Ursa Minor - Rising Tide Brewing Company

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Ursa MinorUrsa Minor

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very good

54 Reviews
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Reviews: 54
Hads: 151
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 6.12%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 151
Photo of rfgetz
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Trader Joe's in Portland, Maine.

A - Poured a deep black hue with a deep, dark mocha one finger head that fades somewhat quickly to leave a tiny mocha halo.

S - Big dark roasted malts, light chocolate and light coffee along with some light dark fruits as well. Some slight alcohol on the nose on the finish.

T - Taste is more of the same. Sweet malts and fruits mixed throughout with good rich roast malts. Very light on the chocolate and coffee. Mostly just nice rich malts.

M - Nice in the mouth. Creamy, lower carbonation. Feels a little on the watery side though.

O - Overall, this isn't a bad american stout. A little too heavy on the dark fruit and too subtle with the chocolate and coffee for my tastes, as well as being a bit too thin. Still, for the price this is a solid beer. (804 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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 (593 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +2%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of seeswo
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Cam. Thanks man.

Pours a very dark brown with a slight, way off-white head. The nose is roasted malts and not a whole lot else. Pretty low key. The taste is just slightly off of what a lot of imperial stouts bring to the table. That dry roastiness is replaced with a dry wheatiness, which is both slightly odd and yet., it works. That said, those represent the entirety of the dimensions of this beer. The mouthfeel is fine, maybe slightly high carbonation with a good body. Overall, it is a bit forgettable in spite of being a beer defined by something I've never heard before (Weizen stout). (611 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown. Almost black. A nice amount of tan head. Looks great. Smells a bit muddled but a nice rich chocolatiness. Tastes smooth and roasty. A bit of bitterness on the tongue from the dark malts. Dry, thick. Enjoyable. Good mouthfeel. Overall quite enjoyable (274 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Major dark brown, lots of tan head, slow to leave. Not much lace.

S - Roasted malt. Very light.

T - Chalk, roast malt, astringent.

M - Not very sweet, but not hugely bitter either, so the balance is pretty good.

D - Not my favorite. A little too chalky for me and tiring. (280 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (823 characters)

Photo of BobZ
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Duvel Tulip, 2010 vintage.

Appearance: Rich dark brown, builds a big billowy dark tan head of 3” that slowly recedes to about an 1”. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: Roasted malt and chocolate come through right away, smells as nice as any other solid stout.

Taste: Wow what a nice surprise, up front you get the chocolate and the roasted malt then the weizen yeast flavors subtly creep in adding a really nice dimension to the beer. I don’t get an overwhelming banana or clove, just some nice hints beneath the bittersweet chocolate. Very flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: Aggressively carbonated which helps build that initial head but also actually adds to a smooth mouthfeel and a clean palate.

Overall: This was a very unique take on a stout, I’ll be buying more on my next trip to Maine. Congratulations to a new brewery trying something different and making it work well. Very good beer. (921 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird (c/o EnronCFO) for sharing this one. 22oz. bomber served in a tumbler. Label describes this brew as a weizen-stout. Pours an inky black with a half inch, dense, mocha-colored head embedded with pinpricks and ringlets. Head eventually dissipates to half its original volume and retains its consistency. Some strands of lacing are revealed and remain during the tasting. Nose expresses mocha, a slightly metallic quality, black licorice, more coffee notes as it warms and a roasted character. The immediate impression I get off the initial quaff is smokey and rauch-like. Roasted, dark malts with some dark fruits (plums and prunes) are interwoven in the flavor profile and gives the brew a wine-like character. Mouthfeel is medium-light (lighter than anticipated, based on the flavor and color) with a light carbonation and a mild, oily texture. Flavorful and complex and easy drinking for the style. It almost reminds me of a Baltic Porter/American Stout hybrid. (984 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours pitch black with a huge, dense milk chocolate colored head that sticks around for a little while and laces well.

aroma of heavily roasted malts, some chocolate (dark, bitter, unsweetened) some burnt coffee, chocolate covered bananas, some dark fruits, burnt wheat toast.

cocoa powder, dark roasted coffee, cereal grains, a bit of charcoal, some fruitiness and plenty of yeast flavors that separate this from you average stout as well as the wheat that seems to dry it out a bit.

not as full-bodied as would be ideal with a nice, creamy carbonation and some lingering fruity flavors.

very flavorful and pretty unique without being overly alcoholic or hopped up or aged in expensive barrels. just a good beer. (717 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Gigantic massive head that looks nice and creamy with a good tan color. The body is perfectly black.

Nice dry and roasted smell. There is a hint of maple and chocolate in the nose.

The taste starts out nice and malty. The roasted coffee-like flavors are most dominant. The malt sweetness is very subtle and does well to round out the bitterness just a touch, but overall I would call this on the drier side.

Nice medium body with a crisp carbonation.

Very delicious and highly drinkable stout. Perfect for a cool evening. (546 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,177 characters)

Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle was split between two pint glasses.

A: Opaque dark liquid, colored dark brown. Large dark brown head as well, made up of foam and bubbles.

S: Caramel and chocolate notes, some roasted coffee, but not much. Maybe some plum as well.

T: Roasted malts. They wheat aspects are strongest at the finish and aftertaste. Some dark fruits are present, mild bitterness.

M: Creamy and smooth. A little sticky, but the coating is flavorful.

O: An enjoyable stout. The creaminess and wheat aspects are the stand out components of this beer. It's another winner from Rising Tide, and worth trying. (615 characters)

Photo of gdrydenc
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (315 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (1,407 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new Maine beer from Ben.

I was really surprised at how great this looked out of the bottle. Almost completely black with a big, super thick tan head that showed excellent retention and lacing. One of the best looking standard stouts I've seen.

Aroma is really nice as well, almost smells like chocolate covered bananas. Lots of roasted chocolate malts balanced with the fruitiness of the wheat.

The taste isn't quite as robust as the look and nose would suggest, a lighter version of the nose is how I'd describe it. The chocolate is a little more muted and there is a tad more toasty character. There is still plenty of fruit with the finish being a mixture of dry cocoa and overripe bananas.

Mouthfeel is decent but not quite as full and creamy as I was expecting. Moderate carbonation and light to medium bodied.

I'm pretty impressed with this one and have to say that the aroma and look were close to world class for the style. The taste isn't quite as impressive but the bar was set pretty high when it came out of the bottle. Diggin' it. (1,056 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this buzzed tick... Pours a dark brown, almost black. The head is medium brown, pretty good retention and lacing... The aroma is truly a weizen stout, the front has banana and dark fruits with some bitter coffee on the back... The taste isn't as successful as its confusing and mouthfeel is too carbonated. Chocolate, coffee, and banana should work, but doesn't entirely.

This is certainly decent and something new, but I wouldn't push for this trend quite yet. (482 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +2%
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. (1,041 characters)

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I saw it as Weizen Stout and was a bit concerned I was about to drink what I call a "boutique beer". But it produced a very pleasant surprise. This one was a very active beer-- bottle fermented is right-- upon opening the bottle it became a geyser erupting with a tan brown foam. Poured a nice midnight new- moon black with a frothy head. Alas no lacing and a short lived head.

I was greeted by a nice nose-- almost bucolic, with hints of wheat and yeast.

The flavor was less "stout" and more weizen-- but nevertheless hops bitterness, yeast, malt-- it's sort of a heffe weizen wanna be Stout beer.

Mouthfeel is quite cordial, with effervescence that keeps the interest alive. The finish is kind of hasty ending in a sudden dissapearance of the flavor.

Drinkability is superior-- a relastively low ABV coupled by a cordial mouthfeel makes in my opinion for a very drinkable beer. I just with I had more than one bottle in stock. (933 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (719 characters)

Photo of theo871
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a dark black, with a nice dark brown head that leaves some lacing behind.

S - I have never smelled a stout like this. Picking up on banana notes. Smells very similar to a dunkelweizen.

T - This beer does an amazing job at combining both the characteristics of a wheat beer and a stout. Fruity notes combine beautifully with the roasty, chocolate flavors of a stout.

M - A nice amount of carbonation, more than your average stout. Finishes clean and smooth.

D - I enjoyed the whole bottle, every sip was interesting. Many layers of flavor and texture to be discovered in this beer.

Rising Tide is off to a great start, I look forward to their next offering! (710 characters)

Photo of ElGallo
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a cervoise. I missed out on the first release from this new Maine brewery, but the idea of a "weizen stout" drew me in immediately.

Very dark pour, alomst opaque, with a decent head that fades, but lacing remains. The nose on this is great: like a German dunkel with some dark fruit and chocolate notes. Very unique and very inviting.

Tastes like the star chart label states, like a "weizen stout." No burnt malt bitterness, no chalky aftertaste. This is wheaty, chocolaty, and smooth all the way through. Incredibly easy to drink. I love this departure from both traditional wheat beers and traditional stouts. This goes down very easy and I could easily consume another bomber without blinking.

Overall this is a very creative take on a stout, yet it works so well, you could call this sessionable, even with a higher-than-session ABV.

Well done Rising Tide. Give us more beer please, because your creativity is filling a void in the beer spectrum... or something like that. (1,006 characters)

Photo of joshsbeerblog
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased bomber for $7 on 1/29/11 from Lighthouse Wine & Seafood in Manchester, ME.

I thought Rising Tide's Ishmael was a solid, if unspectacular, first effort. A little pricey as a starting price point, but I definitely wanted to give them another try.

As a "Weizen Stout" this beer drew on mostly German ingredients... which did not excite me, quite honestly. Totally unneccesary though -- this was amazing!

Nearly black pour with attractive tan head... I get both Weizen and Stout characteristics in the aroma... A cacophany of flavors hit your tongue: chocolate, banana, vanilla, hazelnut, roastiness and bitterness... Medium bodied, spot on carbonation, and very clean.

Simply put, this one shocked me. I thought it came together just perfectly. The best beer I have had for a couple of months. Try it. (813 characters)

Ursa Minor from Rising Tide Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.