Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4) - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4)Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

42 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 88
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 15.17%
Wants: 5
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bishopgary on 12-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

We took our double gold medal winning Brainless Belgian, added cherry puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks for a secondary fermentation in the barrels. Pours a beautiful deep ruby color with a medium white head. A nice nose of sweet cherries, Belgian malts, and barrel aging.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 42 | Hads: 88
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a highly fruit-forward flavor and the pep of sparkling white wine- this early batch of Brainless on Cherries shows authentic Kriek-like attributes with bright tartness and refreshing effervescence.

Pouring a rosy mauve color with slivers of gold streaking through, its carbonation blooms into an arid and honeycomb structure. White a snow, its head unfortunately recedes nearly as quickly as it forms. Much like champagne, the bubble flee the beer in haste.

Its scent is all about tart cherry. That zesty, playfully tangy aroma is juicy and is backed with notions of dry cider, white wine and a wafer-thin bread maltiness. Acclimating to its scent, a delicate note of sandalwood, must and pepper greet the nose as the first sip looms.

Its wine-like flavor is dry, supported by light cracker and tangy sweetness. Its fructose flavor weaves together flavors of white grape, green apple and undeniable cherry. As its dry taste transpires across the middle, the palate picks up on berry and plum wine; just ahead of the peppery finish of wood spice cork and carbonic acidity closes with balance.

Its dry body is crisp, clean and leaves very little sweetness behind. Cleansing the palate like champagne, its carbonation races throughout the mouth, stripping it of all but fruity tartness, yet thinning a bit late. Is dry and peppery finish is slightly astringent with pectin and tannin as is highlighted by its alcohol warmth.

This early batch of Brainless on Cherries would find great favor with the wine enthusiast trying to get onto the craft beer bandwagon. (1,566 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown hued amber color. Very little head.

Aroma: Fairly sweet cherries. Malty. Can't really pick up the Belgian aspects of the beer. Some oak flavors.

Taste: The wine flavors show a lot more here, providing a little more flavor. Oaky. Sweet cherries. Not tart or sour. A decent amount of malts show. Caramel and bready.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and clean. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a decent beer, but it was more of just cherries and wine barrels. I didn't get too much of the Belgian Strong Dark flavors that I would normally get for the style. (594 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.41/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man.

The beer is a light ruby color, appearing mildly hazy. Small off white head that rapidly fades to a wispy layer of sparse bubbles. The aroma is surprisingly weak, lacking any recognizable cherry presence. Odd flavor, with tart cherries and an odd, artificial sweetness. Not a fan of this one. Prickly carbonation and unpleasant lingering aftertaste. Not a repeat for me. (409 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured a brownish cherry color with a thin white head clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows off the sweeter, fruity, cherry flavors pretty nicely. Behind the cherry I get a sweeter, candi sugar, maltiness to it mixing with some of the Belgian yeast spice. The cherries are very nicely done, the beer could of shined a little more though.

The taste shows more of the fruity, sweeter, cherry juice flavors to it up front. Midway I get a little of the malty, dark fruit flavors of the BSDA base. In the finish the belgian yeast really comes out and adds some big spice notes. The cherries come back in the finish with a tartness that mixes pretty nicely with the yeast spice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty good beer. I love cherries though so I might be a little bias towards this version of the beer. The cherries were very good in it, but the base beer could have had a little more influence on the flavor in addition to the yeast spice it brought. Overall it was a pretty enjoyable beer though. (1,149 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden ruby color with cherry/blood red edges and a half finger fizzy pink head that quickly fades into lasting ring.  Not much lacing.  

Sweet fruit aroma with earhty oak and vanilla.  Lots of sweet cherry which is kind of artificial/syrupy smelling.  Some boozy alcohol sweetness but the cherries overpower the nose.  

Medium bodied with tight carbonation, earthy oak and vanilla  with dark fruits underneath that blend well with the sweet cherry flavor.  Slight maracino cherry juice flavor with a boozy punch.  Not as sweet or syrupy as the aroma suggests.  Pretty well balanced actually and the ABV is nicely masked. (645 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label indicates this is batch 2, with a whopping 13.1% abv.

The beer pours the color of cranberry juice with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing about what you would expect; in this case cherries, some honey and light vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer, though I didn't feel as if the sweetness was over the top. Also, despite the high alcohol, the beer doesn't come across as too overly boozy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and while fairly rich and intense, the beer doesn't drink like a 13.1 abv. beer.

A nice enough beer, if a bit one dimensional. Also, the 13% alcohol is ridiculous, and IMHO, really adds nothing to the beer (other than a headache). (758 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish color, some carbonation, one finger creamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some cherries, and other dark fruit. The taste is malty/yeasty, sweet, with some cherries, and dark fruit notes. Medium body. Drinkable, another Epic brew. (300 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from paper notes... shared this one with Inflatablechair a while back.

Pours light amber with a definite red tinge to it... the head is stark white and drops pretty quickly.

The nose begins as a pretty weak BSPA but is spiked with a minor amount of fermented out "sweet cherries" .... sorta artificial smelling.

Flavor isn't a whole lot better.... the cherries come out as a cherry cough drop more than something you buy at a fruit stand... very boozy with some acetone or rocket fuel, you pick... light clove phenols.. medicinal.. doesn't gel at all... this is an expensive mistake.

shy side of medium body with a whole bunch of bubbles... too much and the carbonation scrapes the inside of your mouth.... not good.

3/2.5/2.5/3/2.5 (746 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pink to orange-ish color with a small white to no head. In the aroma, light cherries and Belgian like sugars. In the taste, dry cherry, boozy, and quite carbonated. A sour cherry bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a light dryness to clean aftertaste. A nice light dry cherry, kind of faint, it was more boozy than expected too. (345 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a lot of Epic when they first showed up in MN & missed a few of the series. Went back to grab a few more in recent days - this is a bunch of bombers that nobody talks about, but they're good. Hey, I love you Epic! 22 oz. bomber, batch #2. I'll assume this has been sitting around for a while.

The cap pops with vigor enough that I expect overflow; it doesn't come. Pour is is a light red, with enough body so I can't see but shadows through it. Nose is nice tart cherries. Reminds me of a certainly New Glarus beer, & that's a good thing.

Brainless on Cherries doesn't reach the heights of excellence to be mentioned in the same breath as New Glarus fruit beers. First impression is strong cherry that's balanced between being sweet & tart, as there's a bit of both in the mouth. The sweetness wins out as the beer warms. Cane sugar & light malts in the background, strong yeast presence. Can't detect the oak. No visible carbonation, but it's felt as a weird pricking on the tongue. The combination is slinkily easy to put down.

I'd categorize this as a straight-up fruit beer, & a very good one at that. Love the balance of the cherries, & that this is sooo easy to sip. (1,188 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear garnet with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like sweet cherry cordial and sour Belgian yeast, with grassy hops and a little french oak and alcohol.
T: It tasted like some funky french oak with sour cherry and grassy hops and Belgian yeast, with a bit of wheat and alcohol. It had a clean and mostly sour aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had an enjoyable smell and taste, but not great. The cherries and french oak didn't do nearly as well for Brainless as the peaches. The body was a bit weak, and it was a bit hot, so it wasn't super easy to drink. Not a bad beer, but not recommended. (663 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.89/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Blue Nile.

Served in the appropriate stemware by Al, this one had a pinkish/golden hue, but very little in the way of foam and zero lacing.

Smells of cherry juice. Quite sweet smelling without any tartness present.

Sweet cherry pie (Warrant) with some warm alcohol and belgian yeast. Apparently cherry puree is used in this which probably explains the lack of tartness which I am totally fine with. Very pleasant cherry/belgian combo of flavors.

Lacks carbonation and is a bit sticky.

I really quite enjoyed this beer. Really delivers in the cherry department and was a pleasant little sipper. (614 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1186th Review on BA
Bottle to Pinot Noir glass
22oz

Batch #9- 2012
Purchased from Bruery Provisions

App- A very dark cherry amber looking beer with some golden notes radiating at the edges. At most on a heavy 2nd pour I got some small puffy lambic head with zero cling though. A bit more like flat juice. Fairly translucent.

Smell- Very much in the vein of fusel alcohol with a bit of biting sweetness behind that. Next came the golden ale yeasty notes and followed by a touch of tannic barrel. Not much aromatics on this one.

Taste- A small bit of oaky wood flavors opens with a bit of that fusel alcohol coming in the next wave and then follows up with some false cherry and golden yeasty notes.

Mouth- A light medium body with a light carbonation. A wee bit too thin. Sweet false cherry notes and some oak are residual flavors.

Drink- For the price it was okay. Wanted/expected more but it happens sometimes. The barrel needs to come out more and be a bit thicker on the profile overall. (996 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.47/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Opaque ruby red color. Two fingers of fizzy white head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing.

3.5 S: Super funky. Tons of basement mustiness, dry-rot socks, and apple orchard. Cherry is in there, but surprisingly aren't tart in the least. Some Belgian yeast spiciness, hay, and grass. Oak with a touch of astringency. Not what I was expecting, but not bad either.

2.0 T: The taste I don't care for so much. Bitter, tannic astringency is abundant. Funkiness galore as in the nose with the same flavors. Cherry doesn't contribute a lot of flavor. Belgian yeast is more abundant with pepper and clove contributions. Way too earthy, musky, and astringent.

2.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. A bit too much carbonation. Not particularly cream or smooth.

2.0 D: I've been liking most of what I've had from Epic, but this isn't one of them. Problems throughout. (893 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.24/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bit of a brash take on a Golden Ale with cherries.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Paper label with a simple light cream and soft burgundy range, with name of the brew and series branding. Again, looking somewhat like the lazy design of a generic brand of a large franchise. Side narrative offers a small note about the special and limited character of the brew (1800 numbered bottles, although the number again is not apparent anywhere), and encourages to check their website for more details. Notes release #4, and a semi-erased Alc. by Vol. 10.3%? Served in a tulip glass.

A - Faintly hazy deep amber/crimson pour, short fizzy head, count 1, 2, 3 and it is all gone leaving no surface memory or any trace to speak of.

S - Yeasty and soft fruity nose, cherries and booze...

T -Yeasty and sweet, with a soft fruity sense rounding up the coarse sweetness over the raspberry, sugar and malty booze..

M - Medium body, very faint carbonation with a dry finish, brash and monochord sense.

O - Fair but one dimensional.

Notes: Probably one of the poorest if not the poorest offering I've tried from Epic. Not a bad brew per se but surely in their low bracket, below their Brainless on Peaches, too harsh, and somewhat unstimulating. (1,246 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is cherries with Belgian yeast, and coriander with some oak, funk, lemon, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of slightly sour cherries with some Belgian yeast, coriander, and a bit of lemon. Through the middle, some funk comes through with a bit more sourness and some oak. The finish is a mix of sour cherries, funk, Belgian yeast, oak, and some booze.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-minus carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, warming, and lightly sour finish.

D - Very drinkable. Good base Belgian Strong Ale with the oak aging and cherries adding some complexity. Nice overall balance. (756 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
2.55/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

"Release #2, 10.1% Alc./Vol" sez the label. One of 1,800 bottles apparently.

Kind of a burnt ruby red liquid, glistening with clarity and with a half-inch of wispy, loosely-banded bubbles topping it off.

First smell impression is "a little much alcohol," somewhat solvent/medicinal, but the cherries ride through nicely, even if they smack of Juicy Juice cherry rather than something picked right off a tree. No hint of wood here, and there's a faint enough trickle of Belgian yeast coming through to lend this some sort of Belgian character.

Alcohol also dominates the taste, having a solvent evilness about it, a hit of cough syrup-like cherry (without the syrupy thickness), and where is the oak? Also, I can hardly detect the yeast here, such a necessary characteristic of any ale calling itself "Belgian" or even "Belgian-Style." Wayward, directionless. Or maybe just a mess. A medicinal, misguided mess...

Soda-like texture doesn't help much. Tingly and tickly, with some decent stickiness, but unfortunately the cherry medicine
flavor that hangs out most in the finish isn't pleasant enough where you want any stick.

Really liked this brewery's Imperial Stout and Hopulent offerings...was starting to think I was liking this brewery a lot more than your average BA, but this one doesn't leave a positive impression. Such a great idea: Belgian Style Ale + Cherries + Oak Barrels; but it fails to deliver on the concept. Epic needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. (1,488 characters)

Photo of Chaney
1.84/5  rDev -43%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Release #4. 1 of only 1,800 bottles.

Poured from a bomber into my trusty DuClaw snifter.

A: Poured a moderately dark reddish color with a pinkish hue when held up to a light source. The head, with didn't stick around for long was off-white and somewhat anemic.

S: More Belgian than fruity, with a mild medicinal quality that wasn't pleasant. No bourbon on the nose whatsoever.

T: Not much cherry at all, which was very disappointing, and the Belgian funk tasted of rotten citrus. Even the water had a very unfresh taste to it.

M: The Sprite-like bubbliness was cool, but ultimately it couldn't save this mess. The funk (rotten-ness) took center stage over everything.

O: As hard as it was for me to drain pour a $12 beer, that is what I just did. (754 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.84/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having had a bottle of peaches (thanks, Sam) as well as the base beer, I had been wanting this one for a while. Thanks to 287 and living social, I finally picked up a bottle. Poured a nice dark amber color (blood red in the glow of the street lights) with a full glass of rapidly disappearing foam on top. Aromas of cherries, oak and light malt. Similar on the palate, medium bodied with good fresh cherry, light malt and a hint of oak. (436 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.3/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bottle, release #1. Pours an unusual pinkish red with a big fizzy/bubbly (actually kind of loud) light pink head that fizzes down quickly to a thin film and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is musty earthy wood with some sweet medicinal cherries.

The flavor is some sweet artificial tasting cherry with some wood and an off kind off leathery bitter taste in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

Overall, I really didn't care for this one. The cherry flavors seemed fake and it had some off notes. Their peach was much better. (562 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.58/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 10.7% abv. Release #3. Cloudy, reddish color. Interesting shade. Off-white head disappears immediately. No lace at all.

Slight tart and sour cherry nose. A bit of wood in the nose. Some slight Belgian spicy, yeasty notes. A bit of a wine-like feel.

Light malt character. Yeasty and spicy feel. Cherries come in rather faint. Oak tannins come through, lending a dry edge to this.

Lighter body, with a great amount of carbonation. Some heat is felt. An interesting beer. Cherries don't seem to add as much as I would have thought. Interesting. (561 characters)

Photo of hardy008
1.56/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Hazy medium red color with a large off white head which vanishes quickly. The smell has cherries, alcohol, oak, and yeast.

The taste doesn't impress me much either. Cherries, oak, and yeast which do not blend or work well together. The cherries are somewhat sweet, but not tart. The solvent alcohol taste does not help. A total mess to be honest.

Light bodied. high carbonation, and finishes somewhat dry. I am not sure what the brewers were going for here, but they did not succeed as far as I am concerned. Avoid. (518 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is from release 3. The beer was chilled and served in a tulip.

A- The body of the beer pinkish ruby. The head is thin pink tinged white. The head quickly resolved to a thin ring. No lacing noted.

S- The aroma is a mixed bag. I like the sweet candied cherry aroma. I like how the cloves twang against the sweetness of the cherries. The aroma of solvent alcohol is a bit much and definately lowers the aroma profile.

T- The flavor is again a mixed bag for me. I like the initial tartness of the cherries giving way to sweetened cherries. The cherries are slammed against a wall of cloves. I like how the cloves from the yeast checks the sweetness. On the other hand, this beer is hurt by the solvent like flavor from the alcohol.

M- The body of the beer is thinner than I would have liked. The alcohol a bit hotter than I care for with this type of beer.

O- This beer needs a rework. The beer isnt a drain pour. (928 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is from having it on tap at Bodega. I also tried a little bit of this from the bottle at a recent tasting.

Appearance
A pretty clear, bright candy red. Not much head, but what foam I managed to catch a glimpse of was more white than pink.

Aroma
It has a nice, cherry forward aroma. The cherries seem more on the order of sweet black cherries, and even a splash of candied maraschino cherries. There isn't any tart or sourness that I can pick up. The base is mostly all Belgian yeast that's full of phenols; clove, peppercorn and some plasticy smells. Alcohol is there in a big, annoying way. It teams with the phenolic yeast to create a bit of a nail polish, acetone aroma.

Taste
Sweeter cherries are dominate, but not as strong as the aroma had me thinking. The Belgian yeast is still fairly squashed by the sweet, syrupy cherry flavor. Alcohol is simply too much for this beer. I think it really should be taken down a few notches.

Mouthfeel
Dry finishing with a little bit of sticky sweetness.

Overall
This one is the best of the Epic beers that I've had. The cherry is strong enough to counter some of the negative aspects of the heavy handed Belgian style yeast. It just needs an adjustment in ABV. (1,225 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
2.75/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a strawberry reddish hue with a big pink fizzy foam that quickly fades to nothing but bubbling up the sides of the glass
S - Aroma is fairly weak with just a hint of cherries when you really dig into it.
T - Tart almost funky medicine taste, not at all what I was expecting or hoping for. There seems to be an astringency along with the alcohol that makes it tough to drink. The oak is there and I guess a bit of cherries. I'm really disappointed.
M - Very crisp carbonation, light bodied, it is very lively
D - this is a hard one to drink unfortunately. I love the Brainless on Peaches, but this one just doesn't cut it for me. (638 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4) from Epic Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.