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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4) | Epic Brewing Company

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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4)Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4)

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We took our double gold medal winning Brainless Belgian, added cherry puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks for a secondary fermentation in the barrels. Pours a beautiful deep ruby color with a medium white head. A nice nose of sweet cherries, Belgian malts, and barrel aging.

Added by bishopgary on 12-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 90
Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is cherries with Belgian yeast, and coriander with some oak, funk, lemon, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of slightly sour cherries with some Belgian yeast, coriander, and a bit of lemon. Through the middle, some funk comes through with a bit more sourness and some oak. The finish is a mix of sour cherries, funk, Belgian yeast, oak, and some booze.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-minus carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, warming, and lightly sour finish.

D - Very drinkable. Good base Belgian Strong Ale with the oak aging and cherries adding some complexity. Nice overall balance.

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.26/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release #5, 10.1% abv. 750ml into snifter. Received this as a birthday gift from my lovely significant other

Pours a passionfruit ruby red with one finger almost white head with a pink tint that dissipates quickly. Color of this beer is amazingly vibrant.

Nose: Booze, dark red fruit, vanilla, date, fig, oak.

Taste: Lightly acidic red berries, oak, fig, aspirin bitterness. Natural cherry aftertaste that is quite pleasant.

Overall a delicious beer. Red fruit marries well with the dark fruit notes of the base beer. Well-rounded. Could be a bit richer but the alcohol that bites up front subsides and leaves a pleasant and drinkable dark ale.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.05/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Craig. Pours a surprisingly deep ruby color with a medium white head- the original is quite blonde, so the cherries have totally changed the color. A nice nose of sweet cherries, Belgian malts, some barrel. The flavor is more dominated by white wine dryness, some sweet cherries, malt driven sweetness. Very nice. I prefer this to the apricot slightly. Not hot at all.

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Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a lot of Epic when they first showed up in MN & missed a few of the series. Went back to grab a few more in recent days - this is a bunch of bombers that nobody talks about, but they're good. Hey, I love you Epic! 22 oz. bomber, batch #2. I'll assume this has been sitting around for a while.

The cap pops with vigor enough that I expect overflow; it doesn't come. Pour is is a light red, with enough body so I can't see but shadows through it. Nose is nice tart cherries. Reminds me of a certainly New Glarus beer, & that's a good thing.

Brainless on Cherries doesn't reach the heights of excellence to be mentioned in the same breath as New Glarus fruit beers. First impression is strong cherry that's balanced between being sweet & tart, as there's a bit of both in the mouth. The sweetness wins out as the beer warms. Cane sugar & light malts in the background, strong yeast presence. Can't detect the oak. No visible carbonation, but it's felt as a weird pricking on the tongue. The combination is slinkily easy to put down.

I'd categorize this as a straight-up fruit beer, & a very good one at that. Love the balance of the cherries, & that this is sooo easy to sip.

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Photo of colt45n
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Fingers worth of soapy light pink head, quickly settles to no head, a slightly hazy ruby color

S-Cherries, esters, alcohol, coriander

T-Cherries, coriander, belgian yeast, bubble gum, clove, surprisingly has no barrel presence

M-Light mouthfeel with a solid amount of carbonation

This one did not disapoint, the cherries were definitely there and they provided a great flavor

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Photo of CraftVA
3.93/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A – Pours a gorgeous reddish brown color with a slight pink-tinted head that fades quickly.

S – Smells like cherries (as the name suggests), sour and fruity. Slightly malty scent as well.

T – The cherry and fruity flavor is predominant, with a nice balance between sweet and sour. The malt comes through as well in the finish.

M – This beer was, unfortunately, over-carbonated in my opinion. It detracts somewhat from the flavor.

O – This was a solid Belgian ale with a unique twist. It was light and fresh, paired very well with a cheese platter that was enjoyed along with the beer. I just wish it wasn’t so over-carbonated so the flavors could really come through.

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Photo of jera1350
3.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Blue Nile.

Served in the appropriate stemware by Al, this one had a pinkish/golden hue, but very little in the way of foam and zero lacing.

Smells of cherry juice. Quite sweet smelling without any tartness present.

Sweet cherry pie (Warrant) with some warm alcohol and belgian yeast. Apparently cherry puree is used in this which probably explains the lack of tartness which I am totally fine with. Very pleasant cherry/belgian combo of flavors.

Lacks carbonation and is a bit sticky.

I really quite enjoyed this beer. Really delivers in the cherry department and was a pleasant little sipper.

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label indicates this is batch 2, with a whopping 13.1% abv.

The beer pours the color of cranberry juice with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing about what you would expect; in this case cherries, some honey and light vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer, though I didn't feel as if the sweetness was over the top. Also, despite the high alcohol, the beer doesn't come across as too overly boozy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and while fairly rich and intense, the beer doesn't drink like a 13.1 abv. beer.

A nice enough beer, if a bit one dimensional. Also, the 13% alcohol is ridiculous, and IMHO, really adds nothing to the beer (other than a headache).

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Photo of bishopgary
3.85/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a wide tulip glass

A: Dark reddish-brown. Slightly hazy. About 1 finger of foamy, soap like off-white head. Dissipated fairly quick left nice lacing. Was not initially expecting something this dark.
S: Pleasant aroma. Dark fruit, would not necessarily say cherries, perhaps plums, figs, or dried apricots. Nice amount of malt, a hint of dark Candi sugar and alcohol.
T: Well balanced, dark fruit, tastes more like cherry than the aroma. Sweetness coming from the malt, not too much. Finishes the right amount of alcohol and a hint of spice maybe clove. There also seemed to be a hint oats.
M: Medium bodied, perhaps a bit too much carbonation. Coats the mouth well without being too sticky.
D: Great unique flavor profile and higher alcohol content make it hard to think about it being too much of a good thing. Perfect late night sipper or in place of dessert.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.84/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having had a bottle of peaches (thanks, Sam) as well as the base beer, I had been wanting this one for a while. Thanks to 287 and living social, I finally picked up a bottle. Poured a nice dark amber color (blood red in the glow of the street lights) with a full glass of rapidly disappearing foam on top. Aromas of cherries, oak and light malt. Similar on the palate, medium bodied with good fresh cherry, light malt and a hint of oak.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright red beer that shimmers in the light very nicely. Light acidic cherry in the nose, clean and subtle with slight alcoholic esters over the top. Not hot, but clearly some alcohol off the top. body is light but palatable, and the bright fresh cherry taste in the center is clearly the best part of the beer. Clean and little syrupy, a tasty beer for the night. Unfair, but hard not to compare to New Glarus Belgian Red. NG beer is far more complex, but the Epic beer fresh, far better than average fruit ales. Good for a try but not going to be a standard in the beer fridge.

10/15/11. Just had the same beer on tap at the Blue Nile, and, when it warms up, this beer reaches a new level. The blend of the beer is much improved between draft and warmth. When cold initially, it seemed very much the same as I remembered the bottle, which makes me wonder if I drank the bottle too fast last summer. Number ratings adjusted to reflect my altered attitude of adding the draft tasting.

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.67/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

after a wonderful experience with the peaches version, had to pick this up whilst back in the VA. coppery poru, decent and lasting head. the musk of oak, a little solvent alcohol, a little bit of sweet and tart cherry. cherry and oak dominate the finish while there's some sweet malt in the forefront of the drink. much less alcohol in the drink than the aroma. Very smooth, a little caramel action, too. Drinkable, but a bit boozy. Time could be an option with this one.

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Photo of GoldenJet
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After having Epic's Brainless on Peaches, figured I'd give this a shot too.

First impression was the appearance, which really looked nice - dark, dark, red (think NG's Razz Tart or Belgian Red), with some appealing cherry fruit and sweet notes in the nose.

That's about as good as it got though - while the cherry taste wasn't as overpowering as the peaches in Epic's other offering, it just tasted kind of off, like not fresh, artificial taste. The oak came through a bit more than with the Brainless on Peaches, which could be attributed to cherries being less sweet? Don't know, but it was a little more balanced than the Peaches.

While drinking it, the finish kept reminding me of a Pinot Noir - I got that soft, acidic, and lightly fruited (almost sweet) closure that Pinots offer. However, it's not really something I'm looking for in a beer.

Good, not great.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.62/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is from having it on tap at Bodega. I also tried a little bit of this from the bottle at a recent tasting.

A pretty clear, bright candy red. Not much head, but what foam I managed to catch a glimpse of was more white than pink.

It has a nice, cherry forward aroma. The cherries seem more on the order of sweet black cherries, and even a splash of candied maraschino cherries. There isn't any tart or sourness that I can pick up. The base is mostly all Belgian yeast that's full of phenols; clove, peppercorn and some plasticy smells. Alcohol is there in a big, annoying way. It teams with the phenolic yeast to create a bit of a nail polish, acetone aroma.

Sweeter cherries are dominate, but not as strong as the aroma had me thinking. The Belgian yeast is still fairly squashed by the sweet, syrupy cherry flavor. Alcohol is simply too much for this beer. I think it really should be taken down a few notches.

Dry finishing with a little bit of sticky sweetness.

This one is the best of the Epic beers that I've had. The cherry is strong enough to counter some of the negative aspects of the heavy handed Belgian style yeast. It just needs an adjustment in ABV.

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Photo of Pencible
3.62/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear garnet with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like sweet cherry cordial and sour Belgian yeast, with grassy hops and a little french oak and alcohol.
T: It tasted like some funky french oak with sour cherry and grassy hops and Belgian yeast, with a bit of wheat and alcohol. It had a clean and mostly sour aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had an enjoyable smell and taste, but not great. The cherries and french oak didn't do nearly as well for Brainless as the peaches. The body was a bit weak, and it was a bit hot, so it wasn't super easy to drink. Not a bad beer, but not recommended.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 10.7% abv. Release #3. Cloudy, reddish color. Interesting shade. Off-white head disappears immediately. No lace at all.

Slight tart and sour cherry nose. A bit of wood in the nose. Some slight Belgian spicy, yeasty notes. A bit of a wine-like feel.

Light malt character. Yeasty and spicy feel. Cherries come in rather faint. Oak tannins come through, lending a dry edge to this.

Lighter body, with a great amount of carbonation. Some heat is felt. An interesting beer. Cherries don't seem to add as much as I would have thought. Interesting.

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Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden ruby color with cherry/blood red edges and a half finger fizzy pink head that quickly fades into lasting ring.  Not much lacing.  

Sweet fruit aroma with earhty oak and vanilla.  Lots of sweet cherry which is kind of artificial/syrupy smelling.  Some boozy alcohol sweetness but the cherries overpower the nose.  

Medium bodied with tight carbonation, earthy oak and vanilla  with dark fruits underneath that blend well with the sweet cherry flavor.  Slight maracino cherry juice flavor with a boozy punch.  Not as sweet or syrupy as the aroma suggests.  Pretty well balanced actually and the ABV is nicely masked.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pink to orange-ish color with a small white to no head. In the aroma, light cherries and Belgian like sugars. In the taste, dry cherry, boozy, and quite carbonated. A sour cherry bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a light dryness to clean aftertaste. A nice light dry cherry, kind of faint, it was more boozy than expected too.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a highly fruit-forward flavor and the pep of sparkling white wine- this early batch of Brainless on Cherries shows authentic Kriek-like attributes with bright tartness and refreshing effervescence.

Pouring a rosy mauve color with slivers of gold streaking through, its carbonation blooms into an arid and honeycomb structure. White a snow, its head unfortunately recedes nearly as quickly as it forms. Much like champagne, the bubble flee the beer in haste.

Its scent is all about tart cherry. That zesty, playfully tangy aroma is juicy and is backed with notions of dry cider, white wine and a wafer-thin bread maltiness. Acclimating to its scent, a delicate note of sandalwood, must and pepper greet the nose as the first sip looms.

Its wine-like flavor is dry, supported by light cracker and tangy sweetness. Its fructose flavor weaves together flavors of white grape, green apple and undeniable cherry. As its dry taste transpires across the middle, the palate picks up on berry and plum wine; just ahead of the peppery finish of wood spice cork and carbonic acidity closes with balance.

Its dry body is crisp, clean and leaves very little sweetness behind. Cleansing the palate like champagne, its carbonation races throughout the mouth, stripping it of all but fruity tartness, yet thinning a bit late. Is dry and peppery finish is slightly astringent with pectin and tannin as is highlighted by its alcohol warmth.

This early batch of Brainless on Cherries would find great favor with the wine enthusiast trying to get onto the craft beer bandwagon.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Epic Brewing Company took their double-gold winning Brainless Belgian, added cherry puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks for a secondary fermentation in the barrels. The beer pours a vibrant light ruby, with little to no head, and sparse lace. A big bouquet of cherries mellows into some Belgian funk, vanilla, oak, and slight alcohol tones. The aromas carry over to the flavor pretty well, with cherries dominating the pallet with a fun and intriguing battle between sweetness and tartness making the mouth smile. A high level of carbonation is met with a medium-light body in this flavorful ale from Epic. We probably prefer this to the Peaches, but not by much.


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Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured a brownish cherry color with a thin white head clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows off the sweeter, fruity, cherry flavors pretty nicely. Behind the cherry I get a sweeter, candi sugar, maltiness to it mixing with some of the Belgian yeast spice. The cherries are very nicely done, the beer could of shined a little more though.

The taste shows more of the fruity, sweeter, cherry juice flavors to it up front. Midway I get a little of the malty, dark fruit flavors of the BSDA base. In the finish the belgian yeast really comes out and adds some big spice notes. The cherries come back in the finish with a tartness that mixes pretty nicely with the yeast spice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty good beer. I love cherries though so I might be a little bias towards this version of the beer. The cherries were very good in it, but the base beer could have had a little more influence on the flavor in addition to the yeast spice it brought. Overall it was a pretty enjoyable beer though.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a GI tulip

A - Reminds me a bit of cherry cola except with hints of brown and gold mixed in. Very carbonated as the bubbles were actually jumping out of the glass. Looks to be a bit thin in the body

S - Smells of tart cherries, oak, lemon, grass and Belgian yeast. It is a bit funky and musty in the nose

T - Taste profile is definitely more on the Belgian side than expected from the nose. Taste is grassy and lemony at first. The cherries only add a slight tinge to it. There is a nice mix of farmhouse funk and light bubblegum that comes through on the backend. The finish is dry and the slight bitter, musty flavors linger on.

MF - Despite looking very carbonated, the carbonation wasn't overpowering. Not too smooth or full feeling and there is a slight astringency that lingers on the tongue in the finish.

O - I was surprised how little the cherries and oak came through in the taste. They are there in the nose, which is the best aspect of the beer. However, this really just reminds me of a decent Belgian Trippel.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1186th Review on BA
Bottle to Pinot Noir glass

Batch #9- 2012
Purchased from Bruery Provisions

App- A very dark cherry amber looking beer with some golden notes radiating at the edges. At most on a heavy 2nd pour I got some small puffy lambic head with zero cling though. A bit more like flat juice. Fairly translucent.

Smell- Very much in the vein of fusel alcohol with a bit of biting sweetness behind that. Next came the golden ale yeasty notes and followed by a touch of tannic barrel. Not much aromatics on this one.

Taste- A small bit of oaky wood flavors opens with a bit of that fusel alcohol coming in the next wave and then follows up with some false cherry and golden yeasty notes.

Mouth- A light medium body with a light carbonation. A wee bit too thin. Sweet false cherry notes and some oak are residual flavors.

Drink- For the price it was okay. Wanted/expected more but it happens sometimes. The barrel needs to come out more and be a bit thicker on the profile overall.

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Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown hued amber color. Very little head.

Aroma: Fairly sweet cherries. Malty. Can't really pick up the Belgian aspects of the beer. Some oak flavors.

Taste: The wine flavors show a lot more here, providing a little more flavor. Oaky. Sweet cherries. Not tart or sour. A decent amount of malts show. Caramel and bready.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and clean. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a decent beer, but it was more of just cherries and wine barrels. I didn't get too much of the Belgian Strong Dark flavors that I would normally get for the style.

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Photo of colts9016
3.27/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter at 40 degrees.

Appearance: A frothy foamy head that has poor retention. The color of the beer is red with a pink hue. The clarity of the beer is clear with a lot of carbonation bubbles. The head has left no lacing, it was a disappointment.

Nose: A very rich sour cherry aroma. Wild ale aromas floral and some citrus. The malt is lightly toasty, peppery, and the slight funky barnyard aroma.

Taste: Surprising the beer is balanced but it is no where near a strong dark ale. The cherry flavor is prominent, the other flavors are floral bouquet, citrus, a wild yeast and brett. Other notes are phenols and a light toasty note.

The mouth feel is carbonated and slightly sour.

Overall: The body of the beer light and the finish is medium light. This beer has great flavors, sadly the beer is not a strong dark ale in my opinion. There is not enough dark malty flavors in the beer. The alcohol is well blended and a bit balanced.

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Brainless On Cherries Belgian-Style Ale (Batches 1-4) from Epic Brewing Company
3.26 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
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