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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+) - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+)Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

283 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 283
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 9
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mora2000 on 04-07-2012

Aged in Red Wine barrels.

We took our double gold medal winning Brainless® Belgian, added cherry puree and aged it in French red wine casks (Cabernet and Syrah) for a secondary fermentation. It pours a beautiful deep ruby color with a medium white head. A nice nose of sweet cherries, Belgian malts, and barrel aging.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 283 | Reviews: 47
Photo of sjdevel
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: After a fairly vigorous pour, there was no real head to speak of, but it was still quite effervescent with a rush of streaming bubbles rising from the bottom that almost caused a whirlpool effect. There was a continuing lacing replenishment. This brew is a reddish / amber brown that’s a bit murky, but still penetrable by light.

Smell: The first scent is of very tart cherries with a hint of vinegar and oak.

Feel: This one has a medium mouth-feel that has a quick bite and quite fizzy on the tongue. This is quite a bit drier than I would have liked.

Taste: A very tart beginning that is like vinegar and a sour cherry pie. There is a slight hop bitterness making an appearance, but quickly fades. This brew is as if you combined an amber ale and a very tart cherry wine. Slight caramel and nut flavors dance around the palate as well.

Overall: A decent brew that is quite sour, but not too sour as there are other flavors that surface to offset it. Probably would not purchase again, but it was worth a try.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served red tinted golden color with a tiny bit of fizzy white foam. The head fades rather rapidly, leaving just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of some cherry smells as well as a little bit of biscuit and some yeast. Along with these smells are some aromas of grain and a oak and a little bit of a white wine smell.

Taste – Upfront the taste is strongest drier cherry flavor mixed with a somewhat white wine and oaky taste. As the taste advances a little bit of a yeasty taste comes to the tongue, being accompanied by a little bit of fruity (mostly cherry) sweetness. The sweetness however is short lived and seems to fades as the taste moves on, all while a little bit of grass and some biscuit come to the tongue. With some more oak and a decent sum of booze coming at the very end one is left with a somewhat cherry wine-triple flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for the 5.7 % abv. of the brew with it containing a carbonation level that is rather average to a little bit lighter. Not bad for the triple style, although a little bit of a higher carbonation level may have been slightly more appropriate. Overall, it was an OK feel.

Overall – A decent triple overall, but certainly not really worth the higher price tag you are likely to pay. Maybe give it a try, but don’t expect anything all that out of the ordinary for a triple.

Photo of Czequershuus
4.09/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I find cherries in beer to be hit or miss, but it worked quite well here. Some of the expected Belgian funk gets lost behind the tart cherries, but the combination does work somehow. Would likely by again, and set it aside to age.

Photo of Indywebs
2.07/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I found it quite wine esque. Glad I tried it, wouldn't have it again . . Nor would I recommend it.

Photo of Kinsey
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It is tart and sweet at the same time and has a crisp finish. It was really good on tap. I haven't had it from a can or bottle.

Photo of cubs943
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I thought this was pretty good.

Photo of infinitebruner
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

January 14, 2015

Draft, taster glass

A – Light amber with a very red hue. Slightly pink foam with low retention. High clarity.

S – Wine, rose. Very light cherry aroma. Floral hops are also very light.

T – Light rose wine. Very slight hint of cherry, mostly just the impression of blush grapes.

M – Light carbonation. Slightly bitter and some moderate acidity.

O – A bit too reliant on the wine barrel for its character. Would like the barrel to complement, rather than overwhelm.

Photo of mobrado
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Whatever you want to call this, it's certainly NOT a BSDA. It would make just as much sense to call it a Kölsch or a Russian Imperial Stout.

Intriguing bright reddish orange color that reminds you of an alcopop more than a beer. No head. Taste is a mixture of very pale ale, champagne yeast, winey oak barrel notes and cherry cough drops. Thin, sour mouth feel not unlike stale champagne.

I didn't care for it at all, but my wife, who doesn't like champagne, oak barrels or sour beers, loved it for some reason... Win/win since I got to open something else for myself. (Rating is an average.)

Photo of riTLce
2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz bomber into a tulip glass

A: Burnt orange amber coloring with bubbles that fade quickly into nothing, with minimal bubbles if any rising.

S: Cherry, some oak, bubblegum yeastiness, cough syrup

T: Some tartness, cherries, oak on the finish and cough syrup lingering. Not as much oak present as expected.

M: Not as effervescent as expected, light-medium mouthfeel.

O: Pretty disappointed in this one, expected there to be more effervescence and the oak/fresh cherries to give this beer depth but there is a lot that makes this one not something I would return to.

Photo of snaotheus
3.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2014-10-18
22oz bottle split between two tulips. Release #25, SLC #1423.

Pours clear, reddish-brown, flare of head that fades quickly (just like pouring pop). Lots of carbonation. Again, like pop. Smell is cherries, something like damp wood. Slightly tart.

Taste introduces some Belgian yeasty funk. Musty. Cherry, slightly tart. Slight dirty dishwater. Strong bitterness that makes me think of the skin of some fruit.

Mouthfeel is thin, slick, moderately flat. Overall, it’s not a bad beer. It’s fine.

Photo of superspak
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; Batch #26, Bottled 12/6/2013. Pours slightly hazy reddish orange color with a 1 finger foamy light pink head with poor retention, that reduces to nothing very quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, red grape, pear, apple, tannic red wine, oak, clove, pepper, candi sugar, herbal, grass, bread, and yeast/oak earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, wine barrel, and bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of tart cherry, red grape, pear, apple, tannic red wine, oak, clove, pepper, candi sugar, herbal, grass, bread, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of fruity/tannic tartness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, red grape, pear, apple, red wine, oak, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, bread, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, wine barrel, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast/fruit balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly tannic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice wine barrel fruited Belgian ale. All around good complexity and balance of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, wine barrel, and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of allengarvin
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 3.0 - Gave this a vigorous pour when it looked like no head was forming. None ever did form--it's a clear reddish walnut color with a flat, smooth surface and not the slightly hint of foam.
S: 3.5 - Tart cherry scent, fortunately with no sweetness, though not much else at all.
T: 3.75 - Decent cherry flavor, dry not sweet--fully fermented in other words. Malt very light, though it does add some sweetness is bitterness is very low. Moderately phenolic.
M: 3.5 - Needs more carbonation!
O: 3.5 - Not all that interesting, nor very Belgian. Certainly not worth the $12 price tag.

Photo of Dantastic
3/5  rDev -12%

On tap at the flying saucer in Addison, tx.

Nose is grassy, slight hint of cherries, medicinal.

Mouthfeel is thin, almost texture less .

This is a confused beer.

It's not a sour, not a typical lambic. You could say it is it's own style, but that style is not very appealing. I've had many a better beer from Utah.

Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Not sure why this one is categorized as a strong dark. Batch #25

A: poured into a tulip to a reddish orange with a finger of slightly pink head that is quick to fade and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of a little oak, cherries and fruity esters
T: taste is cherries, some oak, fruity esters, a little spice, and slight tartness. swallow is alcohol with a lingering cherry aftertaste
M: this beer sits with a medium amount of weight on the palate with carbonation that's a little prickly at times and a slightly drying finish
O: I think this is pretty solid. it isn't the best but it's a pleasant drinking experience and the alcohol could be hidden better

Photo of VashonGuy
3/5  rDev -12%

This beer was disappointing. Some beers are greater than the sum of their parts; this beer is less than it should be. I like Belgian golden ales quite a bit, and I'm also occasionally a fan of fruit beers. But this beer isn't successful as either one, and it's an unsuccessful marriage between the two types.

Appearance is a thin red color with decent carbonation and a bit of a head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Smell is a muted cherry, not quite cherry cough syrup, but not fresh cherries either. Mouthfeel is on the thin side. Taste has the cherries going for it, but the belgian ale components are muted to missing.

If this were just an ale with fruit, sold for a modest price, it'd be a decent summer sipper. But the hype and the price of this beer, and the emphasis on its Belgian antecedents, led me to expect a lot more than I got. I was expecting that wonderful Belgian yeastiness, and it wasn't there. I was expecting tasty cherries, and I got an underwhelming cherry taste and aroma.

By the way, why in the world is this classified on Beer Advocate as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale? That's not how Epic describes the beer. It's not how the beer looks or tastes. It's not anywhere similar to the classic Belgian Strong Dark Ales. This beer is either a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (which is what the underlying Brainless is), modified with cherries, or else it's a Fruit/Vegetable Beer. No way is it a BSDA.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.38/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger spritzy white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a stunning, clear dark red. Lacing is non-existent. Color is great but not much else.

Nose is cherry cough syrup, pit, and rotting wood. Strange... smells more viscous than it looks.

Opens cherry pit and skin bitterness... that turns to a sickeningly sweet cough syrup flavor mixed with semi-bitter dark fruit in the middle. Boozy. More cherry cough syrup towards the end with a woody, super sweet finish. This is NOT as advertized. Really bad. I expected some sort of tartness, some sort of character maybe? But this beer is missing any real hint of complexity, depth or... good flavor really.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly in the mouth but syrupy at the same time. Goes down aggressive and sparkling with a messy finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste. Average.

After having this, I'm certainly staying away from this series from now on. Not worth drinking.

Photo of mynie
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours flat, like every other Epic beer I had that night. It's understandable, though, considering this one's high ABV.

Smells lightly like cherries. That's about it. I never come across such a mild aroma in such a big beer.

Tastes a lot better than it smells, because it actually tastes like something. Light nodes of natural cherries, slightly heavier nodes of red wine, and then a finish of very light yeast. Nothing about this beer is bad or offputting, but everything is very slight and dim.

I like the concept of what they're doing here--sort of like with Prairie does with Noir, or Pipeworks with their Abduction--and I'm glad they're doing this with a beer that's not a heavy stout. I only wish the base beer was better brewed.

Photo of KYGunner
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This poured a magenta like cherry hue with a cloudy body. The head was fizzy and built tall and quick but ebbed away slowly.

The aroma was nice with a sweet, sour and tart cherry.

The flavor was more in line with a cherry cough drop as there is a medicinal licorice and cherry mix. Some fig and orchard sweetness holds the end.

The feel is light and airy, smooth yet prickly, sour and lightly tart.

This had potential but it went awry were it counts...The taste.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
10.6% ABV, Release #22

A – A blend of bright pink and ruby gives this beer a rosé color that's vibrant with clarity and briefly topped with a dull pink cap of foam that leaves little in the way of lacing.

S – Tart cherry skin and black cherry pulp poke through a thin red wine, like a rosé with an encouraging level of French oak in the background with subtleties of Belgian yeast - light peppery spice finished with Champagne-like white grapes.

T - Far more Belgian beer influenced in the flavor profile, Brainless on Cherries has a nice underlying dark fruitiness reminiscent of raisins and Craisins with tart cherry skin tannins complimented by a subtle touch of red wine and trail of cocoa dryness and oak earthiness on the finish.

M - Delicate carbonation gives the somewhat thin-feeling beer a crispness that drinks more like a chilled rosé wine than a beer but the tartness from the cherries matches the dry wine and oak for a really nice balance.

O - I don't drink wine often but when I do I prefer the fuller flavored, fuller bodied reds like a good Cab, so I always enjoy the concept of brewers aging beers in red wine barrels. Brainless on Cherries sounded like a no-brainer to me; Belgian-style beer with cherries in French oak barrels? Sign me up! But this Epic Brewing beer doesn't mirror the big flavors of some of the Belgian beers nor red wines, instead it's subtle and nuanced with a thin, not full body and delicate flavor profile of subtle earthy oak, distant red grapes, and tart cherry skin tannins. It's a good beer that doesn't show half of it's alcohol but also doesn't pack a big wallop of flavor.

Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear reddish brown colored ale with a small pinkish white colored head.

Smells of cherry and vanilla with a sour edge. Faint spice maybe a little cinnamon. Faint vanilla and oak.

Starts out sweet and sour with a sour cherry flavor. Vanilla and oak but the flavor doesn't really meld. Tastes something like a hard cherry cider.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall not something I will buy again. Save yourself the trouble and buy the peach one.

Photo of Sludgeman
4.48/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Release #19. A 22oz bomber. Bottle 1340 of 1800.

Poured into a tulip.

A big fan of this beer. Uniquely colored. A balanced complex beer that does not go overboard on the cherries. Beer blossoms as it warms. Looking at the other reviews, this is why you should taste everything and ignore anyone who writes a review :-)

A – Pours a light burgundy/ruby red. No head. Average carbonation. Slightly hazy. Zero lacing.

S – A rich aroma with significant spiciness, some dried cherry and some maltiness.

T – Minor sourness, faintly sweet, very low fruitiness (diluted cherry koolaid) all built into a nice malty backbone.

MF – Medium light body with a dry trending towards an acred finish (but short lived on the palate). Some minor sharpness from the carbonation. A trappist finish.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

never thought I would rate a barrel aged beer so low, or that anything from epic would disappoint me like this one. it is nowhere near as good as the raspberry or peach versions. the cherries come across quite medicinal. not fresh fruit at all. and where is the carbonation? a red tinted bronze beer looks odd in a globe with now bubbles, head, or lace at all. where is it? the feel is flat too, and so it just doesn't pop for me. I like the yeast, and I like the tannic wine presence, but the fruit seems fake, sugary, overdone. it lacks the cohesiveness of the other versions. I has it side by side with the raspberry, which is absolutely fantastic. amazing how different they are, given their common origins. overall too sweet and too flat, plenty of room for improvement with this one, but I still love the brainless series, so many interesting flavors, including this one, it just isn't my favorite.

Photo of ArrogantB
1.32/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

On tap at the new brewery here in Denver. This was awful, just awful. Red color, no head whatsoever. Aroma was terrible, alcohol, cherry cough syrup, just smells cheap. Flavor was more of the same, alcohol, nasty cherry syrup, more alcohol, cheap booze, no barrel. It was like cherry aged mouthwash. Sometimes I marvel at how breweries produce such awful beer and then sell it for top dollar. If i had spent $12 on a bottle of this I would have been super pissed. I could not find any redeeming qualities in this beer.

Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear red color with no head, no carbonation, and no lacing. Cherries up front, obviously, with some caramel, vanilla, and toffee in the background. Taste is very sweet, and feels a bit chewy. Leaves behind a berry like aftertaste that lingers a short while. The caramel and vanilla carry over into the mouth as well. A bit on the bigger end of the spectrum as far as body is concerned, so I would recommend splitting a bomber.

Overall: It is a very good beer. My buddy brought this back from his trip to Vegas, and I am thankful to him for splitting this beer with me. With all that said, at this price, I would not purchase this again. Consider splitting it with a friend, price and all.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The flavor of fruit still struggles to satisfy both the uninitiated craft fan and the staunchest and most strict craft beer connoisseurs. But Epic is making it easier. This time, layering the true fruit taste of cherry upon a strong Belgian under current creates a majestic taste of fruit and ale fusion that's sure to rival even the best sangria.

Its strong mauve pour delivers a lighter golden highlight along the edges. Its creamy haze dims the color somewhat. But what billows above is a creamy and short statured head that rises with loosely knit bubbles. But as the ale starts to fall, it does so in a partly fizzy nature- a testament to its acidity within. Light on lace and retention, its scattered specks makes it very champagne-like.

A plethora and depth of aromas ensue as the aromas of cherries deliver waves of aromas that span the gamut of dark and sweet cherries, cider, chardonnay, musty sour cherry, wood rot, apple and spiced pear. Its rich aromas are earthy with dried fruit, tobacco and light leather even though its fruity tone wants to register sweetness and playfullness.

But then to taste, the complexities seem lighter. A slightly more simplistic taste becomes first and foremost of Belgian ale- a light and playful balance of fruit and spice is simplified and shies away from the more earthy and rustic tones of Belgian Kriek, but the cherry sheet of flavors lay upon the ale with a strong and acidic taste. A blend of sweet and sour cherries give the taste a bit more sweetness than the nose suggests- leaving a candied cherry flavor lingering on the tongue.

Mid-sweet early and often, the ale really lays on the initial palate with the sweet and tart balance of ale fused with soda pop. But as the sweetness is slow to recede, the middle in lightly acidic as a clean sourness ensues. To finish a light hop bitterness, slim tannin bite and semi-dry fruit acidity closes the beer's mouthfeel.

I love how this beer's scent delivers an unlimited amount of scents as if the peels of onions are lifted to reveal more earthen cherry scents after another. But the taste and textures are less interesting, less deep and less characterful. Though much more simplistic, it is in no way indicative of the pleasure that is garnered from the beer's aromatics.

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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+) from Epic Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.