Althea - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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AltheaAlthea

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BA SCORE
84
good

31 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 185
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 5.33%
Wants: 4
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 08-26-2013

Althea is a Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with plums, bottle conditioned in a 750 ml/25.4 oz. cork and cage bottle, which weighs in at a substantial 7.7% ABV. It’s a beautiful, dark and fruity ale conceived and brewed by our New Jersey Sales Representative and former Philly Beer Geek, Natalie DeChico.
Every year, hundreds of women in Weyerbacher’s home, Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, are diagnosed with breast cancer. For many of these women, this means countless doctor visits, months of treatments and more. All too often this means lost wages and insurmountable bills during what is possibly the most trying time in that woman’s life.

For every bottle of Althea sold, Weyerbacher will donate $1 to The Pink Ribbon Fund to help these women – our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and their families – cover costs like travel, child care, prostheses and more.

Althea hit the shelves in October 2013 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A limited run with an extremely important purpose, Althea is a unique and delicious way for beer lovers to support women in their fight against breast cancer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 185
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to mthomas84 for sharing this one.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a slightly better aroma in my opinion. (623 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that slowly died down but never completely faded away.
S: The smell begins to develop as the beer warms up—there are notes of Belgian yeast and plums.
T: Much like the smell, the plum flavors really begin to develop as the beer warms up and overshadow the Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be somewhat enjoyable, but only after it warmed up and the aromas and flavors of plums began to develop. No traces of alcohol are perceptible. (667 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Althea has the Belgian look down, with a huge, frothy head perched atop the rosewood colored liquid

Smell: Fruity, with plum, blackberry and bubble gum tones, buttressed by a spicy Belgian yeast profile

Taste: Fruit and spice mix together, on the front end, with the plum, blackberry and bubble gum tones mixing with clove; in the middle, a medicinal, herbal tone builds and is almost acrid, like the bitterness from the skin of the plums or perhaps the pit

Mouthfeel: Medium body but buoyantly carbonated; perhaps a bit too much so

Overall: Were it not for the medicinal tone, I would really have enjoyed this beer and forgiven it for the slight over-carbonation; still, I rather enjoyed it but these issues kept it from being top flight for me (761 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours moderately hazy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big plum, blackberry, prune, raisin, fig, pear, molasses, toast, brown bread, dark candi sugar, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of plum, fruity/spicy yeast, and dark malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big plum, blackberry, prune, raisin, fig, pear, dark candi sugar, molasses, toast, dark bread, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light dark fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of plum, prune, blackberry, fig, raisin, pear, molasses, dark bread, toast, dark candi sugar, herbal, clove, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and big robustness of plum, fruity/spicy yeast, and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice dubbel style. All around good balance and complexity of plum, fruity/spicy yeast, and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,546 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA ClockworkOrange for sharing this 750ml. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a murky brown with a tan cap. Some orange clarity is seen around the edges. Patchy lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma is sugary with yeasty spiciness and a hint of something almost grassy. Some belgian candy quality blends to bubblegum and banana. A bit of sulfur towards the tail end.

The taste includes that previously mentioned belgian candy sugar sweetness. Somewhat fruity with pear, apple and bubblegum. A bit herbal, grassy and spicy with clove and more fruitiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A little too sweet feeling with not enough malt character (if that makes any sense?) It feels too much like candy and lacks depth. The spice and seemingly a melange of fruity esters just isnt enough to combat the sweetness. Worth trying but I would peobably not revist. (904 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown with a 1/2" head that falls slowly to a spotty surface covering.

Smell: malt sweetness, dark fruits. and a bit of floral hops come through to the nose.

Taste: nice malt base with plums, a hint of nuttiness, and some earthiness. The bitterness is moderate and alcohol is mildly warming.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and a touch dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Overall: a very tasty belgian dubbel that everyone should give a try. Easy to consume and refreshing from a malt-forward perspective. (610 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.21/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color, good retention, some sediment. The aroma has dark fruits very much like a Belgian dubbel. The plums used in the brewing process are slightly evident in the nose and taste. Bready malts and Belgian yeast, watery dark fruit. Light and crisp. About par for the course. (296 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a goblet, the beer pours a clear ruby red color with about an inch and a half light tan head that sticks around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like dark fruit (plums, figs), clove, peppery spice, blackberries, caramel and brown sugar. It tastes like sweet and tart dark fruit (plums, figs, raisins, red grapes), blackberries, peppery spice, bready malt/dark bread, cloves, brown sugar and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a little bit syrupy and has a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good brew overall. At $7.99 a bottle (and with $1 from each bottle sold going to a local Breast Cancer charity), I'd buy it again. Definitely worth a try. (718 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Woo! A new Weyerbacher beer! Into a pint glass

A - Great carbonation with a solid 2 inch head in my glass. Beer is a hazy amber brown. Looks good.
S - Well it smells mildly tart not very medical, fruity yeasts very sweet smelling.
T - Well it's actually quite good mild tobacco with a touch of sweet herbal plum not very tart but balanced. Dubbel notes are mildly sour mostly sweet caramel malts and bready body. Just a mild dry finish with a medicinal cherry tint. Overall tasty.
M - Medium bodied, chewy and tart. On body with the style.

Overall not overly blown away but this is the first plum based beer that works. Pity it's 8 dollars a bomber or I would get another. (675 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had this beer on tap at Crafty Draught, poured into a tulip glass. Had a brown color and a murky consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of fruit, yeast, and some malt.

T: Tasted of yeast, fruit (apples especially), yeast, malt, and a sweet almost candy-like quality. A solid flavor, except for being a little overly malty in the finish.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a drinkable beer. Not awe-inspiring, but worth a try. (555 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a mahogany color with hints of a ruby red shining through. Upon pouring there is a fantastic tan colored head of two fingers that is massively thick and creamy looking. The head very slowly fades over time to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of some darker fruits of plum, prune, and raisin complimented by a good strong malty smell which consists of a mix of biscuit, roasted malt and a bit of a doughy smell. Other aromas of banana and yeast as well as some spice of clove and coriander are there as well, creating a nice dubbel like smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with fruit flavors of plum and cherry upfront with a lighter level of a bready and slightly doughy like flavor. A good level of yeast and spice start right from the start with the spice being a nice mix of coriander and clove. The fruit flavors, while strong at the start, get even stronger as the flavor advances even further. Some raisin joins the profile with the plum flavor gaining a bit of potency and being joined by some lighter grass flavors. Some light alcohol flavors come to the tongue at the end being joined a little bit of a grapy wine like flavor to leave a dark fruity Belgian dubbel flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side for a dubbel of a 7.7% abv with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. A little more carbonation may have been slightly better for the fruit and yeast flavors of the brew, but overall the feel was OK.

Overall – A decent dubbel with a decent fruitiness. Rather pleasant drinking and worth a try. (1,717 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a dark, hazy brew with a thick tan head....the aroma is yeasty, with a little malt and fruit. Some bubblegum, and plenty of Phenolic scents. The taste is where the fruit rally comes out. Plum is note don't eh bottle, and I get the flavor, especially as I work through the beer. The beer is semi sweet, with less malt flavor than the smell projected. Lots of complexity, though... hop, spice, yeast, alcohol, fruit. Medium body. An interesting beer. (461 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Burgundy brown color. Three plus fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is very good and plenty of lacing is left.

4.25 S: The plums in this are absolutely wonderful. Big aroma that perfectly complements the base beer. Blackberry, currants, and figs add in an extra fruity kick. Starts dry but has sweet caramel undertones. Lightly spicy yeastiness with pepper and a hint of clove. Very nice.

4.0 T: Taste is also quite good, but it doesn't quite match the nose. Fruits mentioned above again with lots of plum. Tangy tartness that wasn't evident in the nose. Caramel and toasty malts. On the drier side overall.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation with a light spritziness. Light on the tongue and super smooth.

4.0 D: Tasty beer that I recommend picking up. (817 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Weyerbacher Althea, poured into a Rochefort goblet.

Pours out a soft brown color with darkness and not much passing light. A good head for a dubbel. Thick, and long-standing. Dense, and nearly tan in color. Attractive.

I get tart tannic fruit skins in the nose; evidence of the plum addition. Has a richer sweetness, also indicative, that includes plum flesh, bing cherry, malty richness, brown ale notes, light phenols, tobacco, and aged hops. Actually, very plummy, indeed.

Phenols in the flavor profile evoke medicinal compounds and a strange fruitiness that includes plums and the tannic qualities of the black varietal. More tobacco, nuances of clove, prune, dark maltiness, some residual candi sugar after-effects, and a bitter tartness. As it warms, I get more of those semi-tart cherry notes with red grape character. But, this beer is pretty dry compared to most Belgian-born dubbels. I am in-tune with that dryness, but some extra sugars could help the other complexities to shine.

Sopping wet with aid from a medium level carbonation. Not a bad drink, if not slightly too showy with booze.

Nothing really special, but I can get down with this, what with all of the Bornems and Ommegang Abbeys. I still approve of this effort. (1,241 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

6/12....pours crimson brown with white thick bubbled foam. Rich dark fruit and china mom nose. Complex fruity taste, plummy and jammy. Some chocolate, nutty and cola flavors. (174 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Haven't had a Weyerbacher brew in a while. Jammin!

Served in a 3 Stars glass.

A: Dark and then some. It looked like a plum.

S: The smell of the brewery hit me right away: CO2, dark fruit, plums, and raisons.

T: The Belgian strain was most evident here. Jeez...Good taste, but infinitely Belgiany. If that isn't your thing, stay away from this.

M: Nice mouth overall, more carbonated than most Belgians, and no lacing was left on the glass.

O: I wouldn't seek this out, but it has its merits. (498 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown with a int of red and a decent light tan head and some lacing

S-dark fruit, plums, brown sugar, malt

T-toasted malt, brown sugar, Alison's, plums, slight wine-like taste, moderate bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, dry

O-decent beer, but just misses slightly for me in the flavor dept. (333 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep red/mahogany color with 3+ fingers of head that slowly settles down to a fluffy cap that leaves some nice lacing

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruitiness, lots of plum, and some light spices stand out. Quite a bit of maltiness as well that balances the yeastiness nicely

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the Belgian yeast, dark fruits, and spiciness. Plum definitely stands out. An odd twang comes through from the yeast as well, which is a little distracting. Finishes with a light sweetness and more of the dark fruits and plums

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

O: The yeasty twang mid-palate is definitely a little distracting. Aside from that, it's a solid brew that supports a great cause (725 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful Dubbel: dark brown with garnet highlights, fairly clear with lots of carbonation, and topped by a thick, 1 1/2 very firm cream-colored head. Excellent retention.

Spicy, yeasty dubbel aroma. Banana bread, dark bread, a hint of cloves and nutmeg, a bit of alcohol presence. Tons of caramel and toffee, and a bit of black pepper. Prunes and dates. I don't get plum, but it may just blend together with everything else.

Plum does come through on the flavor, providing just a hint of sweetness to an otherwise bready, spicy dubbel. Very traditional abbey-style ale. For flavors, see the nose: spiced bread dominates.

Very lively with moderate sting. Medium-full feel with sticky retention.

Overall, a very nice dubbel that is stylistically not out of place. It's a little watery and spicy for my preference, but it certainly represents well among North American dubbels. (879 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks back down at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge, having never tried this before but intrigued to see if Weyerbacher could brew a decent Dubbel and given that Althea is one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs and that part of the proceeds of this beer went to charity, I figured that this would be worth the price. While this wasn't as fruity, thick, or full as its European counterparts, this was a good take on the style that was easily enjoyable and still had more than enough going for it.

Of course, the appearance of this beer was the best aspect of it, as it had a nice plum shade, a fairly translucent hue, and quite a bit of head as I poured the first half of this bomber out. Lots of yeast and candied sugar in the nose and just as much in the taste but...where's the fruit? The plum is faint and the sweetness was fleeting. This felt too thin and not worth swishing around in my mouth, as evidenced from how dominant the alcohol was. While I like booze in my Belgian and Belgian-style beers, it should serve to enhance a beer and not dominate here. This wasn't the case here and the light, effervescent mouthfeel served to take this beer down a notch, from other examples of this style.

This was strong but not enough to keep from downing this in one session. There was a hint of raspberry tartness that was reflected in the taste and syrupy aspect of this beer but it wasn't enough to help overcome the shortness of this. This would be a great introduction to this style for a neophyte but those accustomed to heavier examples of this style will be disappointed to a small extent. Worth a go once to enjoy a Dubbel that feels more like a Singel. (1,676 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle dated 9/19/14 poured into a goblet
A: Dark brown with a 1.5-finger head
S: Please see BeerMiler12's note right below mine. I couldn't write it better. Belgian yeast/malt/prune to be simple
T: Matches the nose initially with nice malt, Belgian yeast and plum notes, but just after the plum hits it turns to spoiled prunes and has a rather unpleasant finish
M: Medium-bodied but the unpleasant finish takes it down a notch
O: Happy to try this but I prefer the othr beers I've had from Wererbacher (508 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a beautiful brown with garnet hue. Lovely firm head. Nose is a bit of brown sugar and a soft bread with some malty sweetness. yeast and a bit of pepper. Plum and dark fruit like date. Floral and spices too. There's a sour scent that's just faintly under the nose. Like prunes maybe. Taste is light peppery and fruity. The fruit is sweet but there's a tartness to it. It has a mouth watering quality amidst the dry yeast. It has soft sweet malty bread in ti but it's melt in your mouth light. It's one of the sweeter dubbels I have had. Floral and brown sugar end this one with a light little ticklish bit of bitterness to linger alongside that dry malt and that plum. (685 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a chalice
bottling dates rubbed off


A: Hazy, mahogany brown, 1+ fingers width of dense tan head, great retention, fair amount of lacing. 4.25

S: Dark fruits, candied sugar, caramel/toffee, fruity esters, subtle spice. Plum is noticable. 4.25

T: Dark fruits, cocoa, spice, fair amount of bitterness. 4

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation heavy but appropriate, fairly smooth, drying finish, drinkability is good. 4.25

O: Very enjoyable American take on a Belgian classic. 4.25 (499 characters)

Photo of Jonada
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in a Rochefort goblet

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with 1 finger of an off white head. Lots of visible carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: The added plums are really noticeable along with hints of dark bread, candi sugar and a bit of earth.

Taste: Dark fruit (plum in particular), bread, malt sweetness along with a very slight tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a soft creamy mouthfeel. Medium fine carbonation. Booze hidden well.

Overall: Pretty good American dubbel. With some of the proceeds going to a good cause, this is definitely worth picking up. (610 characters)

Photo of themind
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An outstanding offering from Weyerbacher. This beer pours a nice frothy head with a mouth watering subtle plum aroma. The base beer dubbel is very enjoyable as the plums leave a nice aftertaste. I was happy to have grabbed a bottle of this stuff and I would purchase it again. For $8 bucks this beer was a steal.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable brew from th Easton boys. (362 characters)

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Althea from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.