Gruit Kolsch
Roots Organic Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats:
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Needs more ratings
4.28 | pDev: 8.41%
Roots Organic Brewery
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 4
Photo of msubulldog25
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial pint at Roots Brewery - $2.50 Tuesday. Was given a sample of this beer to try, worthy of a full pour.
Brewed without using hops - instead uses chamomile, lavender, paradise seed & mugwort!

ABV is 5.5%. Listed as a seasonal release (available Aug 2006)

A: Not terribly pretty to look at...cloudy golden with almost no head. A very faint lingering film witha few stray carbonation bubbles. Sort of resembles dirty dishwater.

S: Doesn't smell like dishwater at all. Wonderfully appealing floral smell wafts from the glass. A lightly sweet lavender is most evident, but a bay leaf and spiced apple smell follows. A hint of fruit like a juicy ripe peach, too. Like a walk in a meadow.

T: The herbalness of the chamomile really kicks in nicely. Not too aggressive, but a well-balnced floralness & earthiness. A spicy "soft" yeasty wheat character, evocative of a wit or hefeweizen. As with the Heather Ale Roots also makes, I taste a sort of dry white wine character.

M: Light to medium body and mouthfeel. Refreshing, as if sipping on tea. Lingering tastes are the herbal flavors above.

D: Smooth and light, it seems like an excellent summer beer. May not be a taste that agrees with everyone, but I found it enjoyable. An interesting flavor created with unconventional recipe ingredients.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was really a great experience for me.

Being an unhopped beer, it had a great Kolsch backbone complemented by an easy fruity/spiciness without being overpoweringly sweet. Nice and crisp, perfect for a sunny day, which was surprising as it was mildly sweet.

Very well balanced. Odd white floaties on the diminished head that I'm assuming came from the spices added.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A peculiar, hopless ale brewed with chamomile and lavender, Roots offers this herbal kölsch as a summer seasonal for which it is well suited. I was at first put off by the smell which is punky and swamp-like. The smell makes it immediately apparent that this is no ordinary beer. Your sensibilities – your entire beer paradigm – are immediately challenged. This can be a difficult challenge to overcome, but over the course of a pint I came to appreciate its alchemical signature.

While the smell is ghoulish and austere, the taste does not emulate this and bears an attractive ginger-lime character with a hint of lemonade. Despite its lack of traditional bittering, Roots' kölsch is not overly sweet and tastes invigorating, even tonic-like. It is dense goldenrod color with a flush of orangeade, and a soft white head that soon exits trailing light strings of lace.

Aside from the startling smell, this is a highly successful experiment and a refreshing alternative to the hop standard. I’m tempted to suggest a wedge of lime as a condiment though the brew stands admirably on its own.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another hop-less beer from Roots. I liked this a lot better than the Heather Ale; in fact it's one of the best summer beers around, if it even qualifies as beer. It's opaque, displaying a range of colors with peach, O.J., pink and a light mustard brown. It looks like it should be served with a garnish of some sort, but the taste does not require it. The aroma is bright and herbal, very similar to rosemary, with some honey and dandelion. It's incredibly refreshing: tangy and sweet, with peach, oranges, and blood oranges. There's a lot of unusual ingredients in here, including (if I remember correctly) chamomile, mugwort, sweet kale, and some marsh mallow plant? The finish is clean and decisive, with some lingering herbs and compounds, and a thin film of yeast at the bottom of the glass. I don't know what these guys have against hops, but the happy result is this marvel of a beverage.

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Gruit Kolsch from Roots Organic Brewery
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 4 ratings