Grozet | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

327 Reviews

Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the Gaelic "Groseid", Since at least the 16th century Scots monks and alewives brewed indigenous drinks from cereals, wild herbs and ripe fruits. Tibbie Shiels green Grozet was immortalised by such Scots literati as Sir Walter Scott, Jas Hogg. (The Ettrick shepherd) and Robert Burns whoconsidered it a most convivial drink. Brewed with lager malt, wheat, bog myrtle, hops and meadowsweet then secondary fermented with ripe Scottish gooseberries.

Added by canadianbarman on 09-12-2001

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Reviews: 327 | Ratings: 458
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The last beer as part of the Williams Bros. 4 pack Sampler Pack. Served chilled.

Appearance - Clear pale mixture of golden and off-orange hues. Only 1/2 finger of frothy head with only Ok retention. Some bubbles rapidly rise to the surface.

Smell - Aromas of low-hanging fruit and rather floral. Tok a few whiffs and could get much more than that.

Taste - Quite fruity with a palpable dry taste and dry bitterness to the beer. Again well-disguised as I wasn't able to pick up much more than that.

Mouthfeel - Medium-low carbonation, dry finish and very soft feeling in the mouth as with other in this style. A bit fizzy feeling despite lower carbonation (although this works in favor of the beer here).

Overall - For whatever reason, I just didn't really enjoy this, one of those situations (to me at least) where the sum of the beer was less than the individual components. I think this is a beer worth revisiting, as I feel that I might evaluate this differently in the future, but i definitely found it to be the weakest beer of the sampler pack.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear pale golden color with a 1/2 finger white head and good lace. Lots of visible carbonation in the glass.

S: Earthy and a touch musty with an evident ripe berry and fruit backbone. Kiwi, red currant, gooseberry and some wet hay. An almost fruit leather note in there as well.

T: I don't know, kind of just tastes like a weak wheat ale. Underwhelming to say the least. Light slightly sour wheat note that kind of just dies. Some grain, chalky yeast and, yeah, off-tasting wheat. That's about it. Damn it.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So I picked this up kind of on a whim when I went to the beer store (the best kind of store there is).
Pours a hazy thick orange/amber colour. more bubbles than really head, if that makes sense.
I can't decide how I feel about the aroma on this one. Theres a decidedly fermented characteristic to it that I take to be from the gooseberries. Some herbs and a touch of spice on the back end, but the pervasive characteristic is almost musty. Kind of reminds me of when I worked at a vineyard. Actually, that's the best description I can think of: musty fermented berries and white grapes. There's a hint of sweet somewhere in there as well.

It is sweeter than I expected, with honey being the first thing that hits me, then that musty white grape note comes back. It's sweeter on the tongue than on the nose, and the musty fermented aroma gives way to a fruitier flavour. I actually find myself kind of enjoying it, at least moreso than I expected.

The taste is a little... not quite watery, but trending in that direction (p value not within significance), but I can't say it's thin because it actually has a medium to chewy body, which I find quite appealing. After smelling it, I was concerned that this would be kind of stale and brackish on the tongue, but it's actually quite crisp and refreshing. I find myself pleasantly surprised, and would certainly consider it again.

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Photo of WGO
3.01/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Opalescent lager and lime in colour. small off white head.
Lime, gooseberry & bubble bath on the nose.
Dry lager background with a fruit twist.
Mouthfeel soapy and oily.
Not my type of thing. Comes across a bit medicinal.
Best when served really cold.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.94/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a golden amber color. What head is formed is rather miniscule (much less than a finger high), and what little is there fades quick anyways. Lacing is sparse and thin-looking.

S: Rather wheaty and crisp. There is a touch of fruit, but one has to really bury their nose in the glass to find it. On the plus side, at least it doesn't seem like it will cloy...right?

T: There's a decent wheat flavor to start. Soon after, a fruity note briefly pops up before getting swallowed by the crisp bite. Maybe there's a touch of spice on the aftertaste. Crisp? Yes. Easy drinking? Yes. Interesting? Nope.

M: The initial feel is fairly sweet, which is thankfully saved with high carbonation and a crisp bite. Can't fault it for going down easily. Only thing is that it's a bit heavy in texture.

O: I don't get much difference between this and a typical fruity wheat ale, but at least this better than some of the crappier examples of the style. Due to the fact that it's kind of pricey for what it is, I probably won't get this again.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a mason jar in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One finger and a half white head with middling retention atop a golden, slightly hazy body. Looks awfully nice.

S- Crisp aroma, lager smell. Clean.

T- Tastes clean and light fruity. Nice flavor, not complex though. Slightly tart.

M- Thin lager feel. Not bad at all.

O- Very crisp, tasty beer. Not much to say about it.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pouring this out, something immediately seemed amiss - very little foam and/or evidence of carbonation. What foam formed, disappeared in short time. The bottle had a best-by of Oct 2010. I'm not sure I've ever seen one of these Williams herb ales relatively fresh. Is there a warehouse somewhere with pallets upon pallets of these beers just rotting? What are their sales reps doing?! I realize there's no urgency for distributors to move this but, c'mon, someone ought to be pimpin' these.

It's a pale sunset yellow-gold with a moderate haze. There's somewhat faint but certainly apparent spicy-herbal and -floral aromas, and they're really quite lovely. A bit exotic and unfamiliar - maybe with a quality of the types of aromas you'd get in middle-eastern cuisine? Definitely not hops and not exactly yeast-like.... Like a floral soap or some other item found in an old lady's bathroom.... Aged/oxidized, sweet, honeyish malt is also apparent, but sits in a degree of harmony with the herbs.

This aged malt, however, comes much more to the fore on the palate, and looms moderately prominent in the aftertaste - something I've tasted quite many times in old German bocks and lagers. The big, bold roundness of the body is another tell-tale sign of age, but here I'm finding a pleasant, very mild citrus-y tingle in the finish, while the body more or less drops off dry, leaving only minimal nectary residual viscosity on the tongue.

What really saves this from me dumping it out though is those exotic spicy (vaguely cinnamon) flavors somehow remaining after all this time - not that they're in great balance with the mature malt - they compliment enough to where this comes across almost like a weak mead, with a menthol-like spicy coolness lasting, threading through each sip.

... this was an old bottle though and I'll reiterate the fact that I would love to get a fresh one. Just gonna have to take a tour of the brewery, I guess.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz

Pours amber gold, white film for a head.

Smells of honey, citrus and white grapes.

Tastes of wheat malt, light berry sweetness, and a twinge of bitterness not very hop-like.

Medium body with a light sting of carbonation on the tongue.

A good light ale, interesting flavor, worth trying for its uniqueness.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2013, so it's just out of date. Picked up cheap from Trembling Madness in York; I hope it's still in good condition. This is based on a Scottish gruit that includes gooseberries in the recipe (the label describes gooseberries as citrus fruit, which is a bit strange as they are actually a type of currant).

Poured into a straight pint glass. A rich amber hue with faint haze and medium carbonation. Yields a small head of white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling. Aroma of nutty malt with hints of gooseberries, acidic fruit, grass/hay, faint caramel and subtle earthy yeast.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a fruity sourness and a dry finish. Notes of tart gooseberries, grass/hay, faint nuttiness and earthy yeast. Well attenuated and acidic, with a delicate bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with a light body and a stimulating sourness. Carbonation could be a bit more spritzy. Slightly astringent, with an aftertaste of mild fruit and a hint of malt.

Pretty good - the light malt and restrained hopping complement the floral fruit flavours without overshadowing them. The label describes it as a brew designed to refresh, which the mild-tasting but sour gooseberry will certainly achieve. The lagering process adds depth to the beer's character. A decent effort that would go down well on a warm day. Worth sampling if you come across it.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean amber, with limited carbonation and virtually no lace.

Nose is unusual and fruity, with a hint of sour somehow. Not bad.

Taste is fruit (gooseberry?) up front, with a follow-through of cereal grains. The finish ends up with a tinge of hops. But it's slight. Very moderate.

Enjoyable, and certainly not bad, just somehow underwhelming.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale gold with a scant white head -- but the lace this brew leaves is incredible in light of the lack of head.

Not much for aroma's sake. Some perfume and flowery notes, but hard to find.

This brew is better as it warms a bit. Malt is pleasant and has no corny.adjunct element. Palate clears from grainy note to some bitterness, then an herbal note. Not sure which herb, but it is there. The gooseberry barely appears, but it does work, in whatever respect it shows. Beer dries out, with bitter and malty notes.

Lighter bodied, ok carbonation.

Interesting for the style. Not a particularly great representation of the style, but it still works on its own. Worth a try.

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Photo of Rutager
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy Gruit day!!!

Appearance. Pours a yellow-gold with a bit of haze and a finger of white head that leaves some decent bands.

Smell. Red berries, earthy herbs, sweet light malts and a bit of floral perfume.

Taste. Sweet light grains, faint sour berry and bitter, earthy, and maybe slightly floral herbs in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium-low carboantion.

Overall. Interesting beer. Not the best tasting beer I've had, but not terrible. I think one time is enough.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent straw colored, golden body with lively bubbles of carbonation dancing upward to meet the pure white head, which is slow to dissolve leaving a scattered, bubbly lacing.

Fresh, clean wheat and just a hint of berries greet the nose. Citrus zest and lemon are also present and perhaps a touch of sweet white grapes.

The flavor is quite interesting featuring more wheat and a touch of grain with additional gooseberries and zest as well as a touch of spice. There is also an herbal and earthy quality and more wheat at the finish. Again, this is a very unique variety of flavors.

This beer is lighter in body with generous carbonation with a clean, wheaty finish.

I found this to be a great beer. Tons of character and appropriate for the style. Very clean and flavorful from beginning to end.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep straw, light golden color with a smallish bubbly white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of mild spice rack with a light tart fruitiness and a it of sweet bready sugary malt. The flavor is graham cracker and pilsner malt with a light fruity tartness as well as a large amount of non descript spices. Light to medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet spicy mouthfeel. Another one that is quite different, but I liked it. The sweetness in the malt works well with the high level of spice.

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Photo of SebD
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice semi-cloudy pale yellow color to it. It has a nice white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, lemon, berries, some breadiness and wheat malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some citrus/lemon, sweet berries, bready feel, wheat malts and a slight graininess.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice but somewhat light overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the Historic Ales from Scotland mixer from the local LCBO.

A - Pours a slightly hazy pale golden colour, finger of head with little retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Mild on the nose, hints of sweet citrus rind, sugary lemon iced tea, hints of raspberry and bready malts on the finish.

T - A sour flavoured ale, heavy bitter citrus rind, the wheat flavours linger alongside a tart berry flavour.

M - Medium bodied, smoot and a touch of dryness.

O - A unique ale that has a heavy sour flavour that provides for a unique experience, but I can imagine would only appeal to a unique palette. Glad I tried it, though not certain it's something I would go out of my way to try again.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into pint glass, best before March 2013. Pours fairly crystal clear golden amber color with a small 1 finger white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of gooseberry, cherry, apple, herbal, floral, honey, light caramel, bread, grain, and wheat. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of caramel, bread, pear, light berry, toasted grain, wheat, herbal, floral, and light herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, bread, toasted grain, wheat, herbal, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Solid flavor balance and complexity; with a fair amount of flavors, but does border being watery a bit; zero cloying flavors on the finish. Slightly dry on the finish. Gooseberry flavor was not as prominent as I would have hoped. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice herbal ancient ale style. Nice flavor balance with decent complexity; very smooth and easy to drink. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before December 2013. I'm not entirely sure what gooseberries are, but I suppose I'm about to find out - besides, even if I'm not big on the fruit, I've never had a wheat beer I didn't find drinkable. Served chilled, into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy golden-yellow colour, topped with almost one finger's worth of dense, creamy white head. Retention is ok, but by a few minutes' time the only remnants are a smooth film on the surface and a modest ring of lacing around the edge. The aroma is pleasantly fruity and a bit floral, with hints of lemony citrus, apricots and berries, and a thin, wheaty malt backbone. Fairly appealing, but it could do with some more herb/berry.

Straightforward flavour; a biscuity, sweet wheat malt backbone, mingling with some lemon zest and berry flavour. Fairly herbal, with these notes flaring up toward the finish alongside some grassy hop dryness. The aftertaste is a bit fruity, with some lingering herbal bog myrtle notes. Thin-bodied, not really watery though - the wheat gives it enough chew to get by. The carbonation is moderate, but it's enough to make its fizzy presence noticeable throughout the sip. Very easy to drink quickly for a spiced brew, but this probably owes to its simplicity and light body.

Final Grade: 3.55, a B grade. Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale is a respectable offering, but not a very memorable one. It sort of reminds me of an American pale wheat ale with a slight touch of herbs and berries; a borderline bland base with nearly enough accents to make it interesting, but not quite getting there. The wheat malt and herb flavours actually do work quite well together, and it's certainly quite drinkable, but I doubt I'll be clamoring for another any time soon. I'm not sure what gooseberries are supposed to taste like, but I do know that using more probably would have made this a bit more interesting. I'll give this brew a thumbs up, but it's a wavering sort of one - probably not worth picking up on its own, but not a bad inclusion in this sampler.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Best before December, 2004...oops.

3.0 A: Lightly hazed orange yellow color. Appears to have no carbonation.

4.0 S: Very fragrant nose. Lots of floral and herbal notes. Smells like a craft store really. I assume a lot of the aroma comes from the gooseberries, but I don't really know since I have no idea what a gooseberry is. Honey behind the flowers, lots of honey. Wheaty, wildflower funk, and light fruits. Unique and quite interesting.

3.5 T: Tastes like the nose, but is less potent. Honey, big floweriness, herbs. Light fruits, wildflower funk, toastiness. Lots of earth and a light mineral.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. No carbonation. Drinks like a thickened water. Not bad, but not great either.

3.5 D: I don't know what this would be like fresh, but with a lot of time on it, it's quite tasty.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very clear - no wheat haze. Straw colored, with no head or lace to speak of.

S - Fruity, berry-sweet. No citrus or other ester characteristics typically found in wheat beer.

T - Minimal hop bitterness. Subdued berry sweetness that lingers on the tongue and throat after you swallow.

M - Mild carbonation which is near flat.

O - Overall, there is nothing wrong with this beer but it isn't particularly interesting either. Williams Brothers referring to this as a wheat ale sets expectations that aren't in line with the true style. This specialty is more of a curiosity than a must-try, but it is well executed and very drinkable.

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Photo of NV9
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow/gold colour with a small head that dissipates quickly.

Very fruity/citrus smell cover a bread aroma

berry at the front, flowery herb taste follows, slight hops, dry taste.

light drinking, the berry taste really takes over, dry/bitter aftertaste.

light drinkable beer but a full 5% ABV, this is my favourite from this taster pack so far.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: A light yellow color with a one-finger head that quickly dissipates.
S: Quite fruity, very sweet, with forward malt notes; I'm not getting any hops.
T: Malty, sweet, a bit of fruit. I'm getting a bit of gooseberry flavor on the finish, but it lacks the acid/tang I'm used to with gooseberries.
M: Light bodied, sweet.
O: It's okay, tastes good if you're in the mood for dessert but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle best before AUG 2013. Poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Pale straw yellow with a small amount of white head that immediately receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Bready malts up front that immediately gives way to a sweet fruity/berry aroma. Fairly sweet overall.

T - Fairly sweet overall - a mix of fruity/berry flavours and bready/grainy malts. There is a tartness in the finish.

M - Light body with a slight bit of chew. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starting with a bit of a chill haze, this beer clears up to reveal a deep pale gold color to it. It forms a white head that starts a bit over one finger tall and holds well, fading eventually to thick foam. The lacing it drops is downright chunky if somewhat sporadic, but with plenty of coverage.
A bit of an herbal quality with a mix of raw, unripe berries and ripe ones. The wheat backbone reminds me of cracked white wheat, sort of lighter without a grainy edge. There's a bit of a perfume touch somewhat like lavender gives off.
Things develop more in the flavor, with a mainly herbal but not bracing blend of leafy and tea-like qualities sitting over the dry malts while light pale fruits sit alongside. Some tannins seem to come in underneath. All in all, this beer works.
The feel is light, as I would expect. It's both crisp and smooth, but each mildly, and a bit more of either would make for a livelier sip. As it is, it's easy to drink and is semi-dry, straddling the fence a bit.

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Photo of martino_cappachino
3.04/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass... beer was a little past best by date, Mar 2012, but not by much (it's April 7th right now).

Poured about a third an inch of frothy, fizzy foam that diminished fairly quickly. Lacing was fairly even.

Aroma had a mild twang, somewhat wild mountain (highland?) lingon / boysenberry-ish? Whiff's of a pebble beach on a cold, cloudy day. Spiced.

Color was a very cloudy, dusty wheat.

Taste texture was from sandy-smooth to a bit of grain. Flavor was a somewhat pale, older wheat bread - almost to a point of rye. More herbal (nettle?), on the edge of moldy, with some berry juice taste and sastringency. It's like they blended the leaves with berries... Intriguing and complex.

For some reason I thought this beer would be much sweeter..? But then I have to remember it is from Scotland... (Is there anything that's fairly sweet tasting from Scotland?) Will try more beers from the William Brothers, this one was interesting to say the least. Gotta try some actual gooseberries. And try this beer fresher too!

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Grozet from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 458 ratings.
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