Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series) | Upright Brewing Company

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Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)
31 Ratings
Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series)

Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Reggae Junkie Gruit, aged in Ransom Old Tom gin barrels.

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-28-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of yeaprolly
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PerHops
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of PZBREW
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of oregone
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes taken from early 2012 (March?) from a bottle share i hosted with the local crew.

Thanks kindly to OregonHopmonster for the trade.

bottle 153 of 166

a - pourse clear yellow orange with some visible champagne like carbonation and a thin bubbly head.
s - smell is amazing. spicey peppermint patty. my nose is on fire from it.
t - taste matches the nose in that it is insanely amazing. the gin is perfect match for the taste. sweet peppermint candy with gin glazed on it.
m - prickly carbonation
o - wish there was more of this it is unreal.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Shmeal
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of msubulldog25
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #1 on the "Top Beers - Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Another #1 beer hooray! Shared by Thorpe and served in a snifter.

Yellow, hazy, lazy head, no lacing, low carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is surprisingly Brett-y, with spice and herbs in there at as well.

Beer is light in body, oaky and bretty on the finish, nice tasting, very strong flavors, nice spice palate, overall a nice beer and I'd have it again.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at the other night's Upright tasting. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Bottle 132/166

Pours a sparkling, clear yellow color with an average, fizzy white head that diminishes fairly quickly into a thin collar with some sparse lacing on the sides of the glass.

The nose brings some delicate herbs with some gin in the background. A bit of citrus there as well. The flavor has a long duration with a very light sweetness plus a small dose of tartness. Light bitterness as well. Everything seems to be coming together, yet it's all fairly subtle.

The body is light with high carbonation, leaving to a dry finish. Through the finish comes some additional gin and herb character plus a light burst of citrus.

A very interesting and delicious beer that I was glad to try. Here's hoping that Upright makes this one again.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Thorpe for busting out this big-time Want to kick off our Upright Sole Composition tasting.

Beer pours a slightly hazy golden-yellow with a fluffy white head. The aroma is very interesting, a great mix of lactic sour, spices (not sure I can identify which ones) and a hint of sweetness. The taste on this is absolutely fantastic and unique. It's much more lactic sour than I expected, but the gin and spices really come through on the back end. As it warms, it gets a little sweeter and the spices become more prominent. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation, and it coats your mouth in a nice way for a lighter beer. Overall, this isn't exactly what I was expecting (thought it would be a lot more gin-forward), but it was fantastic nonetheless and had a mix of flavors that I've never found together in a beer before. One of the best things Upright's done so far.

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Photo of raveskdr
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 132 of 166. Poured into a Bruery glass. Huge thanks to thorpe429 and starrdog for all the Upright bottles we were able to crack.

A - Light golden color with thin bubbles that dissipate to a small layer.

S - A really interesting combination of spices. Really tough to pick out individual spices present. There is also a hint of lacto on the nose.

T - Wow. A huge melange of spices up front followed very quickly by a nice tartness. The combination sounds odd but really works so well in this beer.

M - Really light and wispy on the tongue. Really high drinkability.

O - An incredibly interesting, complex, and drinkable beer. This really was one of the standouts amongst the 8 bottles we had. So unique. I've never had anything like this before. Definitely worth seeking out if you like tart, spice, Upright, or a combination of all of those things.

 860 characters

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle comes from Inflatablechair (23/166) .. Thanks for this one-off Sam!! Pours a lightly hazed pale yellow with a good white head that drops quickly .... no real retention or lacing.

Nose is very spicy... juniper and sage... something that I associate with geraniums... green apple.. tart and a bit floral.

Flavor is herbal and a bit sour... tannic underripe pit fruits.. lemony... obvious juniper.... some "turkey herbs"... I swear I get sage and even rosemary.. nasturtiums... peppery and a bit floral.

Boutique Gin for sure... Loved this one... inviting and very drinkable.... sorta like an aperitif.. God, I would love to be able to try this one again over a long evening.


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Photo of Arbitrator
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of hopsbreath and/or ramnuts -- I forgot who sent this one. Thanks, Jason and Frank!

A: A pale straw body with good clarity and a wispy, off-white head. It doesn't leave any lace.

S: An herbal juniper (gin) note greets the nose, backed by an assortment of rosemary and ginger. A small presence of apricot.

T: Barrel-dominated juniper / gin flavors segue into a mild tartness of apricot, lemon, and grape. Herbal flavors dominate the mid-palate, including what I believe is rosemary (no one else was convinced of this) and ginger.

M: The mouthfeel could use a little more carbonation to scrub the palate. The strong (but unique!) flavors of the barrel linger on the palate and leave residue after a number of sips. It makes it a little hard to drink in quantity.

O: Great beer, and a real eye-opener. Having had a number of Upright beers in the past and being somewhat unimpressed by them. I found this a refreshing change of pace. Well done.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex! Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a golden yellow color, white head, thin cap, light spotty lace.

S - Herbal notes, gin, tonic, some funk, nice level of tart notes in there as well. Really unique and interesting...very cool.

T - Gin & tonic, plain and simple. Also, some stone fruit, apricots, and light bretty funk. Like the nose, really unique and cool...not something I could keep drinking a lot of though.

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Really enjoyable and unique. Well-done beer by Upright. I continue to believe this brewery is really under-the-radar yet most of their stuff is just simply excellent. This one is another winner!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know who shared this, kind of lost track after a while who was pulling out what.

A - Yellowish orange colored beer that was a bit hazy. A bit of lace left on the sides.

S - Some gin, little bit of grape, some interesting herbs, little bit of gin.

T - Taste is actually pretty nice, particularly considering how much I generally don't like gin. Some nice stone fruits, bit of gin, herbs, and pale malts.

M - Lively carbonation, more body than expected, I'd say medium.

O - Nice beer, found it easy to drink, particularly given my few experiences previous with a gruit. Good stuff, would drink again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #160/166. Served in a Glunz taster glass.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thick collar, wispy thin cap, and minimal lacework. Hazy orange-yellow body.

S - Gin and tonic, 7Up, ginger, juniper, and other nebulous herbs. Slight lactic character and bretty pineapple funk. Very unique, and strangely compelling.

T - Taste is pretty similar - a mixture of tonic water, lemons, gin, and nebulous herbs over top of a sweet pale malt and stone fruit backbone. Not quite as much of the funk character that I picked up in the aroma, but still quite enjoyable. More of a 4.25, so I had to fudge the other scores a tiny bit.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, a bit gritty, dry clean finish, and no obvious alcohol even with the gin flavors.

D - This was quite excellent, and was super-refreshing after a bunch of bigger stouts and barleywines. I probably could have drank the entire bottle on my own. I really hope Upright revisits this beer as I found it extremely successful and provocative.

 1,009 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #163/166.

A: Very, very clear. Light golden color, almost like a chardonney. Slight white head. Plenty of bubbles floating to the top, which was nice to see given the seal was cracked the day earlier.

S: Ahh, the gin flavors are still there, although perhaps a little more subdued. Too bad. But still, nice botantical flavors with a hint of citrus tartness. But still plenty of green, juniper notes. I'm reminded why I really liked this beer when it was first released.

T: A funky tartness hits early on the taste, more so than expected from the smell. The herbal, gin flavors are more subdued than I remember. Definitely dry with some nice stone fruit flavors. The gin comes to play in mid to late taste with more astringent, floral flavors on the finish. After six+ months, this beer is still amazing. Or Gruit, if you insist.

M: Light, crisp, and very enjoyable. Not sure what the mouthfeel is supposed to be for a gruit, but this worked on release and six months later.

O/D: I liked this beer at release. I liked this beer when first released in bottle. I like this beer now. A lot. I really wish this was a regular offering. I really enjoy gin and the botantical flavors this adds to the beer are amazing. This goes down as one of the best beers of 2011. 166 bottles??? Ten times that amount wouldn't be enough, in my opinion.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jedwards for sharing this. Definitely a highlight of the night. Bottle # 72 out of 166. Pours a hazy tangerine hue with a thin, bright white head that dissipates into a skim. Nose expresses tart citrus, chamomile and some other herbal qualities I can't quite pin down. Taste is citrusy, salty, tart and less herbal with a light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light in body with a tart, crisp finish and a slight acidity that lightly stimulates the salivary glands along the cheeks. Well, I can't say that I have much experience with the style, but I was blown away by this beer. Surprisingly flavorful and quite refreshing. Well worth your time if you can track down this rare brew.

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Special Herbs (Sole Composition Series) from Upright Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.44 out of 5 with 31 ratings
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