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Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series) - Upright Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

30 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 6.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Reggae Junkie Gruit, aged in Ransom Old Tom gin barrels.

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 02-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at the other night's Upright tasting. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Bottle 132/166

Pours a sparkling, clear yellow color with an average, fizzy white head that diminishes fairly quickly into a thin collar with some sparse lacing on the sides of the glass.

The nose brings some delicate herbs with some gin in the background. A bit of citrus there as well. The flavor has a long duration with a very light sweetness plus a small dose of tartness. Light bitterness as well. Everything seems to be coming together, yet it's all fairly subtle.

The body is light with high carbonation, leaving to a dry finish. Through the finish comes some additional gin and herb character plus a light burst of citrus.

A very interesting and delicious beer that I was glad to try. Here's hoping that Upright makes this one again.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of MasterSki
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #160/166. Served in a Glunz taster glass.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thick collar, wispy thin cap, and minimal lacework. Hazy orange-yellow body.

S - Gin and tonic, 7Up, ginger, juniper, and other nebulous herbs. Slight lactic character and bretty pineapple funk. Very unique, and strangely compelling.

T - Taste is pretty similar - a mixture of tonic water, lemons, gin, and nebulous herbs over top of a sweet pale malt and stone fruit backbone. Not quite as much of the funk character that I picked up in the aroma, but still quite enjoyable. More of a 4.25, so I had to fudge the other scores a tiny bit.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, a bit gritty, dry clean finish, and no obvious alcohol even with the gin flavors.

D - This was quite excellent, and was super-refreshing after a bunch of bigger stouts and barleywines. I probably could have drank the entire bottle on my own. I really hope Upright revisits this beer as I found it extremely successful and provocative.

Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #1 on the "Top Beers - Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Another #1 beer hooray! Shared by Thorpe and served in a snifter.

Yellow, hazy, lazy head, no lacing, low carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is surprisingly Brett-y, with spice and herbs in there at as well.

Beer is light in body, oaky and bretty on the finish, nice tasting, very strong flavors, nice spice palate, overall a nice beer and I'd have it again.

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6/24/2011

Thanks a lot, Jason!

Poured into a sniffer. A gin barrel aged Gruit? Right up my alley.

A: Looks like white wine, like a Chardonnay. Small bubbly white head. Good clarity.

S: Lactic peaches with a moderate sour quality with accompanying juniper. The gin is pronounced. Slight musty quality. 

T: Moderate lactic sourness with notes of peach and apricot. Citric acidity is at a lower moderate level. Very dry. Less gin than I detected in the flavor. A little juniper.

M: Sticky and dry. Light in body. Upper low carbonation. A little thin.

Overall: An interesting beer with unique attributes. Pretty damn good for a Gruit.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle comes from Inflatablechair (23/166) .. Thanks for this one-off Sam!! Pours a lightly hazed pale yellow with a good white head that drops quickly .... no real retention or lacing.

Nose is very spicy... juniper and sage... something that I associate with geraniums... green apple.. tart and a bit floral.

Flavor is herbal and a bit sour... tannic underripe pit fruits.. lemony... obvious juniper.... some "turkey herbs"... I swear I get sage and even rosemary.. nasturtiums... peppery and a bit floral.

Boutique Gin for sure... Loved this one... inviting and very drinkable.... sorta like an aperitif.. God, I would love to be able to try this one again over a long evening.

3.5/3.5/4.5/3.5/4

Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know who shared this, kind of lost track after a while who was pulling out what.

A - Yellowish orange colored beer that was a bit hazy. A bit of lace left on the sides.

S - Some gin, little bit of grape, some interesting herbs, little bit of gin.

T - Taste is actually pretty nice, particularly considering how much I generally don't like gin. Some nice stone fruits, bit of gin, herbs, and pale malts.

M - Lively carbonation, more body than expected, I'd say medium.

O - Nice beer, found it easy to drink, particularly given my few experiences previous with a gruit. Good stuff, would drink again.

Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jedwards for sharing this. Definitely a highlight of the night. Bottle # 72 out of 166. Pours a hazy tangerine hue with a thin, bright white head that dissipates into a skim. Nose expresses tart citrus, chamomile and some other herbal qualities I can't quite pin down. Taste is citrusy, salty, tart and less herbal with a light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light in body with a tart, crisp finish and a slight acidity that lightly stimulates the salivary glands along the cheeks. Well, I can't say that I have much experience with the style, but I was blown away by this beer. Surprisingly flavorful and quite refreshing. Well worth your time if you can track down this rare brew.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes taken from early 2012 (March?) from a bottle share i hosted with the local crew.

Thanks kindly to OregonHopmonster for the trade.

bottle 153 of 166

a - pourse clear yellow orange with some visible champagne like carbonation and a thin bubbly head.
s - smell is amazing. spicey peppermint patty. my nose is on fire from it.
t - taste matches the nose in that it is insanely amazing. the gin is perfect match for the taste. sweet peppermint candy with gin glazed on it.
m - prickly carbonation
o - wish there was more of this it is unreal.

Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex! Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a golden yellow color, white head, thin cap, light spotty lace.

S - Herbal notes, gin, tonic, some funk, nice level of tart notes in there as well. Really unique and interesting...very cool.

T - Gin & tonic, plain and simple. Also, some stone fruit, apricots, and light bretty funk. Like the nose, really unique and cool...not something I could keep drinking a lot of though.

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Really enjoyable and unique. Well-done beer by Upright. I continue to believe this brewery is really under-the-radar yet most of their stuff is just simply excellent. This one is another winner!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Arbitrator
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of hopsbreath and/or ramnuts -- I forgot who sent this one. Thanks, Jason and Frank!

A: A pale straw body with good clarity and a wispy, off-white head. It doesn't leave any lace.

S: An herbal juniper (gin) note greets the nose, backed by an assortment of rosemary and ginger. A small presence of apricot.

T: Barrel-dominated juniper / gin flavors segue into a mild tartness of apricot, lemon, and grape. Herbal flavors dominate the mid-palate, including what I believe is rosemary (no one else was convinced of this) and ginger.

M: The mouthfeel could use a little more carbonation to scrub the palate. The strong (but unique!) flavors of the barrel linger on the palate and leave residue after a number of sips. It makes it a little hard to drink in quantity.

O: Great beer, and a real eye-opener. Having had a number of Upright beers in the past and being somewhat unimpressed by them. I found this a refreshing change of pace. Well done.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of vkv822
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into tulip pint.
bottle number 69 of 166.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a thin, bubbly white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The aroma is of faint gin upfront, which gives way to a nice lactic tartness mixed with herbs.

I am getting light herbs/spice upfront though these become less apparent as it warms. These quickly give way to wonderful tart apple notes and faint grape-skin tannins in a nice dry finish.

As mentioned in other reviews, it is more full bodied than I would have guessed from the appearance. The carbonation, while not overly bubbly, is enough that it keeps it quite refreshing though.

This was an interesting and incredibly well done beer. I really wish I had picked up more bottles of this, and will keep my eyes open for it again. I would go as far as to say this is my favorite beer I have tried from Upright so far.

Photo of starrdogg
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Thorpe for busting out this big-time Want to kick off our Upright Sole Composition tasting.

Beer pours a slightly hazy golden-yellow with a fluffy white head. The aroma is very interesting, a great mix of lactic sour, spices (not sure I can identify which ones) and a hint of sweetness. The taste on this is absolutely fantastic and unique. It's much more lactic sour than I expected, but the gin and spices really come through on the back end. As it warms, it gets a little sweeter and the spices become more prominent. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation, and it coats your mouth in a nice way for a lighter beer. Overall, this isn't exactly what I was expecting (thought it would be a lot more gin-forward), but it was fantastic nonetheless and had a mix of flavors that I've never found together in a beer before. One of the best things Upright's done so far.

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of chumba526
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears very light gold in color with a light and fluffy pure white head.

I get a strong fruity apple like sourness to the beer. I also get a bit of a sour pear like sourness. The smell is very dry, sour and fruity.

It tastes of soured fruit. I get a mild apple, strawberry and even some green plum sourness to the beer. The beer is very acidic and strongly sour yet there is it is very smooth. I do not get a strong herbal flavor yet the herbal flavor might have been blended in with the smooth grassy gin like finish of the beer. There is a mild Brett like flavor that adds a mild funkiness that helps brings all the flavors of the beer together.

There is a crisp and light mouth feel to the beer.

An amazing sour beer from Upright. Upright is always good but they out did themselves with this sour.

Photo of Shmeal
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of PZBREW
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of hopsbreath
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer err... gruit. I order it whenever I see it on tap. Sampled this time at the Upright tasting room with TulipSnifter, MADhombrewer, and Witchsbrew.

A: Clear pale yellow with a half finger of white foam. No lacing pops up at all. This could be Miller Lite at first look. 3/5

S: The Miller Lite connection is so gone now. Bountiful clean light lactic greets the nose. I'm expecting some nice dry sour fruits now! 4/5

T: The promise of the aroma was not broken in the taste. Green apple skin, under-ripe green strawberries, and the stereotypical grape skin tannins are oh-so refreshing. A little bit of funky brett keep this dry. Not much left as far as herbs go at this point. Probably the best of Uprights sours in this aspect. 4.5/5

M: Surprisingly fuller than I would expect from such a dry beer. Slightly sticky on the finish but not bad. Scrubbing bubbles keeps the palate fresh. I need some Thai food because this would pair awesome! 4.5/5

O: Great beer. This is my third time having it on draft and I have a few bottles. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite sours in Portland! 4.5/5

Edit: I opened a bottle last night (5-19-11) and it was pretty dead on with all of what I wrote about the on-tap version except for one key component. A nice herbal quality was appreciated in the background that I'll compare to rosemary. It was not there on-tap. Rather than write a whole new review, I thought it best to merely mention it here. It didn't increase or decrease the point score at all for me but only added a nice nuance.

Photo of oregone
4.75/5  rDev +7%

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Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series) from Upright Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.