Kelpie Seaweed Ale
Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Kelpie Seaweed AleKelpie Seaweed Ale
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Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #18
Ranked #26,872
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
Jun 07, 2021
Sep 18, 2001
Kelpie Seaweed AleKelpie Seaweed Ale
Notes: At least four hundred years ago, the coastal & Island farmers of Scotland used seaweed beds to grow their cereal crops. This barley produced very interesting flavors in the ale and whiskey they produced. Including bladderwrack seaweed in the mash tun along with organic barley gives this wholesome dark ale a distinctive flavor.
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4.16 by Daneve76 from Australia on Jun 07, 2021
3.53 by sorsh_a_ghlinne from Scotland on Dec 28, 2020
Photo of ChrisCummings120
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ChrisCummings120 from Florida

I was almost too afraid to try this beer. I was thinking seaweed? I was so pleasantly surprised. Great flavor and so unique. Loved it. I am 2000 Club Member at a World of Beer and this beer was one that I'll always remember!

Mar 25, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

It pours jet black with a lovely tan head. The smell is very roasty, and reminds of a porter. The taste is similarly roasty, with burnt bread and chocolate notes. Fairly well balanced and with a tiny hint of saltiness. A very interesting and enjoyable beer.

Mar 06, 2017
Photo of Malt_Man
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Malt_Man from England

Served cold (probably too cold) from 500ml bottle into willi becker glass.

My first seaweed beer, what could possibly go wrong....

L) Very dark chestnut brown, opaque, thin off-white head. Looks like a porter.

S) Again in the dark ale style, roasted fruity malt odour, this is probably too cold to get the full effect, but it is certainly pleasant and inviting. No seaweed.....

T) It's pretty much a porter. Pleasant depth of roast malt flavour, chocolate hint in the aftertaste gives it a nice lasting drink. HInts of coffee on the aftertaste too.

F) For 4.4%, it does have a bit of body to it. Nice mild carbonation. No dirty aftertastes, easy to drink but I have probably cooled it too much.

O) Basically, a nice porter-type beer. The seaweed thing appears to me to be a marketing gimmick; there is nothing unusual about the taste, smell or feel of the beer. Happily recommend this as a tasty, sensible-strength dark beer.

Jun 25, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Beginner2 from Illinois

I like Williams Brothers.
I have had all five of their widely distributed ales at least twice (with this bottle of Kelpie) and some frequently (like Scots Pine.)
We neglect too often that ale should be flavored with something other than hops.

Kelpie looks good in the glass with its head and lace and dark red, garnet. While I really don't pickup the seaweed, I do smell the malt and it comes through very balanced in the taste and after-wards... just enough sweet that finishes ever so slightly semi-dry.

Just because the alcohol is low (as are the hops) doesn't mean you should score it so low. This is a very good brew and I am glad to give it this recommendation: try it.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

Apr 27, 2016
3.68 by GregJ from Louisiana on Dec 26, 2015
Photo of Tusked_pinniped
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3
by Tusked_pinniped from New Hampshire

Looks: alright, just a bit thin. Light lacing for a head
Smell : nothing special at first, near the end it was a little ocean like.
Taste: the very first instant it seems like it's going to be decent then if m it immediately let me down. Seems like it had potential but it lacked depth.
Feel: quite thin and bubbly no body to speak of.
Overall: I'm slightly disappointed but it was worth the try.

Dec 06, 2015
Photo of Antc2382
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Antc2382 from New Jersey

Poured from the pint bottle, from Fairchild's, Roseland NJ

I know, I know- weird beer. A: looks like a thinner Guinness, no retention on the head, some light lacing on the lip. Dark, but some light brownish hues. S: sweet barley, mixed with sea salt, pleasant. T: at first you get the roasted barley (good quality; lacks the richness of a stout). Saltier as the beer goes on. I definitely get hints of the seaweed in here. Almost becomes too salty by the end. F: lingering effects of the salt. There is a brackish quality
to it. The smoothness of the barley balances out the saltiness enough. O: it's definitely worth a try, in the least for novelty's sake.

Nov 14, 2015
2.75 by sweemzander from Illinois on Nov 11, 2015
3 by SocalKicks from California on Oct 29, 2015
3.59 by gatorlove from Florida on Aug 31, 2015
Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by papat444 from Canada (QC)

Flashback #403

Aug 19, 2015
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by pat61 from Minnesota

This pours brilliant dark brown under a thin light tan head and looks every bit like a Scott’s ale but the musty, herbal, caramel aromas tinged with iodine point to a deeper past. This is a gruit ale made with seaweed and you can pick up on a little iodine and salt on the palate along with anise, licorice and malt flavors and a dash of pepper on the finish. Medium full body and medium carbonation. A delightful surprise.

Aug 18, 2015
2.96 by Molson2000 from Canada (ON) on Aug 17, 2015
4.69 by Tonkotsuramen from Australia on Aug 11, 2015
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Andrewharemza from Australia

Aroma sweetish, caramel, toasted, toffee. Clear darker ruby brown colour. Taste is caramel driven as well, but well balanced, also light chocolate/roasted notes. Lightly salty.

Jul 21, 2015
Photo of soulgrowl
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
by soulgrowl from England

Very dark brown, off-white head with poor retention. Stout-ish. Smells (deliciously) of good dark chocolate and very good dark cherries, with notes of coffee and licorice. The flavor is like a Black Forest gateau with something more long-lastingly savory underneath it all. Dark chocolate, cherries, dark caramel, Coca-Cola Blak (remember that?) and then... the same sort of lingering depth you get from dashi, good beef, or pumpernickel. But with none of those flavors, if that makes sense. It finishes very dry, and the carbonation is a little bit too fizzy, which probably interrupts the marriage of the beer's dark sugar flavor and its mouthwatering umami finish. But overall it is a very tasty beer, one I would LOVE to try with all manner of Japanese food, namely: oysters, fried or grilled; takoyaki; shoyu ramen; tuna sashimi; and monkfish liver.

Jul 16, 2015
3.7 by geodonnokepyo from Pennsylvania on Jul 03, 2015
3.5 by shelby415 from Oregon on Jun 06, 2015
Photo of mothmanscott
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by mothmanscott from Georgia

Pours a clear deep brown producing a rapidly diminishing, foamy, pale tan head that leaves no lace. Aroma is thin dark malt with a burnt note, hints of coffee, earth, musty herbal & brine. Taste is light for such a dark brew but not watery: burnt & cola, caramel malt, earth, herbal, faint hint of brown sugar & brine with a light brine, chocolate, grain, fruit & dry finish. Aftertaste is dry, weakly fruity with a burnt & floral hint. No hop character. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, thin on he tongue but prickly becoming becoming very dry at the end.

May 26, 2015
Photo of HellBlazerG
4.51/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by HellBlazerG from Ohio

Great stuff once you get past the name which is somewhat different be pleasantly tasteful.

Apr 28, 2015
Photo of Ian_B
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Ian_B from Massachusetts

Very dark black with tinges of blue and brown, light beige head with decent retention.

Smell is like a faintly soft whiff of ocean breeze and sea salt. Nose full of fruit esters like currant and berries, blended beautifully with a mild backbone of chocolate and toffee.

Taste is dry and bright; lightly acidic fruit up front softened by smooth and savory chocolatey-caramel malt. Very light umami savory notes that suggest seaweed add to the long finish.

Light mouthfeel, decent flavour, mildly refreshing, but not sure if it's enough come back to this again.

Apr 16, 2015
Photo of hophugger
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by hophugger from Virginia

Pours a deep brown with an amber-reddish brown along the edges where a little light comes through. Smell is mild with malts and maybe a hint of seawater on the nose. Taste, IMO, was a let down. Although there is some malt and a touch(very light touch) of saltiness, this brew is very watery, too light and is missing any depth at all. Carbonation is plentiful but still does nothing for this brew. Where is the body. Don't get me wrong, this is not crappy, just lacking a little oomph that I was expecting...

Mar 24, 2015
3.51 by jason_nwx from Oregon on Dec 17, 2014
3.5 by Wiz99 from Minnesota on Nov 21, 2014
4 by Sellen from Connecticut on Sep 24, 2014
3.64 by stomioka from New Jersey on Sep 14, 2014
2.5 by scoot64 from New Jersey on Sep 08, 2014
3 by Elicoleman from Colorado on Sep 03, 2014
Photo of patre_tim
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by patre_tim from Thailand

A: Chocolaty black with a ruby tinge when held to the light. It’s semi-transparent, no carbonation and 3 fingers of foamy beige head.

S: Chocolate, chocolate and cream, coffee and toffee. Fresh sea breeze? Sure if you inhale deep enough.

T: Chocolaty with a certain sea like brininess that comes off more in the background. Roasted toasted notes, lightly sweetened coffee.

M: Medium body that’s smooth and creamy and slick like the slipperiness of kelp. Medium low carbonation.

O: Excellent brew. Love the bottle, style, and name. Seaweed lover myself living in Asia, the idea of a Kelp beer doesn’t bother me. The kelp is really in the background, and the flavor of this stout like beer is great.

Aug 11, 2014
3.25 by thufflife from Missouri on Aug 06, 2014
4.25 by navband from Michigan on Aug 03, 2014
1.5 by Howlader from Canada (AB) on Jul 20, 2014
3.75 by Oakenator from Pennsylvania on Jul 19, 2014
3.25 by DeadWalkerAir from South Carolina on Jul 09, 2014
3.25 by KAF from Iowa on Jul 06, 2014
3.5 by kylehay2004 from Illinois on Jun 21, 2014
3.75 by dradair from Missouri on Jun 05, 2014
3.75 by jleidner from New Jersey on May 29, 2014
Kelpie Seaweed Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 422 ratings