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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.

51 Reviews
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 308
Avg: 3.37
pDev: 41.25%
Wants: 8
Gots: 47 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 308
Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Light ruby red with no head
S: Sweet cherries, oak
T: Sweet cherry, oak, Belgian yeast, light earthiness, saison-like, hidden alcohol
M: Lighter mouth feel for the high abv

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Photo of 303beer
4.32/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light red with no head little carbonation and the nose of sweet cherries. Umm that is good. It us a delicious Belgian with hints of cherry. Wow to the brewers. I have had some good and great beers from them but I'd have to say this is the best in the brainless line as far as fruit added. So glad I live a few miles away from the brewery

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, another stellar US craft brewery makes its debut in the heady wild that is Alberta's bottleshop scene.

This beer pours a clear, very bright medium magenta hue, with one skinny-ass finger of wispy, faintly foamy, and mostly just wanly bubbly dirty white head, which leaves very little in the way of lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly evaporates.

It smells of musty, and somewhat cough-syrup adjacent cherries, grainy, doughy pale malt, a subtle earthy yeastiness, some tame barrel astringencies - old wood planks and dry vanilla, mostly - and a further metallic alcohol sharpness. The taste is bready, grainy pale malt, a touch of gritty caramel sweetness, still understated, and not particularly fruity cherries, benign, and slightly phenolic yeast, some middling oakiness - wet wood, and not much else - and a generic weedy, earthy, and kind of floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its plainly rendered frothiness, the body on the low side of any sort of middleweight, and sort of smooth, I suppose, neither yeast or hop nor alcohol doing us the disfavour of their pollution here. It finishes fairly dry, the cherries still not recommending themselves, while the underwhelming base Belgian (-style) ale ambles along, unaware of its broken limb.

Not really what I was expecting, given the near-egregious shelf tag, what with the not so peppy cherry essence, and a barrel treatment that was anything but a treat (sorry), and lending next to no complexity. Hardly bad, but I'm not happy about trying to parse this one, when my other senses keep telling me that I should have checked out way more than a hot second ago.

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Photo of stevoj
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Albertsons. As much as I liked the raspberry edition, I like this one even more. Perhaps the barrel aging adds some nuances, but overall perception is good, no sign of the 10%+ ABV. Deep amber pour with faintest of heads. Mild fruity nose, more pit fruit elements in the taste, hints of a Belgian dubbel as well. Complex, refreshing, tasty...waiting for the kick

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.14/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Consumed 6/5/15

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

A: Hazy, ruby colored with some golden orange undertones - some clarity around the edges - pours with a medium -sized white head - quickly fades to a mostly nonexistent head, but keeps a small collar, has some hints of lacing

S: Belgian yeast and plenty of cherry flesh - funky Belgian aromas with some clove, banana, bubblegum, and phenols - cherry flesh, cherry juice, and a hint of cherry cold medicine - undercurrents of wine and wood - lingering funk and fruit

T: Belgian cherries - some interesting flavors, but not particularly complex - Belgian flavors, including yeasty funk, clove, bubblegum, banana, and phenols - cherry juice, cherry flesh - wood and some red wine - lightly boozy

M: Medium body, low carbonation, finishes with some cherries and wine

O: Drinking enough beers like this may make you brainless

Cherries and Belgian yeast are good friends. This is interesting, but it inexplicably lacks complexity. It's interesting, but it's not as interesting as it should be. Kind of messy, but not bad.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Gold at the bottom. Deep brick-red tinged copper. Vigorous swirl produces a small bubbly white head. No cap retention. Collar is small and tight. Moderate carbonation. Clear with a slight chill haze.

Smell: Farts and cherry flesh. Cherry juice and some solid funk. A touch of sulfur. Sweet cherry leather. Warming adds more sweetness to the whole thing. Cherry juice and flesh. Minor pushes of barrel. Some wood. Hints of spicy esters. Loaded with Belgian yeast. Some banana and general fruitiness. Tons of cherry. A little bit of leather.

Taste: Cherry fruit leather. Sweet. Candied sweet. Cherry flesh. Ever so slightly tart with a ton of Belgian yeast. Some very mild spicy esters with a push of cherry flesh. Small hint of alcohol on the back. Oak creeps through on successive sips. Something akin to stomach acid on the back of every sip. Slightly acetic. Some mild funky elements. A touch of musty earth and wet grass. Tart cherry. Front of the sip is delicious tart cherry with a touch of sweetness. Back of each sip is a mess of sharp acidic flavors and fermented cherry juice. Finishes with a solid punch of French oak. Hints of vanilla and wood. Surprisingly clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. A bit slick. No astringency.

Overall: My membrane is fine.

It smells good and the initial sip is mighty tasty, but it's a bit messy and muddled in the middle and end of the sip. The Belgian yeast messes with the cherry and tart elements in a way that doesn't really jive.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.09/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

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Photo of Kinsey
4.1/5  rDev +21.7%
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.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.27/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of mobrado
3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
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.)

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Photo of riTLce
2.53/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of superspak
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.57/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of Dantastic
3/5  rDev -11%

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.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

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

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Photo of VashonGuy
3/5  rDev -11%

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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.38/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

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Photo of mynie
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.48/5  rDev +32.9%
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.

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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+) from Epic Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.