Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale | Laughing Dog Brewing

Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream AleLaughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale
BA SCORE
29.7%
Liked This Beer
3.38 w/ 192 ratings
Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream AleLaughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States
laughingdogbrewing.com

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
The huckleberry is native to the Pacific Northwest and it is prized for its sweetness and texture. To celebrate summer and the huckleberry picking season, we have blended real huckleberries from last season with our cream ale.

Added by woemad on 07-24-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#41,370
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
192
Liked:
57
Avg:
3.38/5
pDev:
17.46%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
14
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Bottled 4/24/13.

Pours a murky light yellow-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, metal, and sugar free artificial berry syrup aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and indistinct berry flavors on the finish. There is a slight amount of acidity on the palate that lingers long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is pretty decent taste wise but the artificial, sugar free aromas are pretty poor for a fruit beer.

 646 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, from a recent trek through southern Idaho. Hottest day so far this summer, so it's fruit beer time!

This beer pours a mostly clear, medium golden amber hue, with one finger of creamy, and yet weakly foamy dirty white head, which leaves but a few specks of lace around the glass as it evenly settles, where it becomes evident that there seems to be a fair bit of fine particulate suspension as well.

It smells of donut-topping sweet huckleberry fruit, and doughy creamy malt - very reminiscent of the huckleberry ice cream I had somewhere on that trip. The taste is mild pale malt, and some strange tart citrus/huckleberry fruitiness, that devolves into a more green vegetal fruit essence, joining with the earthy hops to dry this sucker right out.

The carbonation is average, manifesting in just a wan frothiness throughout, the body medium-light in weight, and a little edgier than desirable for true smoothness, but decent enough in that respect. It finishes off-dry, barely, the weak malt overrun by that lingering semi-sweet berry fruitiness.

I had a bunch of this in a previous lifetime in Sandpoint - wasn't wowed then, and am not particularly wowed now. Interesting enough to try, but nothing I'd want to continue putting back on that patio I'm dying to get to today.

 1,293 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Bottled 03/27/2012.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent pale copper-yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Sour yeast/bacteria, berry, cream, and clean malts. An intriguing aroma for a cream ale. Fairly strong. I'm excited to try it.

T: Yeasty, with candy/sweets notes throughout. Berry certainly comes through. I'm reminded of a Halloween candy I can't quite remember. Nicely tart. Clean malts lend it body and provide the backbone. It isn't quite as creamy as say, Kilkenny, but it does alright for itself. Imbalanced. Not real complex or subtle, but it does experiment with the style - which I like. I just don't know that I find the flavour appealing. The tart finish is lovely.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thin and lacking sufficient body. Not as creamy as it needs to be. A touch overcarbonated. Perhaps a bit watery as well.

Dr: It's drinkable, but the taste isn't particularly great. It might be a niche appeal, so try it - just don't expect much. Decently priced for what it is, I guess.

C

 1,425 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 6/5/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Good spotty lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big tart huckleberries, berry skin, bread, straw, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Very nice aromas with big fruitiness that smells very pleasant, and quite balanced. Taste of biscuit, huckleberry, toast, herbal, earth, grassiness, and light spiciness. Slight fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of huckleberry, grass, herbal, biscuit, and earthy spices on the finish for a short bit. Quite dry on the finish as expected. Taste has good flavor balance; but is a bit weak and there is not as much berry flavors as the aromas suggested. Very authentic tasting fruit flavor; no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and very crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good cream ale. Good amount of flavor and balance; very refreshing and smooth to drink.

 1,135 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Laughing Dog "Huckleberry Cream Ale"
12 oz. can, no apparent freshness dating
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Claymont, DE

This is not the first time I've had this beer. I recall having had a 22 oz. bottle at one time years ago (although they only do 12 oz. now so maybe it was just a single...?). I recall not being impressed with it at the time because it was kind of blocky, but I feel that Laughing Dog has really improved their brewing across the board, and this was nicely balanced and rounded. And what makes it stand out now is that it's unique. There are plenty of raspberry wheats and so forth on the market, but I can think of only a small handful of other huckleberry beers. With that said, I can't really describe Huckleberry as I've never actually tasted the actual fruit, but I think I get the gist of it through drinking this beer: it's kind of like a soft red raspberry, but not... there's more to it... like a sweet blueberry. And whatever you might come up with, it works really well in their cream ale base because it's got the fruit character, but it's neither too tart, too sweet, nor too bitter. I think it would make a great summer ale, and I'm sure that it would work really well as a dessert beer if paired properly with the right accompaniment.

 1,267 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very fresh (March 2013 bottling) 12 oz bottle with a trace of sediment in the bottom. pours a red-orange-amber; clear; small head that soon reduces to a tiny bit of film and a partial ring.

S: Nice fruity smell; natural huckleberry is believable. Sweet but more fruity than like candy. Light baked bread in the background.

Taste: Huckleberries!! Taste rating bumped up for the high quality fruit treatment here. Also features a bready malt base and a touch of hops. .

M: nice smooth feel in this medium bodied ale. Well chosen, moderate level of carbonation.

O: I had this as a light dessert beer and it worked well. Refreshing, with a pleasant, natural fruitiness. Moderately sweet but not cloying or candied.

Revisited and rating revised (slightly lowered) in response to a 12 oz can that tasted like a bit of wild yeast was involved.

 844 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy pale to medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass and some faint apricot highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a very thin film covering the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of huckleberries (slightly sweet) over the top of lighter aromas of grainy malts and just a hint of lemon citrus.

T: Upfront there is a slightly sweet moderate flavor of grainy malts. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet slightly tart huckleberries and just a light amount of lemon zest flavors. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy albeit a touch thin.

O: I enjoyed this one and found it extremely easy to drink. Definitely sessionable and I think the huckleberry additions to a cream ale are a winning combination in my book.

 1,045 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of atrocity
2.25/5  rDev -33.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, light yellow body with tons of carbonation spewing forth a tall, airy head fed by continued streams of effervescence.

Smell: Tart, tangy fruitiness overtop mild base malts (with some sweetish hints about it) and even milder hops.

Taste: Mild maltiness (just barely bready) given a liberal dusting of powdered sugar for a fair degree of sweetness. It's fruity and lightly tart, as one might imagine, with a flavor reminiscent of blueberries but a bit different and more distinctive. Mild hop character and bitterness. Berryish, sweet finish with a lingering hint of blue-colored cotton candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high, fizzy carbonation for a lively mouthfeel.

Overall: It's alright for a fruit beer.

 826 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.79/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orangish amber with a golden rim... that murks up nicely on the final pour. My hope was that there would be a hint of huckleberry blue, but no such luck. I hope enough berries were used. The ivory colored cap looks decent enough and is beginning to leave a tattered curtain of thick lace.

The nose delivers a surprising amount of fresh, bursting berry lusciousness. I know that huckleberries are supposed to taste a lot like blueberries, but this beer smells better than blueberries to me. There's a sweet, floral quality that I'm enjoying immensely.

Huckleberry Ale is good stuff. Let's get its faults out of the way first. I love hoppy beer, but there's a little too much bitterness here. Beer of this sort needs to be either neutral or needs to favor sweet and pale malty. While it isn't a deal breaker, cutting the hop additions in half would be a good place to start. Now, on to its merits.

Like the nose, the berries come though loud and clear on the taste buds. Why the beer isn't some faint shade of blue, I have no idea. It's easy to appreciate the vanilla-like qualities of the base cream ale, along with a light sweetness that does what it can against the alpha acids. The flavor proportions are just right. A wee bit more huckleberry jam would be great as well.

The mouthfeel is at least medium for the style, perhaps a shade more creamy-full. I have no complaints about the 'just right' amount of carbonation either.

In the end, I've decided to knock the taste and drinkability scores back one notch due to the bitterness. It keeps me from really enjoying what could be an outstanding fruit beer. With a single tweak, Huckleberry Ale could be one of the best summer seasonals that I've had in many a summer. Thanks JohnGalt1.

 1,743 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I originally reviewed this on-tap during my visit to the Pacific Northwest back in 2007, but when I spied CANs in the cooler at Max's on Broadway in Baltimore, MD, I was ecstatic and ready to re-review it!

From the CAN: "The huckleberry is native to the Pacific Northwest and is prized for its sweetness and texture. To celebrate summer and the huckleberry picking season, we have blended real huckleberries with our Cream Ale."; "Smooth and creamy with a light touch of huckleberries, it would be great at the lake, a BBQ or simply just relaxing away a long summer day."; "Just like the berries, Huckleberry Creme [sic] Ale will be available for your enjoyment for a limited time! You never know when it will be gone until next year."

I love the squirters! I Crack!ed the CAN open, only to have a squirt of beer across my knuckles. Hee hee. My gentle pour still netted me a finger of fizzy, bone-white head with decent retention before becoming a skim on the surface of the beer. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. My Gelt Guys (Mammon, Croesus and Midas) quickly appeared to see and taste what was up as I made my preparations. Nose smelled like fruit jelly! I would be jelly if I didn't have a CAN of my own. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was sweet and very berry-like. Ha! I really tasted pancakes with berry syrup in my mouth. Suddenly, it was 1995 and the Black & Gold Brigade was in Oxnard to visit me and we were off to breakfast at an outdoor-seating coffee shop. I had pancakes with bacon and slathered with berry syrup as we sat and laughed when Mad Dog spilled something. I love those guys. I was really loving this beer! I was an underage beer drinker who favored Genesee Cream Ale in CANs above all others and this is so evocative of those salad days. Finish was smooth, sweet and simply satisfying. Scoff all you like, but me likee!



This arrived with just a thin coating of head, but that was par for a fruit beer, so I was down with it. My CouchSurfing host, Phil, said that he noted cloves on the nose, which was certainly within the realm of possibility, but I just got a very berry-like sweetness, like jelly. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a very berry-like taste in the mouth. Finish was still intensely sweet with huckleberries. I probably would not want a steady diet of this, but on a hot summer day with pizza, it was perfect. Looking over my shoulder at the taps, the dog continued to laugh. Good boy!

 2,479 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a standard pint glass.
A - A clear golden ale with a white 1 finger head that leaves nice ringlets of lace clinging.

S - The smell is very jammy. A real strong huckleberry scent like muffins or a tart w/ a gentle ale scent in the background.

M - A light sweet, refreshing and carbonated ale.

T - Sweet cream ale w/ a heavy dose of fruit flavor. The fruit reminds me of an Ihop pancake syrup flavor. They claim to use real huckleberries and I believe them since it has no cloying attributes. The ale leaves a nice clean taste in your mouth herbal tea flavored with fruit.

D - A fruit flavored ale quaffer's delight. Not too fruity to be considered a 'beer cooler', but a fine amount of fruit for a cream ale. A great beer for summer. I would quaff this again if given the chance.

 810 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rab53
1.75/5  rDev -48.2%

Photo of VeganUndead
2.75/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin white head that slowly vanishes.

The smell is tart with faint berry (huckleberry, of course).

The taste is of mild tartness/slightly sour with berries - huckleberries, as expected - with bready and light malty notes and a bitterish touch.

The carbonation is somewhat fizzy/prickly. Light-bodied.

Fruit is dominating, but is there. It says on the label that the berries are known for their sweetness and texture. Well, when translated to this beer, there's not much in sweetness (which is fine, as many fruit beers push the sweetness too far, in my opinion - but this could use a kiss more), and the texture has been hampered a bit from the fizz/carbonation on the prickly side. The tart quality - while I can appreciate it in a fruit beer, is a "different" here. This isn't a mediocre brew because it is run-of-the-mill, in fact, I think it is different. Of course, that may be from having a cream ale base rather than typical pale wheat, but I still am not so impressed. A bit too tart, bready and bitterish for what it is, and I certainly don't want to be dominated by the huckleberries, they could use a pinch more. In the end, I didn't mind having the one, it's okay...

 1,217 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is great, malty, yeasty, very nice blueberry scent, with some caramel. The taste is malty, yeasty, sour, nice blueberry notes, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, if not for the soury taste I would rate this higher, but it is tasty though.

 421 characters

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the incredible woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head and lots of carbonation. Smell is dominated by berries. Taste is berries, some sourness, a bit of malts, refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a unique and decent beer.

 316 characters

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Laughing Dog Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 29.7% out of 100 with 192 ratings
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