Imaginary Day
Cambridge Brewing Company

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Style:
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #15
ABV:
6%
Score:
86
Ranked #22,460
Avg:
3.94 | pDev: 8.38%
Reviews:
2
Ratings:
12
From:
Cambridge Brewing Company
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  1
Gots
  0
SCORE
86
Very Good
Notes: Unhopped wild sour ale with foraged herbs and flowers, refermented with chardonnay grapes and aged 1 year in white wine barrels.
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 12 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ichorNet
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

CBC has been doing some amazing things on Mystic's equipment, and this seems to be no exception. I've had this before, so this is my second bottle, split with my roommate and good buddy Chris. Cheers dude!

Pours a rustic-looking, translucent orange-like color... kind of dull but with a tight and long-lasting cap of bone-white foam that leaves behind no traces of lace. Its surface is pretty hazy too with a small showing of bubbles that keep the head afloat. Not a superbly-beautiful beer, by any means, but not bad at all either.

Nose is full of heady toasted oak, white wine grapes, orchard fruits, barrel char, buttered bread and marshmallow. I love how evocative and alive this beer is. It has elements of both wine and beer, honestly, and does a very good job combining the two worlds without feeling too "wine-like" or heavily-biased. In fact, this feels very much like a beer in the nose; albeit, a superbly weird and leftfield one. The sharp ginger-like spice notes combining with the barrel funk are absolutely intoxicating and incredible. This beer is one-of-a-kind.

Flavor is lightly tart with a wheat-like beginning following through to flavors of apple, peach, coconut, apricot and sour fruit candy before a finish of puckering dryness from the wine grapes + barrel treatment wrap it all up. The lightly sweet notes that are marshmallow-like in the nose come across more fruitlike and vanilla-laden on the tongue... if you've ever had "ambrosia" fruit salad, you know what I'm talking about here. The herbal element is weirdly unobtrusive... if anything, I only pick up some slight notes of heather amidst the barrel funk towards the mid-finish transition where the beer's true "gruit" nature really shines. This is truly a great tasting beer, but it's more like an American Wild Ale than a true gruit, due to the barrel-fermentation, mixed culture addition and Chardonnay grapes taking this in a surprising direction.

Feel is soft and detailed with a semi-acidic touch towards the swallow. Fluffy and inviting carbonation buoys the palate as the woody and tannic barrel character seduces the tongue. The grapes do some serious work towards providing fruity character here... they almost go above-and-beyond the call of duty, lending some jammy and marmalade-like flavors to an already-overflowing and intense beer.

This is probably one of the very best bottled releases by Cambridge Brewing Co., and it is yet another that undersells itself severely. This brewery's bottled options are some of the most overlooked in my market, and I hope they catch on soon. Or not, so this kind of thing stays under-the-radar, reserved only for those in the know! However you look at it, this is excellence in a bottle.

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Photo of smcolw
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber color with a haze. Only rim bubbles for a head. There's a few minor spots on the glass.

The smell is like anise, ginger and lemon zest.

Beyond the predominant ginger flavor, I taste a touch of pumpkin. Quite spritzy even though the body is relatively rich. The finish is like a natural, fresh-rooted ginger ale.

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Imaginary Day from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 12 ratings