Kelpie Seaweed Ale | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

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Kelpie Seaweed AleKelpie Seaweed Ale
420 Ratings
Kelpie Seaweed AleKelpie Seaweed Ale

Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2001

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Ratings: 420 |  Reviews: 291
Photo of ChrisCummings120
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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!

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!"

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Photo of GregJ
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tusked_pinniped
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of gatorlove
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flashback #403

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of Molson2000
2.96/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Tonkotsuramen
4.69/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mothmanscott
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of HellBlazerG
4.51/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

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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

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.

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Photo of hophugger
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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...

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Photo of jason_nwx
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Wiz99
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Sellen
4/5  rDev +10.5%

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Kelpie Seaweed Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 420 ratings