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961 Lebanese Pale Ale - 961 Beer

961 Lebanese Pale Ale961 Lebanese Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 22.82%

Brewed by:
961 Beer visit their website

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.32% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: FrankieW on 03-02-2012)
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2/5  rDev -39.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 14:01:01 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of WoodBrew


2.55/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 21:59:31 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Murrhey


3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 02:41:00 | More by Murrhey
Photo of TMoney2591


3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 18:36:08 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 12:10:48 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 03:15:34 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear light amber, or dirty yellow. The spicy nose is very interesting from a beer (hence the rating). The taste starts both bitter and malty, but contrary to that statement, not complex. I think the malty might actually be more from the nose. The beer also lacks some depth, and I would say the bitterness wins in the end, kind of ESB-like.

My girlfriend said the smell reminded her of a Lebanese restaurant, I found it smokey and I must admit, Middle Eastern in scents. I wished this tastes transferred to the taste better, as it woulda made it interesting. It's not a bad beer, just not a special one.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 20:06:55 | More by cjgiant
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 08:55:35 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 18:34:02 | More by chinchill
Photo of rarbring


3.63/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 10:06:17 | More by rarbring
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 20:42:01 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Ammertime


3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2013 02:54:49 | More by Ammertime
Photo of Flounder57


3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz glass was poured into a glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the beer.

Smell: Man, you can smell those garden herbs and spices. This smells like it could go with some lamb or lasagna. It's like a meal in the beer.

Taste: This beer is like a meal!! Herbs and spices are there with some mild hop bitterness and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, herbal, tingly, a bit dry, medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: Interesting take on the style. I would expect these flavors out of a Saison, but this is a tasty EIPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 22:03:21 | More by Flounder57
Photo of metter98

New York

3.84/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 17:36:22 | More by metter98
Photo of smakawhat


3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 01:29:12 | More by smakawhat
Photo of jneiswender


4.58/5  rDev +37.5%
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


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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 20:58:56 | More by jneiswender
Photo of ShamasUVA


4.59/5  rDev +37.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 21:06:54 | More by ShamasUVA
Photo of FrankieW


4.9/5  rDev +47.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 12:16:52 | More by FrankieW
961 Lebanese Pale Ale from 961 Beer
77 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.