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 #17
Ranked #25,121
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
Dec 10, 2023
Sep 18, 2001
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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Ratings by The_Kriek_Freak:
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
Reviewed by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

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.
Mar 06, 2017
More User Ratings:
Photo of muchloveforhops3
Reviewed by muchloveforhops3 from Montana

3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
500ml bottle poured into a large snifter glass

p- deep mahogany- much darker than anticipated; 1-2f light tan head; good-looking pour
n- med aroma of sweet toasted malt; pleasant
t- follows nose; sweet well-toasted malts; hints of caramel, cola, and nutty sweetness as well; light-mod bitterness in the fin; simple and pleasant
mf- med-bodied; plenty of carb; very nice body (especially for the low abv)
o- enjoyable- exceeded my expectations; a fairly tasty, easy-drinking low abv brew; would have again

review date: 01.24.16
bottle date: stamped L1512 1840
Dec 10, 2023
Rated: 4.16 by Daneve76 from Australia

Jun 07, 2021
Rated: 3.53 by sorsh_a_ghlinne from Scotland

Dec 28, 2020
Photo of ChrisCummings120
Reviewed by ChrisCummings120 from Florida

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!
Mar 25, 2017
Photo of Malt_Man
Reviewed by Malt_Man from England

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.
Jun 25, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

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!"
Apr 27, 2016
Rated: 3.68 by GregJ from Louisiana

Dec 26, 2015
Photo of Tusked_pinniped
Reviewed by Tusked_pinniped from New Hampshire

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.
Dec 06, 2015
Photo of Antc2382
Reviewed by Antc2382 from New Jersey

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.
Nov 14, 2015
Rated: 2.75 by sweemzander from Illinois

Nov 11, 2015
Rated: 3 by SocalKicks from California

Oct 29, 2015
Rated: 3.59 by gatorlove from Florida

Aug 31, 2015
Photo of papat444
Rated by papat444 from Canada (QC)

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Flashback #403
Aug 19, 2015
Photo of pat61
Reviewed by pat61 from Minnesota

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.
Aug 18, 2015
Rated: 2.96 by Molson2000 from Canada (ON)

Aug 17, 2015
Rated: 4.69 by Tonkotsuramen from Australia

Aug 11, 2015
Photo of Andrewharemza
Reviewed by Andrewharemza from Australia

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.
Jul 21, 2015
Photo of soulgrowl
Reviewed by soulgrowl from England

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.
Jul 16, 2015
Rated: 3.7 by geodonnokepyo from Pennsylvania

Jul 03, 2015
Kelpie Seaweed Ale from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 423 ratings