1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Special Herbs (Seasonal) - Upright Brewing Company

Special Herbs (Seasonal)Special Herbs (Seasonal)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 6.05%

Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
This version of Special Herbs is composed of Reggae Junkie Gruit aged in Old Tom Gin barrels and wine barrels that previously fermented Fantasia, a peach beer.

(Beer added by: cavemanlawyer on 08-15-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into a teku glass. awesome label!

pours a dark golden color with a nice head. smell is damn amazing. tons of herbs..mint..funk...some sweetness. just so much going on. the taste is somehow better and even a bit different. starts out a tad tart but then after that is a mixture of funk with a tad gin like characteristic to it. ends with fruity notes that i just love. medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall an exquisite beer that i feel lucky to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 01:40:12 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of corby112


3.46/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shout out to Alan for sharing.

Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.  

Musty, earthy aroma with funky bugs and dry, earthy oak along with autumnal spice. juniper and gin barrel character faintly coming in.  Brett and oak presence is strong with a decent amount of earthiness and musty funk.  The gin barrel really stands out but I'm not getting much peach or red wine character.

On the lighter end of medium body with dry puckering funk and a very prominent brett presence countered by spicy ginger, sweet juniper and earthy barrel notes.  Lots of dry oak and damp, earthy funk dominating the flavor.  Again, I'm picking up spices and wild yeast but not much peach or wine character.  Very dry but has decent flavor especially from the wild yeast, light fruit and gin.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 03:31:34 | More by corby112
Photo of stakem


4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from a couple months back. 750ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a clouded yellow color with a white cap that retains well leaving some patchy lace on the glass.

The aroma is lemony lactic with some wheat grain underneath. A mild spiced aspect but the brew's smell is enough to start me salivating with a wild, almost tropical feel to it.

The taste is tart and lemony lactic with a bitey almost acidity component that never goes over the top too much. A little bit of a garden herbal aspect is lightly grassy.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Very easy drinking, I could kill a bottle of this pretty regularly if I had easy access to it.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 15:26:21 | More by stakem
Photo of Alieniloquium


4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear yellow with a small white head. A little leggy and a thin collar.

Smell - Wow it's bizarre but incredible. Spices. Bright acidity. Some maltiness. Weird herbal and spicy character.

Taste - Follows the smell. Herbal. Sharp tang. Slightly sweet pale malt. Oak. I'm not a gin drinker, so I don't know what's coming from the base beer and from the barrel.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Slightly sweet. Low sourness.

Overall - I don't know what to say about this except that it's awesome and I don't know why.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 00:01:00 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with malt, grain, herb, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with sour and tart fruit and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great sour and herbal flavor that makes this one quite easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 15:49:37 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Resuin


4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. I think this is a couple months old or so.

Appearance: Pours a translucent gold/amber with a very mild red hue to it. A finger of white head fades very quickly to nothing but a ring around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Wow. Big juniper berry, mild brett, cranberry, green apple, peach, white grapes. Lots of amazing floral notes - hard to describe them all. Fantastic. Who needs to drink this? I smelled it for a good 15 minutes before taking a sip.

Taste: Awesome. The aromas come through terrifically in the taste. Lots of sour berries and fruits: juniper, cranberry, grapes, lime, peach, green apple. A nice, mild amount of sour and brett. Quite dry finish. Very complex and delicious. Alcohol is all masked.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation (but definitely enough) with a light, dry body. Very crisp and dry.

Overall: I had high expectations for this as a big lover of gin and they were exceeded. I wish I could get this more often. I love the berry flavor additions to the more standard light gueuze-like qualities. The gin and wine barrels have made this beer absolutely outstanding. Very complex, very well balanced, and outlandishly refreshing and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 22:30:55 | More by Resuin
Photo of DefenCorps


4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank you, Brian.

Pouring a mildly hazy orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing, this is a very nice looking beer. The nose is exquisite. The gin botanicals are incredibly bright and fragrant, with the juniper and orange peel being particularly noteworthy. Bright lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are present, as is an array of floral notes with touches of lavender, hibiscus and rose. Sourness is modest. A fruity peach note is also present. The raw, rustic, earthy, herbal root notes from the gruit are noticeable as well, and really do complement the rest of the nose.

As good as the nose is, the palate is simply outstanding. Bright lemongrass with juniper and a touch of allspice follows up to form the opening salvo. This is followed by citrus peel, ripe lemons, orange blossom honey, fresh peaches and a clean, refreshing sourness that's mildly lactic and moderately citric. Drying on the finish with an earthy, mildly musty funk, this is great. Maybe it is the beer's youth, but even the Brett notes, something so hard to do just right, work brilliantly. There's none of the clove phenols that would clash horribly with the rest of the palate, and even the tropical notes are tastefully done. The sichuan peppercorns add a touch of floral character to the finish.

Using gin barrels for a gruit is something that on the face of it seems a no-brainer, but is seldom done and ne'er so well. It's been a while since I was this impressed with a beer. Brilliant and inspired.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 05:50:57 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 9.4.13

A - Pours a cloudy, light orange with a fine very light tan head with decent retention.

S - Very spicy and floral. Lavender, rose, I'm not sure, but it is nice whatever it is.

T - Nice and soft subtle floral flavors with and acidic-barrel finish.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Floral and oaky-barrel. Light and very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 05:30:18 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of inlimbo77


4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml, 2013
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Hazy bright yellow orange. Thin layer of bright white head. Sticks around a while. Seems like there is good carb.

S: At first I had some Gueuze like smells. That funk. That horse blanket. Wet hay. White grape. Green apple. There is some herb notes. Maybe mint? Floral notes.

T: Nose is certainly different than taste. There is slight tartness up front. It doesn't cut in as much as a full blown sour. There is that white grape character. Not as dry as a sour. Finish is clean just not as dry.

M: Light to medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 15:43:09 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a hazy gold with a subtle apricot hue. Poured with just a slight white head that disappear quickly to just a single bubble ring.

S: Bright scent of fresh tart apples and sharp peach and funky yeast. Scent is reminiscent of a bouquet garni, a mix of savoury herbs, juniper, rosemary and ginger. Let this one warm a bit and the scent blossoms.

T: Dry and tart with flavours of cider apples & tart peaches. Herbaceous flavours like the scent, fresh rosemary, juniper and other assorted savoury herbs.

M: Not surprisingly the mouth feel is dry, tart and refreshing with just a low level of carbonation. Very refreshing and clean.

O: A terrific scent and flavour that's clean, crisp and refreshing. The interesting notes of the herbs bloom as the brew warms, well worth the wait. Would pair well with BBQ fish and a summer patio.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 02:37:04 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a hazy gold with a half finger of white head that fades to a ring fairly quickly.

Smell. Funky barrel, limes, juniper berries, floral herbs, fairly sour. Interesting and reminiscent of last night's BA Flora.

Taste. Sour with some light peach, juniper and oak, savory herbs (maybe thyme and a tiny bit of rosemary), lemon and other citrus fruits. Much better (for me, anyways) than the BA Flora from last night.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, medium low carbonation. Very thirst quenching and crisp.

Overall. Light and refreshing with plenty of subtle complexity. A winner for sure, very much enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 17:21:48 | More by Rutager
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very happy I was able to snag a bottle of this impressive, delicious beer.

The beer pours a striking gold color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. The nose is impressive and intriguing, and I know the first thought that crossed my mind is "wow, this smells like something from Fantome" (which is high praise in my book!). There's some light clove and honey as well, but the beer is dominated by lemon zest and some intriguing, underlying spice (maybe some sage and some grains of paradise? Maybe some lemon basil?). The flavor profile is dominated by the sour component, but it's not at all over done, and there's still plenty of spice, light clove and light honey (the beer has something of a light ranier cherry flavor component). Mouthfeel is pretty light, and the beer comes across as very thirst quenching. Also, there's some sort of mouth watering component in this beer (in the aroma profile I would guess), and you literally can't wait to take the next sip of this excellent, well made beer. Alcohol is pretty much unnoticeable, but that's to be expected in a 5.7% abv. beer that has this much flavor.

This is just flat out excellent!

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 15:35:50 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of cavemanlawyer


4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2013 Season Release of Upright's Special Herbs. It is a gruit-style aged in gin barrels and oak barrels that formerly held fantasia.

Appearance is golden-wheat hued brew with a fine pure white lacing.

Smells of gin and peaches in the best possible way. Acidic and dry on the nose, juniper and oak dominate.

Taste is tart, dry and refreshing. Lots of dry gin and soft fuzzy peach skin. Subtle herbal notes expand as the beer comes to room temp. Drink slowly and enjoy. Highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light and champagne-like. Dry throughout. Upright has mastered this style.

On par with the sole comp version, one of the best from this brewery. The addition of peach balances and compliments the dry gin which dominated the sole comp batch. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 00:55:16 | More by cavemanlawyer
Special Herbs (Seasonal) from Upright Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.