!

Photo of laituegonflable
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished gold colour. Head is whispy, thin, but some nice bubbling left behind. Lace grips. Very well, in fact.

Smell is unlikely anything I've ever smelled, beer-wise. Herbacious, with salt, rosemary, tomato paste notes and a huge thyme character. Quite amazing, and oddly enticing.

Taste has a similar note upfront - tomato and thyme certainly, with a slight savoury note. Flavour drops off a lot midway, similar notes on the palate but just a bit emptier, slight sour and slight savoury but just can't quite live up to that aroma.

Bit of carbonation sizzle, decent body though, carries it through.

I want to like this so much because it's so idiosyncratic, but it just doesn't have the oomph to sustain its unique character. Still, I love its quirkiness even if it doesn't entirely live up to the expectations it sets itself.

Photo of Murrhey
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 11.2oz bottle into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger off-white head with quickly eroding bubbles. Some watery lacing and an orange-amber color with high clarity and active carbonation.

S- Holy cow, spices are abundant. Thyme, sage, some mint maybe? I'm gonna look at the bottle. Chamomile? Anise? Whatever Sumac is? They went all out on this bad boy. I bet it pairs amazingly with Lebanese food.

T- Like a pale ale with spices in it. Some hoppy crispness rounded out by sweeter malts and the anise makes itself known here.

M- Medium-bodied with a clean, wet finish.

O- While interesting at first, the aroma of the heavily spiced beer becomes cloying.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

330ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Shared with Sam.

Pours a clear deep golden colour, with a slightly filmy, but reasonably solid head of off-white. Lacing is speckled and solid enough. Body is firm and holds fine carbonation when swirled. Overall, it looks solid.

Nose is excellent. Big herbal spicy sweetness reminds me of Pizza Shapes, spicy tomato, thyme, rosemary and sweet sumac. It's fragrant and lovely. There's not a lot of other basis for it, not much malt, not much hop or yeast character, but the spices are enough to carry it, and it's really quite lovely.

Taste is certainly a little weaker. Thin grain forms a reedy basis for the brew, with the spice providing the aromatics, but little of the sweetness suggested on the nose. There's still a little spice, some of the sharp herbs like rosemary, and a suggestion of sumac or something savoury/sour. But overall, it feels a little thin, like it's missing something.

Feel is very average. Weak, thin and unappetising, especially for a beer that's actually significantly above 5% ABV.

There is a good deal to like about this beer, but it's a shame there's so much that could obviously be improved. I love the spice mixture, but they could really brew a better beer with the same flavours. This is too thin, and ends up tasting a little like a pale lager that has been spiked with flavours. It should be better.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice clear amber color with a billowy white head of foam. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading over time to leave a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass and a very persistent thin foam of white bubbles on the top of the brew.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of a grainy and spicy smell with lots of spice of coriander and cardamom. Along with these aromas are some sweeter smells of caramel and a bit of a corny smell. Other smells of a floral and herbal nature are there as well, giving a rather sweet but spiced smell to the brew overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready flavor mixed with a decent showing of caramel sweetness and some spice of coriander and clove. As the taste advances more and more spice comes to the tongue all while some herbal and floral flavors greet the tongue. While these new flavors come, some of the sweetness fades, all while a little bit of a graininess works its way in. With a hint of a yeastiness and some earthy and almost juniper flavors coming at the very end, one is left with a somewhat drier and rather spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side for a brew of 6.3 % with a carbonation level that is rather average to slightly higher. For the style it was decent and complimented the mix of spice, floral/herbal, and sweet flavors rather nicely, although a little thicker body may have amped up the flavors a bit more.

Overall – While not the best pale out there it was a nice one to try. It had a decent showing of spice and herb/floral tastes all while keeping a more easy drinking feel and flavor profile.

Photo of DeadlyFire85
4.23/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer, lots of spices

Photo of fostachild
1.5/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Did not enjoy this at all. Smelled and tasted like pizza to me and couldn't finish it.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass. Lebanese craft beer, how could I refuse this?

A: Pours a clear golden-copper color. Not much head is to be found, it's about one fingers high, shaded white, and not very impressive looking even before it fades quickly. Some lacing is left on the glass, at least.

S: It's hard not to be intrigued by the aroma. Cinnamon, sage, coriander, green tea, chamomile, and mint all hit the nose in a big way. Not much of a malt backbone or hop presence here - this one seems designed to showcase the various spices, and it's a success in that regard.

T: Not as interesting as the nose, likely due to the fact that all the spices seemingly blend with one another. However, there's still enough to like here, such as the thyme/sage notes on the opening and the minty finishing kick. I think this would be better if the maltiness or hop profile was beefed up slightly; flavor-wise, the spice character (though showcased quite well) needs a bit more malt/hops to really shine.

M: This is really light-feeling and crisp. Not the driest brew in the world - which is understandable - but I'm still amazed at how drinkable it is. It goes down superbly, without the aid of strong carbonation to do so.

O: One of the strangest brews I've had in a while. I'd call it a partial success; it shows off the spices well, but the base beer isn't quite interesting enough to keep up. Still, I'd much rather drink this over the legions of generic English pale ales on the market right now.

Photo of 2Xmd
4.15/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The herbs used really work with this ipa. Nice aroma and the taste matches the smell.

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961 Lebanese Pale Ale from 961 Beer
78 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.