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

285 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 285
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: 285 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by Murrhey:
Photo of Murrhey
2.15/5  rDev -37%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a wine glass. Reviewed live. Batch #9.

A- Finger and a half white fizzy head, with no retention whatsoever. Well carbonated but no retention or lacing. Light burgundy color with some clarity. Translucent in appearance. Looks like wine, which makes sense considering where it was aged.

S- Sour cherries, red grapes and a vinous smell. Dates and other dark fruits. No sense of hops or malts. Like an old ale moreso than a Belgian.

T- Surprisingly mild taste. Cherry and berries with vinous notes and some mild booze tastes present. Not impressive.

M- Light, yet vinous feel, finishes wet and clean.

O- This one's a loser. Avoid unless you really like cherries and lots of booze.

More User Reviews:
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 Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Beginning with Batch #5, the Brainless on Cherries beers were aged in Red Wine barrels rather than the White Wine (Chardonnay) barrels that were used in the first four batches. Therefore, I am adding this as a new beer and all reviews from Batch #5 on should likely be moved to this entry."

Batch 7. Brewed August 4, 2011, bottled September 29, 2011.

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-pink color with a white head. The aroma has a ton of oak and red wine notes, as well as some cherries and grapes. A very fruit smelling beer.

The flavor is similar. The dominant flavor is the cherries and wood, with some vanilla and grape notes also thrown in. There is also a good bit of bread, Belgian yeast and alcohol in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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 joemcgrath27
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - fully hazy red-purple, no head or retention of one whatsoever, looks like a glass of wine
S - big on cherries and booziness, some yeasty esters bring up the rear with a mild woody note
T - the mix of yeasty esters, leafy hops, and cherries are all there, but the boozy bite is too dominant here, I think if they backed off on the octane it would be tastier
M - somewhat light with a big creamy belgian style carbonation, some definite fruity tartness, with a boozy finish
O - i really want to like this beer more but alcohol seems to smother the flavour too much for my liking which is a shame because I think this has real potential if they reign it in

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 XicanoBeerRun
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color was almost pink as I poured it. It was a light reddish orange. The little carbonation it had receded fast.

Smells like blush wine, candied fruit, artificial strawberry flavor, slight booze, cotton candy, cherry. The smell is the best thing about this brew.

Taste was disappointing. It was biscuity which was pleasant, but then you get hit with booze. The cherry flavor combined with the alcohol reminded me of a fine bottle of Boone's or maybe even MD 20/20. The Belgian strong dark ale quality was an afterthought at best.

Refreshingly carbonated, but otherwise I’m not feeling much.

Photo of jsanford
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, watermelon pink-red with a slight haze that settles to a thin ring. Aromas of Belgian yeast, maybe a touch of cherry and ripe pear. Pretty subdued and weak, honestly. Taste is similarly bland, with a dominating Witbier-style yeast profile that imparts some clove and phenols, some light grain, and just a whiff of cherries. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a medium body, good carbonation, and a fairly dry finish. Overall a pretty weak offering, I'm hoping the peach version is 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 metter98
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy orange amber in color. It poured with a thin white head that instantaneously faded away, leaving absolutely no bubbles on the surface.
S: Light aromas of cherries and red wine are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: While this beer has a good balance between cherries and red wine, neither of these are particularly dominant, especially in the smell. No traces of alcohol are perceptible.

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 optimistictour
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had to try this both because of the novelty (haven't had an Epic beer and the name seemed entertaining) and because I'm a sucker for things like "aged in french oak barrels" and an American produced Belgian which costs upwards of $13 a deuce.

Appearance is peach/pink with a hefty head that recedes rather quickly into the aether. It's basically appealing but nothing special.

Smells like hops, strong booze, and the slightest hint of cherries.

Thankfully the (very much so) advertised cherries come through on taste, but they seem to bookend the alcohol heat and overwhelming (but not bad!) yeast comprising the majority of what's here.

There's decent body and adequate carbonation combined with a nearly-thick-enough Belgian mouthfeel which is somewhat tampered by the alcohol heat and lack of real texture.

There's something about this which intrigues me and leaves me mostly satisfied with my purchase.. but I'm not sure, especially at this price, that I'd gladly grab another. There are far better options (especially from Unibroue) for the same or better price, and of course there are imports from the namesake nation which outdo this in every conceivable way. Still, it's not hopeless. Give this a try if you like Belgians, cherries, and aren't afraid of alcohol.

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 wethorseblanket
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear slightly reddish orange with a thin (1/4-inch) thick pinkish, off-white head which fades quickly and yields a few spots of lace.

S: Mild cherry pits, red grapes, and oak.

T: Yeasty and malty with some tart red cherries and vinous notes.

M: Moderate bodied and light carbonation. Finishes yeasty and mildly fruity/vinous.

O: Fair fruit and yeast balance, but just not all together.

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 dbrauneis
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Release #13

A: Pours a relatively clear pinkish orange in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some pink + ruby red highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall pinkish tan head that quickly reduces to absolutely no head at all. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall there is a very light aroma to this beer with just some very light notes of red wine, oak, and tart cherries.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts along with some lighter notes of Belgian yeast. There is a light to moderate flavor of red wine and oak with some hints of tart cherries. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Overall this beer is well balanced with neither the sweetness of the malts or any bitterness from the hops coming through. The red wine flavors really come through and there is only a light note from the cherries. Very light hints of the alcohol are present.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.21/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Slightly cloudy light red color with thin head fading to a collar. The nose has some artificial cherries plus some medicinal character. Off and not pleasing. Flavor is the se but quite a bit worse. Stale cough syrup with a hefty bit of booze. Body is medium with a dry off character. Chemicals and other gross things. Ugh.

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 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 ojiikun
4.19/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crazy name, nice bottle, limited run. Had to try.

Pours an almost indescribably clear pinkish-tan. Orange when it picks up the sunlight. Might actually be a kinda gross colour, but I'm giving it extra points for the clarity and the fact that I have never seen anything like it.

Smells very, very Belgian in a dry and hay-ish way, not a banana way. Almost sour. No traces of alcohol, which is amazing given the percentage.

Taste is dry and a little thin, but the cherries are very much there and very well integrated, maybe a touch floral. Hints of apple cider flavour. Malts are flaked and cereal-like when you can track them down. What started as dry ends up a touch sweet with warmth and air. Oak is there, but only, only if you know what you are looking for.

Mouthfeel is coating but not overwhelming. No astringency but a little bit of acid.

Some of the parts are weak if unique, but on the whole this adds up to something almost frighteningly drinkable. Balanced in every way to the point where it might be underwhelming without more age.

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 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.

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 mactrail
4.24/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sensationally good fruit flavor in a clean, powerful Belgian-style brew. Release #4 and the ABV is 11.4%. Pours a pinky-red amber in the Saxo tall tulip. It's exactly the color of a tawnier rose wine.

Crisp mouthfeel with a sweet and tart sensation. Not so much head but a pleasant prickly carbonation in the mouth. Clean, fruity, winey aroma. I think this is the best cherry flavor of any beer I've had. It has that tart yet sweet flavor of ripe pie cherries, with a smooth maltiness that balances nicely. There is a little bitterness in the aftertaste which goes well with the fruit but doesn't shout out any particular hoppiness. Tastes strong like a fruit wine, nearly dry from the Belgian yeast, but mellowed by that warm malt.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego, which has more Epic beers than anyplace but a Salt Lake City state liquor store.

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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batch 5+) from Epic Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.