Grozet | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

459 Ratings

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: 328 | Ratings: 459
Photo of marburg
4.32/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The highlight for me is clearly the aroma. It's hazed, light appearance is an obvious prelude to the slightly wheaty, refreshing characteristics. But the nose is where it's at: An exotic mix of lemon, lemon balm, and rotting berries delights the senses and comes in waves to be savored and contemplated. The flavor is reminiscent of chewing on lemon grass and drinking chamomile herbal tea. Leaves a slight cottonmouth-ish feeling. The body is thin and slightly anemic. A little more carbonation and body would carry this really unique beer into the stratosphere.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

NOTE: OLD BOTTLE TASTED! Medium brown color, slightly cloudy. Small head. Aroma is fruity, more applish than berrish. A light bodied wheat. More apple cider like than beer. No real malt or hop taste. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is fruity. After notes were taken, I noticed the best by date was Oct 2000. This beer was tasted nearly 30 month after that date. Will need to re-taste with a fresh beer.

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Photo of taez555
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a very small white head that cleared very quickly. The body was a hazy brown/amber with lots of fine sediment floating around.

The nose was interesting. Lemon, apple cider smells, just a full cornicopia of sour fruit flavors. Some subtle malt, but mostly it smelled very lambic esque.

The taste was very smooth and tart. A very light carbonation. At first it started off with a firm ale taste. Almost no bitterness at all, but a lot of earthy hop flavor. What then followed, what I can only assume, was this sour lambic like gooseberry attack. Lots of weird sour fruit flavors. Most likely the gooseberry. It ended on a sour and slightly bitter note not lingering too long.

Overall... I'm really not sure what to say about this beer. It was deffinatly interesting. Ale, meets cider, meets lambc. Not what you'd expect. In my notes I wrote gross but interesting, as if someone picked two styles of beer to mix together that shouldn't be mixed. It's not bad, but I probably won't be reaching for this on again.

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Photo of putnam
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy orange amber color.
Nose of buttery, whole wheat and charred Alpine cheese. There is a smart, sunny tartness that lifts the ample maltiness and creates detailed, delicate balance. After sniffing at it for ten minutes from a wine glass there does in fact emerge a subtle smell of sweet, thick-skinned black berry. It is an enigma. The more I focus on it, the less obvious it becomes. A slight smoky graphite flavor emerges later too. Clean. hazel. dry dry.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like the Heather Ale brewery quite a bit, big fan of Fraoch, have tried everything they've put out to the best of my abilities. So I was eager to be reunited with this "gooseberry wheat ale" and present my opinion.
Appearance: hazy, dull yellow color, short, and soon demised white head.
Aroma: sparkling, sprityzy, slightly fruity, a little sour.
Very easy-going, smooth ride over the lips and down the throat, with a decent helping of good wheaten gritty texture. This ale trips very lightly along, and maintains a delicate fruity taste that just seems to float on the tongue.
Light in body, moderately spiced and very mild in flavor. An interesting experiment/recreation, and a nice little beer. Nothing that will blow you away, nossir, but a nice, mellow brew, more than adequate as a simple dessert or a mellow nightcap.
Thanks to JohynnyDuvel for the reunion!

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Photo of KroMagnon
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a gooseberry and wheat ale. The label gives us a little history lesson about 16th century Scottish brewing. This beer is a "special concoction of malts, wild spices and ripe gooseberries". First off, I don't know what a gooseberry tastes or smells like; furthermore, I don't know much about bog myrtle or meadowsweet either, which are all listed in the ingredients list along with the hops, malted barley and wheat. Nevertheless, the beer itself poured into a nice orange-yellow liquid with some cloudiness (as warned on the label). The head was nice and white, not terribly long-lived but decent. The aroma has a faint cereal note along with some floral hints and a touch of spiciness, which seems to me like a cross between fresh hay and Eastern spices (maybe cumin or curry?) The flavor is smooth, rather drinkable with some slightly tart notes that reminds me of granny smith apple, blended with slightly sweet malt and light bitterness at the end for balance. The spices are nicely blended and strike me as being somewhat secretive - I don't taste and smell the spices as a dominant note, but I can tell they are there. In this mode, these unusual ingrediants compliment the beer and function much as flavor and aroma hops (and specialty grains) do in 'regular' beers. I rather enjoyed this and I think it would be good for many occaisions, and although it doesn't blow me away, I think it is a very accessible beer without being bland and insipid.

For the BJCP style experimental or historical beer, I"d peg this around 4.5/5 - its very well done.

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Photo of granger10
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It has the appearance of apple juice. That's not good. Overall it was a decent beer and I'm glad I experienced a gooseberry ale in my life. But I don't think I will be drinking this again anytime soon. It has a variety of flavors but they don't blend the best. I taste grains and a tartness to this beer. The gooseberries were definitely recognized, esp. in the aftertaste. This tasted better after the first couple of sips. Overall a decent, not terrific, beer

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown glass bottle. It has a very simplistic style label (it almost looks like it was drawn by a young child) that has picture of a gooseberry surrounded by the words, “Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale”.

Appearance: Golden amber color with a slight haze, the label states that this is to be expected and is from the natural fruit & cereal proteins. Tight, but thin head, that despite its relatively broken appearance, somehow it clings for dear life to always cover the beers surface - just. Large bubbles at the edge leave some simple lace trails. Rather plain looking to be honest.

Nose: Whow, quite the new kid on the block. I could definitely dissociate the Wheat from other less discernable aromas. But what were these other aromas? Well, I struggled, apart from the dominant Wheat and Grain odors; I got sour apples (probably the gooseberries) as well as fresh pears.

Taste: Light grain tastes mixed with soft skinned fruits of various kinds. Grapes, Gooseberries, sour Apples and some soft partially rotten Pears. Slight phenolic tastes in the aftertaste that is not unpleasant, but rather disconcerting and distracting at times. A difficult one – I would hesitate to use the word complex, or even layered, it is just plain bloody strange!

Mouthfeel: Average, the wheat gives it a strong grain feel but the sour phenolic twang in the finish ruin what good mouthfeel it had.

Drinkability: Well, I drank the 33cl without much hassle, but this was because of the strange, rather than weird, aftertastes make this beer a puzzler, and invite you to keep drinking mouthfuls to work out just what the hell the strange tastes are. I would say that it was just barely a 3.0, because I’m in a good mood!

Overall: Different. Top Marks for recreating this brew style, and I hope it continues to be brewed so that others can try this auld Scots beer recipe. But, I for one will not be seeking, or even drinking, this one again though; it’s just not to my taste to be honest. Rather Disappointing.

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Photo of Realale
2.72/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky yellow brown. Small, thin white head disappears quickly, leaving only a tiny rim of foam and the odd island or two. Frankly, its one of the more unattractive beers I've seen, with a very pathetic head for a beer with significant wheat in the grain bill.

Nose is but a faint whiff of grain. With time, some extremely faint melon and herb notes come out.

It is quite wheaty in the mouth, with a refreshing green citric/melon character from the mid-palate on. The finish adds some leafy/earthy notes. It tastes decent, and the gooseberries add an intriguing flavor, but every other aspect of the beer is sub-par at best.

The mouthfeel is odd, as the beer is very lightly carbonated - again, quite strange for a wheat beer. It just sort of lays on your palate. A very poor effort from an otherwise quality producer.

330 ml bottle. Best before date of June, 2004.

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Photo of purplehops
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Grozet poured a hazy pale yellow with a volcanic white head that left some lacing on the glass. The aroma was wheat malt along with dried fruit notes and a slight acidic alcohol smell. The taste started with a weak lemon water flavor and quickly built to a thin wheat beer flavor with hints of lemon. It isn't until the finish that you can start to taste the gooseberries. Aftertaste is a dying off of the lemon and malt flavors leaving you with acidic sour gooseberry flavors and some herbal notes. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a very thin body.
Overall my least favorite of the Heather Ale products. Grozet has the least amount of complexity and character of their products. IMHO Grozet is way to thin for a re-creation of a 500 year old Scotch monastic brew. My hat is off to Heather Ale for their attempts of keeping historic brewing methods and ingredients alive; but this one needs to be reworked, IMHO.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle "Best before" date: 10/2004

Appearance: hazy straw/gold (like a weizen or gueuze), large bubbles, low head formation like that of a lager

Aroma: gooseberries, malt, a sour twang, wisp of alcohol, tiniest bit of diacetyl

Flavor: a lambic-like tartness predominates but is followed by a bitterness that is hard to place (almost Bretthanomyces-like), notes of spices like juniper and all-spice, no sweetness to speak of, very dry finish with a gooseberry aftertaste, plays out kind of like a Belgian lambic, half way through the glass I realize the bitterness is exactly like that of gooseberry or grape skins

Mouthfeel: light body, tight/fine carbonation, definite astringency from the berries

Overall impression: an interesting beer, no doubt... but to be honest I was a bit disappointed with it. I really enjoy their Alba Scots Pine Ale and the Heather Ale, so my expectations were high. Worth a try though, you might like it.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.99/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Right from the start this gets points with me for its uniqueness, I am a sucker for old traditional styles that fly in the face of the Reinheitsgebot. In fact I've yet to try an ale or lager from Scotland
that I didn't like.

Its appearance is that of a slightly cloudy straw gold, pouring with a white bubbly head that disappears quickly, and both malt and hops are overshadowed by a very prominent citrusy fruit aroma. There is definitely something else lurking around in there. That would be the gooseberries. The taste is quite tart, yet refreshing, not quite what you would expect from a pale ale or a lager. And that's part of the appeal for me. Perfect to serve in a tall
fluted glass for a special occassion, hovering somewhere between
a light ale and a bittersweet mead, this is definitely different from what you'd normally pick up at the gas station. It's not something that I'd drink every day, but definitely something that I'd think back to from time to time, and remember fondly.

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Photo of goz
2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour is pale golden, with a small white head, quickly diminishing to nothing. Aroma is fruity and sweet, hints of banana. Flavor is mildly spicy, fruity, and quite sweet. Body was on the light side, strongly carbonated, finished clean. Fairly boring and unimpressive.

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

Pours a light golden color, very clear. I was expection more out of this one. I bought it along with Fraoch, Ebulum, and Kelpie. Those three had some great flavors in them. This one is rather bland. I can sense just a touch of berry in there, other than that, it's just a little sweetness. Very easy to drink though, I could definitely drink a few if need be.

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Photo of scottum
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy straw color with a bit of head. Light and sweetish... Tastes of berry and some other malts. Nice flavor balance. This is a very good brew for a fruity beer. worth a shot certainly. I could see how this could be a favorite brew for some lucky BA.

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

This brew pours a hazy straw color with a minimal head that leaves rather quickly leaving no lace behind. A mild hop aroma along with berries and other citrus fruits fill the nose. A strong hop flavor, along with the ame beries flavor provides the palatte with many layers to seperate. This was an allright beer I was hoping for a little better but heah, you don't know until you try it.


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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear amber color on the pour, the head modest in size, frothy in texture and the lace adequate to conceal the glass. Malt the major aroma, with an underlying ripe apple sweetness, start is quite sweet with adequate malt, top is skeletal. The finish has a "Wee Bit of Hops", scarcely carbonated, and a dry lingering aftertaste. Not quite sure what I expected a "Celtic Ale" to be, but a bit more robust was one thing, disappointing.

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Photo of cokes
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BB: Aug 2004.
Golden, pilsner-like body. Virtually crystal clear. Replenishing head fades to a skimming, but doesn't go away.
Funky, nearly skunked aroma. German hops and hints of berry sweetness are evident.
Taste seems primarily of pils malt. Starts fairly dry and cracker-like. Light spices and herbs seep in. Berry flavor is featured, but more subtle than expected. More berries as it warm, but never to an obnoxious level. I am not picking up any of the wheat tones. Snap of prickly hops finishes this brew.
Light bodied, sweet, yet crisp with relatively high carbonation.
One of the tamer Heather brews (along with the Fraoch), but this is worthy in its own right. More of an interesting quencher than an experience.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy straw color with no head at all. A slightly fruity smell but no very powerful. The name is kind of fooling as you would think that it would be more fruity. Starts out sweet and ends a tiny bit sour in the finish, but still refreshing. I don't believe that I have ever had anything like this. I still think this is worth trying if you have never had it.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly hazy, light orange in color, with very low carbonation. No head at all to speak of from the bottle I poured. Tart, citrusy and very acidic aroma. The flavor is much sweeter than it would lead you to expect. Fruity and berry-like, with perhaps a hint of banana lingering in the background. The wheat flavors balance the beer out nicely, though, and prevent it from being cloying. Light-bodied, with a lightly sweet finish, with a mild berry aftertaste. Quite drinkable and refreshing. Good summer ale.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is straw colored and a bit hazy with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. It has a slightly herbaceous aroma (gooseberries I guess. I've never tasted one before). A light-bodied brew, the grape sweet tart flavors are obvious but do not overwhelm...balanced by crisp, dry grain. Carbonation is tight, almost champagne-like. This would make a good summer quencher.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale golden colour, slightly hazy due to the chill. Nose is fairly sweet and tart. The flavour had gooseberries, I'll agree, but I detected something of a more sprucey flavour. Strange really. We'll blame it on my stuffed nose due to the cold weather recently. Still, I liked it. And I'll have to try it again later. I'm most intrigued by the bogmyrtle and meadowsweet which are listed in the ingredients....

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Photo of StevieW
1.56/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Small brown bottle with September '03 expiration date. Pours a cloudy, pale, nearly peach color. Smell was somewhat metallic, and harsh. Very different. Taste was very oddly tart, overly tart, and highly acidic, to the point where my eyes nearly bugged out of my head. There is a point when tastes fade from subtle to non-existant. This is such a case. Other than drinking a sweet-tart with seltzer water, I can't even describe this. Very thin, watery, oddly metallic finish. Sorry I couldn't finish this one. It may be a bad batch, I read the article before drinking it, but just not for me. A horrible concoction never again to be sipped.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure if I like this beer... ... or I love it! Definitely unique. I wasn't sure about it at first. It needs to grow on you. Tawny golden color with a thin, lightly lingering head. I'm not sure of the aroma - I guess it's the gooseberry that's supposedly included. However, there's more of a citrusy side to it. It's not unpleasant, but curious. The body is light/medium and a slight tartness combined with moderate carbonation gives it a somewhat thin appearance on the palate. The flavor opens up much more than the aroma indicates with an odd, juicy, subtly tart character that is compelling. Soft and well balanced. Finishes with a lingering fruity dryness. Quite refreshing once you get past it's quirkiness. Not real complex, but memorable. A sleeper.

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Photo of aracauna
2.46/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was less than impressed with this beer. The aroma was a little sour and overall not appealing and first sip reminded me vaguely of water (maybe because of it's lack of taste?) The second sip got better as did the following sips as I started to pick up more of the gooseberry flavor. Very little malt presence (says it's a wheat ale on the label)and the berry flavor dominates the flavor profile. After I had hit the halfway point, this beer becaem harder and harder to drink. Maybe I'm just not that big of a fan of gooseberries. Maybe I just don't like kool-aid mixed with my beer.

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Grozet from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 459 ratings.
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