Ursa Minor - Rising Tide Brewing Company

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Ursa MinorUrsa Minor

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very good

150 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 7
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dciBA on 12-18-2010

Dark as squid ink and moody as the sea, Ursa Minor is our take on a winter wheat beer. Starting with a German wheat-beer yeast and a base of malted wheat, we added a blend of dark crystal and roasted malts to create a wheat stout. Redolent of dark fruit, weizen yeast esters, and roasted barley, Ursa Minor is perfect for an icy winter’s eve.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by RDHerm:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a mug the beer was black with a thick cocoa-colored head that resembled whipped cream.
Aroma of sweet fruit and roasted malt.
Complex taste, lots going on. Raisins, banana, fruity. Chocolate. Smokey.
Medium-bodied. the flavors all came together really well.
This was an enjoyable, change of pace beer. Different.

Photo of tigg924
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: black in color, opaque, 1/4 creamy head, medium-highcarbonation

Smell: cocoa, dark chocolate, and light wheat

Taste: cocoa, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and light wheat

Mouthfeel: medium body for the style, medium carbonation, sweet with rich bitterness

Overall:Solid, but not spectacular stout. I was searching for a wheaty taste in this one and found it to be minimal. Not a bad beer, but not one i would rush to get again.

Photo of Kinsman
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bold and dark looking pour which is pitch black in the body and crowned with a thick and dense mocha colored head.

Aroma is loaded with cocoa and slightly fruity notes. Some roasted barley/robust coffee notes as well. Fruity esters are hard to pick out from the robust aromas of the stout but definitely are noticeable.

First taste greets you with dark chocolate and espresso notes before the fruity notes of the German Weizen yeast come into play. The wheat aspect seems to lighten the robustness a bit but add a pleasant maltiness to the body.

Mouthfeel is rather light for a stout but still pleasant. Nice creamy texture in the finish. Overall, I like the weizen yeast twist added to this beer as it adds a bit of a fruity touch that is quite pleasant with the bold flavors of roasted barley and dark crystal malts.

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Drazzamatazz for this beer. Cheers! Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a nice dark brown color. About two fingers of mocha colored head are achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Dark roasted malts, caramel, cocoa, slight dark fruits.

Taste – Interesting beer. Begins as a stout with the roasted malts and bittersweet cocoa. Next comes a distinct weizen flavor such as banana, yeast, and malts.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, very creamy, lower carbonation.

Overall – Was on the fence when trying this but it was actually not that bad. Glad to try it.

Photo of pjkelley82
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from the brewery after sampling.

Poured dark with a thin head and nice lacing. Bubbles released a nice aroma of dark fruit, slight sweetness and very very light coffe. Overall smell was clean and smooth which will follow later. Slight lacing if any.

Smell was chocolaty with roast on the forward end of it...

Taste and moutfeel.... OK.... you start to drink it thinking it will be heavy and full feeling.. no... almost too smooth...nice flavor on the front end and little bitterness in the middle but when that baby goes down it's almost like it wasn't there... then you say I want more.... and to me thats what separates the good/bad beers. I like the slight almost unnoticeable wheat feel to it. It's definitely different especially when you look at it and judge it on it's color.. I was pleasantly surprised of how good it was...

Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle marked 111BORN-NOV12. Sampled on March 18, 2013.

The color of the pour is very dark brown to charcoal black with a small, short-lived beige head.

Coffee and dark malts lead the aromas with a mellower subtle hop note around the edges. Little in the way of wheat.

The body is medium and thinner than I might like in a stout.

While the coffee and dark malts are still noticeable in the taste there is also a slight dark fruit like cranberry or plum playing up a bit. It is not difficult to drink.

4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't done a review in over a year but this beer almost demanded it. It is rare anymore when I am really surprised by a beer but this one is really flying under the radar.

Pours like liquid gold, totally black body and a beautiful two finger thick rich milk chocolate brown head. All the looks of a big bold stout.

Smell is soft and rich, but more like a Scottish ale with the dominant malt tones. Subtle and slightly musky sweet on the nose.

Taste is not what I expected but is truely wonderful. Rich, creamy and overall very mellow for a stout. Malt is well balanced and prickly sweet on the tongue. This almost comes off more like a porter or black ale, but in all the right ways. So smooth and almost sessionable for a 6.7% stout. Mouthfeel is just perfect. I really could drink this brew by the growler full.

I am a hardcore stout fan and don't mind at all that this stout is a bit soft. It is absolutely delicious!

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter glass. Much thanks to ToasterChef!

Off the pour a cocoa brown head barely forms and disappears leaving a small collar. Body color is dark brown walnut, some red hues, a little see through just a bit.

A very malty but also hoppy nose. Some bitter hop but also some real noticeable licorice senses. Sweet molasses to brown sugar as well, almost syrupy but not too sweet. Very grainy sweet, interesting.

Light bodied almost cocoa cola like palate. Mild cola nut tasting in the mid palate, some mild sweetness. Slightly tingly on the tongue but doesn't distract from the flavors. Some wet viscosity, but also some coating thickness. A sort of malty gaseous aftertaste and feeling. Some mild lingering roast, and feeling of light cigarette tobacco after some sipping.

Overall it's quite a unique stout, fun and enjoyable. It's not exactly drawing me in much though, but no complaints about drinking it.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep dark brown, nearly opague with a nice tight tan head, very quick fade to a nice film with a good bit of lace. Lots of audible carbonation when poured was definatly noticeable.

Very nice robust caramel smell mixed with aromas of coffee and hints of roasted nuts and a touch of chocolate. Overall not bad. First impression was really just the perfect carbonation, great frothy and fluffy mouthfeel and just all around benefit to the palate. Lots of caramel flavors and again a bit of a smoked hint at the back. Small flavors of roasted nuits, chocolate and hints at black coffee. Very nice

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a freakin' huge light brown head, fades at a slow rate and some patchy lacing along the way.

Smell is primarily roasty toasty malts with a hint of chocolate.

The taste is interesting for a stout, afterall, they do call it a "Weizen Stout", the roasted malt is at the forefront with a subtle touch of chocolate in the aftertaste, the roasted malt covers up most of the wheat presence but it is there, carbonation is on the high side which I think hurts it slightly as it hinders the development of creamy textures, finishes dry.

An interesting stout from an upstart brewery, I like it and it's pretty easy drinking, although the assertive carbonation is a slight drawback.

Photo of fmccormi
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a pry-off 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance (4.5): Black as night! Holy crap this is dark, but a medium-brown around the edges. Deep tan head, dies down relatively quickly.

Smell (4.0): Bits of coffee, an odd wheat scent, like charred wheat. No hops to speak of in the nose.

Taste (4.0): More coffee. Some of the fruity banana-ness you’d expect from the “weizen” part of this starts to come in, especially as it warms a bit and opens up. JUST a bit of dark chocolate. At first, the banana is really pretty subtle—taste is mainly coffee and charred wheat, with some mild, chewy yeastiness followed by a little bit of banana finishing out the back end. That banana definitely increases as it warms, and moves forward quite a bit on the palate.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Relatively light, actually. Not too sticky or thick, which I suppose isn’t surprising considering it’s 6.7% abv. Light- to medium-bodied, with a dry finish.

Overall (4.0): This is an interesting stout, and I’m enjoying it. I’d enjoy a thicker body with more weizen-y banana happening here, though I appreciate how quaffable it is. I bet this’d be killer on cask.

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours black as night with over a finger of foamy tan head. The head sticks around pretty nicely.

Smell: Rather sweet but light. I'm getting some dark fruit and a hint of molasses. There is also a slightly fruity note in the mix.

Taste: Like a sweet stout, but a bit lighter. There is a cocoa like roasty note, but there is a bready sweet malt note that shows up as well. I'm getting a lot of dark fruit and come molasses. The finish is sweet and slightly roasty.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a ton of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer. Reminded me a bit of a roasty oktoberfest. I'd have it again.

Photo of illpass78
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black with a thin crown of brown foam.

Aroma: Smells of oak, coffee, and dark brown bread.

Taste: This beer has a smooth, somewhat dry flavor, with brown wheat bread and coffee very present. Also a little bit of dark, slightly milky chocolate. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth, and a little lighter than its appearance would lead you to assume.

Overall: Nice, somewhat dessert-like stout. I'd try this again, and I'm excited to try its more muscular cousin, Polaris.

Photo of dciBA
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black into my shaped pint glass. Labeled as a weizen stout, I wasn't sure what glass to use. Weizen glass didn't seem appropriate for a stout, and after pouring those suspicions were confirmed. A thin tan head forms and lingers for quite a while.

Most notable on the nose is roasted barley and coffee. There's also a nice amount of banana from the weizen yeast.

Flavor is dominated by a rich roastiness initially followed by banana and some caramel and toffee as well. Taste is quite nice and just what I expected after reading the label.

Mouthfeel is stellar with this beer. Full and creamy with a touch more carbonation than the average stout. I suspect this was done on purpose due to the use of wheat, and a weizen yeast. Overall this is a very drinkable wheat stout. Perfect for wheat beer fanatics like myself who want to drink wheat beers year round but grow tired of the usual weizenbock during the cold months.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy Thanksgiving.

Pours dark brown and sits "like squid ink." Thin mocha colored head. My pour beer is naked and foamless by mid-glass. Wheat should make a for better retention, no?

Aroma is dark German wheat bread, instant coffee mix and dark caramel.

Tastes...odd. Molasses sweet vs. roast malt and bittersweet baker's chocolate but there's an odd tang. I'm guessing that's the wheat.

A successful mash up of styles.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin fizzy brown head that fades very quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, licorice, wheat, some chocolate and coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of dark fruit, licorice, chocolate and coffee. Then a strong breadiness comes in from wheat and a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect nut there isn’t much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and a little smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are definitely several better choices within the style.

Photo of ppoitras
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark tan head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is down to a skim promptly, with leggy lacing. Aroma is anise and dark malts.

Taste begins with a quick shot of dark sweetness, which quickly gives way to balancing bitterness, and then a touch of alcohol smoothing through the close. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for the style, but goes down easy, and drinkability is good. Pretty sessionable for a hearty stout.

Photo of BierBliss
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Aroma: wheat aroma

Appearance: pours black, no head, minor lacing that does not stick

Flavor: chocolate, slight coffee, wheat hints

Mouthfeel: crisp, little carbonation

Overall: not a blend I would expect, it got better as it warmed but not too bad overall

Photo of twelvsies
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A new one from Rising Tide, awesome. Their first beer (Ishmael) hit the shelves last fall, then I didn't hear much, and now I'm glad to see both that and the new Ursa Minor on the shelves. Shall we?

Wasn't sure what to expect from this "Weizen Stout". It pours an nice deep brown, nearly black, nice ample brown head somewhat like a dunkel, recedes to a nice covering foam that sticks around. Nose is pretty great - cocoa powder and light roast, melded with a banana wheat profile. One might could think of something like a chocolate covered banana covered in nuts.

Mmm, lots of roasty goodness to this one, mellowed out by the wheat and fruity German yeast base. Hops seem to not be much of a factor in this beer. Smooth and soft on the palate, slightest hint of bitterness in the finish, but I will again use the word "mellow" here. This one is all too smooth and easy quaffable at a sneaky %6.7... Very nice, and I like the German / American hybrid thing this brewery seems to have going, at least as far as their first two beers are concerned. Good flavor, easy drinkin', laid back beer. Will look for more from these guys in the future... Can they brew a hoppy beer?

Photo of rfgetz
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark dark brown with fizzy cola like head, gone quickly with little retention. Scent is a blend of dark roasted and charred grain along with tangy wheat, notes of chocolate and coffee with a light metallic twang. Taste follows suit, the tangy wheat and charred grain combine with a thin medium body and present more "meh" than "yay". Only the second wheat based stout i've had (haandbryggeriet dark force being the other), but neither has really stuck out as bringing the best each style can offer.

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker colored fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly over jet black colored beer, just the faintest hint of signs of light come through on the corners, keeping it from pitch black.

Nose is interesting, a nice dark malt, light roast and black patent malt, a nice smoked malt aroma too, slight smoked cheese, some light caramel and vanilla, hint of dark chocolate, a bit of a dark wheat aroma, hard to detect, but once I'm used to the dark malts just a faint hint of yeast fruits come through.

Taste starts with a nice smoked malt, light smoke, some darker malts, light black patent and light roast, little toffee, caramel, chocolate, etc. Then there is a definite weizen flavor, some wheats both dark and light cut through, with a bit of an interesting spicy weizen flavor, also a hint of hefe yeast fruits and wheats. Some light creamy oats and fluffy flavors, light spices (not real spices, spices from the hefe style yeast). Finishes fairly dry, some bitter spicy and slightly earthy hops start to come through on the finish, some light lingering roast and smoke, and lighter and crisp.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lightly creamy, with decent carbonation.

Overall a pretty good beer. THey combined weizen style dark wheats with a nice German Hefe spicy and fruity yeast, and some nice dark malts blended, and just a bit of spicy and earthy hops to finish. A good job of innovation.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A good looking black beer with a brown head, surprised that this is only 6.7%, as it has the look of a double more than a single stout.

S - Really interesting, I get the heavy stout notes with the bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, but something strange with the weizen malts. Banana, dark fruit, and dunkle notes. Not bad, very interesting.

T - This tastes like a really great roasted stout that someone threw some some weizen malts in. It's kind of distracting really. This is actually a really good stout with roasty and molasses qualities. It's kind of like drinking a belgian RIS, great stout but you try to ignore the other qualities. This one takes some getting used to. It's good, but so different, it's hard to tell if you really like it or not.

M - Full bodied, a lot more heft than I was expecting.

D - A good beer, not sure if I love it or like it, want to have it again to get used to the style. Not sure if "weizen stout" qualifies as its own style, but would recommend this to anyone looking for something new.

Photo of gdrydenc
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from 4/14.

A - Pours a dark brown, nearly black like a stout. 2 fingers of dark brown head that lasts quite a while.

S - ...not a lot in the nose while cold. As it warms, though, the coffee and a bit of chocolate.

T - Slightly lacking in the front, but the finish is solid. Tastes like a stout in the finish, but the front (where I assume the weizen would have been) has diminished. May have been my mistake holding onto it for so long. The wheat is more present as it warms, but still a bit missing.

M - Very carbonated for the style. Slightly watery on the tongue for a stout, but about right for a weizen.

Overall, cool beer, odd style.

Photo of girltuesday
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An impressive second offering from Rising Tide that does not disappoint!

I was fortunate to get a glass on draught at the GLB two weeks ago during the Brewer's preview before the Ursa Minor sold out (in less than two hours!). I just picked up a couple of bottles (at RSVP in Portland) in time for the holidays. I have visions of Ursa dancing in my head . . . .

Ursa pours a beautiful, rich black and it offers a nice bouquet that smells like roasted bananas to me. The taste is complex but well-balanced: Initial sip offers the sort of roast-y goodness one would expect from a stout. And though it's got a bit of bite it is nicely followed by toffee and banana (though it's not sweet). Notably, Ursa has a nice, clean finish; it is not cloying on the palate like some stouts/full-bodied beers.

Also notable: it's not a heavy stout. Despite the complexities in the palate, its effervescence keeps it light, making it very drinkable and accessible.

They're on a roll--cannot wait for Rising Tide's next offering!

Photo of womencantsail
1.85/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

The pour is dark brown, almost black, with a khaki head. The nose on this is just awful. Burnt plastic, chemical solvents, rubber, and maybe even some smoke. Blech. The flavor is no better. Still lots of burnt plastic notes, rubber, acidity, and some roast and smoke. Terrible.

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Ursa Minor from Rising Tide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.