Ursa Minor | Rising Tide Brewing Company

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Ursa MinorUrsa Minor

Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark as squid ink and moody as the sea, Ursa Minor is our take on a winter wheat beer. Starting with a German wheat-beer yeast and a base of malted wheat, we added a blend of dark crystal and roasted malts to create a wheat stout. Redolent of dark fruit, weizen yeast esters, and roasted barley, Ursa Minor is perfect for an icy winter’s eve.

Added by dciBA on 12-18-2010

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 161
Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours black as night with over a finger of foamy tan head. The head sticks around pretty nicely.

Smell: Rather sweet but light. I'm getting some dark fruit and a hint of molasses. There is also a slightly fruity note in the mix.

Taste: Like a sweet stout, but a bit lighter. There is a cocoa like roasty note, but there is a bready sweet malt note that shows up as well. I'm getting a lot of dark fruit and come molasses. The finish is sweet and slightly roasty.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a ton of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer. Reminded me a bit of a roasty oktoberfest. I'd have it again.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker colored fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly over jet black colored beer, just the faintest hint of signs of light come through on the corners, keeping it from pitch black.

Nose is interesting, a nice dark malt, light roast and black patent malt, a nice smoked malt aroma too, slight smoked cheese, some light caramel and vanilla, hint of dark chocolate, a bit of a dark wheat aroma, hard to detect, but once I'm used to the dark malts just a faint hint of yeast fruits come through.

Taste starts with a nice smoked malt, light smoke, some darker malts, light black patent and light roast, little toffee, caramel, chocolate, etc. Then there is a definite weizen flavor, some wheats both dark and light cut through, with a bit of an interesting spicy weizen flavor, also a hint of hefe yeast fruits and wheats. Some light creamy oats and fluffy flavors, light spices (not real spices, spices from the hefe style yeast). Finishes fairly dry, some bitter spicy and slightly earthy hops start to come through on the finish, some light lingering roast and smoke, and lighter and crisp.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lightly creamy, with decent carbonation.

Overall a pretty good beer. THey combined weizen style dark wheats with a nice German Hefe spicy and fruity yeast, and some nice dark malts blended, and just a bit of spicy and earthy hops to finish. A good job of innovation.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin fizzy brown head that fades very quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, licorice, wheat, some chocolate and coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of dark fruit, licorice, chocolate and coffee. Then a strong breadiness comes in from wheat and a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect nut there isn’t much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and a little smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are definitely several better choices within the style.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured black in color with a thin tan head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a good amount of chocolaty and roasty malt flavors to it. The wheat malts really come out in it as well and give it a bit of a sweeter, bready like presence.

The taste shows more of a chocolaty, cocoa flavor to it up front. Towards the finish more of the wheat malts start to come out and linger into the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a bit of a creamy, silky feel to it. Overall it was a pretty tasty and interesting beer. It had some very nice stout flavors to it and had a bit of a twist to it with the wheat malts. Very enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep dark brown, nearly opague with a nice tight tan head, very quick fade to a nice film with a good bit of lace. Lots of audible carbonation when poured was definatly noticeable.

Very nice robust caramel smell mixed with aromas of coffee and hints of roasted nuts and a touch of chocolate. Overall not bad. First impression was really just the perfect carbonation, great frothy and fluffy mouthfeel and just all around benefit to the palate. Lots of caramel flavors and again a bit of a smoked hint at the back. Small flavors of roasted nuits, chocolate and hints at black coffee. Very nice

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Photo of womencantsail
1.85/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

The pour is dark brown, almost black, with a khaki head. The nose on this is just awful. Burnt plastic, chemical solvents, rubber, and maybe even some smoke. Blech. The flavor is no better. Still lots of burnt plastic notes, rubber, acidity, and some roast and smoke. Terrible.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter glass. Much thanks to ToasterChef!

Off the pour a cocoa brown head barely forms and disappears leaving a small collar. Body color is dark brown walnut, some red hues, a little see through just a bit.

A very malty but also hoppy nose. Some bitter hop but also some real noticeable licorice senses. Sweet molasses to brown sugar as well, almost syrupy but not too sweet. Very grainy sweet, interesting.

Light bodied almost cocoa cola like palate. Mild cola nut tasting in the mid palate, some mild sweetness. Slightly tingly on the tongue but doesn't distract from the flavors. Some wet viscosity, but also some coating thickness. A sort of malty gaseous aftertaste and feeling. Some mild lingering roast, and feeling of light cigarette tobacco after some sipping.

Overall it's quite a unique stout, fun and enjoyable. It's not exactly drawing me in much though, but no complaints about drinking it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, opaque, brown-to-black coloring with no head whatsoever. Aromas are roasted and coffee bitter, with a subtle fruit sweetness hidden throughout. Flavors are dark and bitter initially, and starts out like a standard stout, but it quickly lightens up, both in flavor and in body. A roasty grain backbone supports some dark fruit sweetness of cherry and grape. Smooth bodied but remaining light, the beer has a roasty, slightly smoked aftertaste leading to a clean, smooth, and slightly bitter finish. Decent brew.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle marked 111BORN-NOV12. Sampled on March 18, 2013.

The color of the pour is very dark brown to charcoal black with a small, short-lived beige head.

Coffee and dark malts lead the aromas with a mellower subtle hop note around the edges. Little in the way of wheat.

The body is medium and thinner than I might like in a stout.

While the coffee and dark malts are still noticeable in the taste there is also a slight dark fruit like cranberry or plum playing up a bit. It is not difficult to drink.

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Photo of rudzud
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Trader Joe's in Portland, Maine.

A - Poured a deep black hue with a deep, dark mocha one finger head that fades somewhat quickly to leave a tiny mocha halo.

S - Big dark roasted malts, light chocolate and light coffee along with some light dark fruits as well. Some slight alcohol on the nose on the finish.

T - Taste is more of the same. Sweet malts and fruits mixed throughout with good rich roast malts. Very light on the chocolate and coffee. Mostly just nice rich malts.

M - Nice in the mouth. Creamy, lower carbonation. Feels a little on the watery side though.

O - Overall, this isn't a bad american stout. A little too heavy on the dark fruit and too subtle with the chocolate and coffee for my tastes, as well as being a bit too thin. Still, for the price this is a solid beer.

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Photo of tigg924
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: black in color, opaque, 1/4 creamy head, medium-highcarbonation

Smell: cocoa, dark chocolate, and light wheat

Taste: cocoa, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and light wheat

Mouthfeel: medium body for the style, medium carbonation, sweet with rich bitterness

Overall:Solid, but not spectacular stout. I was searching for a wheaty taste in this one and found it to be minimal. Not a bad beer, but not one i would rush to get again.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark dark brown with fizzy cola like head, gone quickly with little retention. Scent is a blend of dark roasted and charred grain along with tangy wheat, notes of chocolate and coffee with a light metallic twang. Taste follows suit, the tangy wheat and charred grain combine with a thin medium body and present more "meh" than "yay". Only the second wheat based stout i've had (haandbryggeriet dark force being the other), but neither has really stuck out as bringing the best each style can offer.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark tan head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is down to a skim promptly, with leggy lacing. Aroma is anise and dark malts.

Taste begins with a quick shot of dark sweetness, which quickly gives way to balancing bitterness, and then a touch of alcohol smoothing through the close. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for the style, but goes down easy, and drinkability is good. Pretty sessionable for a hearty stout.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle - lable is stamped 111 BORN110512 . so I guess this is almost a year old bottle.

appears opaque black, with ruby highlights in the corners of the glass. thick tan colored head that leaves great lacing. big roasty and earthy aroma, a little fruitiness too, must be the yeast. taste is a nice balance between acidic roastiness and slightly sweet malt. dry aftertaste. thicker body, but higher carbonation than expected.

overall a nice unique beer. I definitely see the German Wheat Ale influence.

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Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with a thin brown head into my glass. The title is perplexing. What exactly is a weizen stout? Come to think of it, this isn't a stout at all.

Cocoa and sweet, sweet clove greet the nose. It's like a demented milk stout in my opinion. Complex.

Cocoa, roasted coffee, clove and wheat sum up the flavors. Very reminiscent of a brown ale as well but with weizen yeast. It's not viscous like an ordinary stout though.

Lingering cocoa and clove flavors punctuate the mouthfeel. Very mellow. Easy to enjoy.

It's certainly not a kristalweizen or a weizenbock for sure. Similar to the beer I reviewed before this in the way that it's an experimental take on combining two styles.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird (c/o EnronCFO) for sharing this one. 22oz. bomber served in a tumbler. Label describes this brew as a weizen-stout. Pours an inky black with a half inch, dense, mocha-colored head embedded with pinpricks and ringlets. Head eventually dissipates to half its original volume and retains its consistency. Some strands of lacing are revealed and remain during the tasting. Nose expresses mocha, a slightly metallic quality, black licorice, more coffee notes as it warms and a roasted character. The immediate impression I get off the initial quaff is smokey and rauch-like. Roasted, dark malts with some dark fruits (plums and prunes) are interwoven in the flavor profile and gives the brew a wine-like character. Mouthfeel is medium-light (lighter than anticipated, based on the flavor and color) with a light carbonation and a mild, oily texture. Flavorful and complex and easy drinking for the style. It almost reminds me of a Baltic Porter/American Stout hybrid.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this buzzed tick... Pours a dark brown, almost black. The head is medium brown, pretty good retention and lacing... The aroma is truly a weizen stout, the front has banana and dark fruits with some bitter coffee on the back... The taste isn't as successful as its confusing and mouthfeel is too carbonated. Chocolate, coffee, and banana should work, but doesn't entirely.

This is certainly decent and something new, but I wouldn't push for this trend quite yet.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a mug the beer was black with a thick cocoa-colored head that resembled whipped cream.
Aroma of sweet fruit and roasted malt.
Complex taste, lots going on. Raisins, banana, fruity. Chocolate. Smokey.
Medium-bodied. the flavors all came together really well.
This was an enjoyable, change of pace beer. Different.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a decent tan head and good lacing

S-coffee, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, roasted malt

T-chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, little molasses, slight bitterness to the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-interesting stout, good flavor, would be interesting to try an imperial version of this

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A good looking black beer with a brown head, surprised that this is only 6.7%, as it has the look of a double more than a single stout.

S - Really interesting, I get the heavy stout notes with the bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, but something strange with the weizen malts. Banana, dark fruit, and dunkle notes. Not bad, very interesting.

T - This tastes like a really great roasted stout that someone threw some some weizen malts in. It's kind of distracting really. This is actually a really good stout with roasty and molasses qualities. It's kind of like drinking a belgian RIS, great stout but you try to ignore the other qualities. This one takes some getting used to. It's good, but so different, it's hard to tell if you really like it or not.

M - Full bodied, a lot more heft than I was expecting.

D - A good beer, not sure if I love it or like it, want to have it again to get used to the style. Not sure if "weizen stout" qualifies as its own style, but would recommend this to anyone looking for something new.

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Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new Maine beer from Ben.

I was really surprised at how great this looked out of the bottle. Almost completely black with a big, super thick tan head that showed excellent retention and lacing. One of the best looking standard stouts I've seen.

Aroma is really nice as well, almost smells like chocolate covered bananas. Lots of roasted chocolate malts balanced with the fruitiness of the wheat.

The taste isn't quite as robust as the look and nose would suggest, a lighter version of the nose is how I'd describe it. The chocolate is a little more muted and there is a tad more toasty character. There is still plenty of fruit with the finish being a mixture of dry cocoa and overripe bananas.

Mouthfeel is decent but not quite as full and creamy as I was expecting. Moderate carbonation and light to medium bodied.

I'm pretty impressed with this one and have to say that the aroma and look were close to world class for the style. The taste isn't quite as impressive but the bar was set pretty high when it came out of the bottle. Diggin' it.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with a tiny brown head

S: Plenty of roastiness, along with quite a bit of fruitiness from the yeast. Also get a touch of wheat and chocolate

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with roastiness and dark chocolate, followed by dark fruits and wheat. Transitions well, which provides a nice complexity

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice, flavorful stout with a subtle wheat kick and dark fruits from the yeast. Definitely different because of this, but that's a good thing. Pick this up if you want something different

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Photo of ElGallo
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a cervoise. I missed out on the first release from this new Maine brewery, but the idea of a "weizen stout" drew me in immediately.

Very dark pour, alomst opaque, with a decent head that fades, but lacing remains. The nose on this is great: like a German dunkel with some dark fruit and chocolate notes. Very unique and very inviting.

Tastes like the star chart label states, like a "weizen stout." No burnt malt bitterness, no chalky aftertaste. This is wheaty, chocolaty, and smooth all the way through. Incredibly easy to drink. I love this departure from both traditional wheat beers and traditional stouts. This goes down very easy and I could easily consume another bomber without blinking.

Overall this is a very creative take on a stout, yet it works so well, you could call this sessionable, even with a higher-than-session ABV.

Well done Rising Tide. Give us more beer please, because your creativity is filling a void in the beer spectrum... or something like that.

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Photo of Florida9
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Black in color. When poured into a tulip, it forms a moderate-sized very dark mocha colored head that fizzes away rather quickly to a bubbly surface coating. Very little lacing.

S: Aroma is full of dark fruits. Black cherry and plum. Some sweeter chocolate, a little coffee and a hint of black pepper.

T: Taste is fairly curious. This stout is on the sweeter side of things. Again there are the dark fruits: prune and cherry. And again there is the semi-sweet chocolate. There is a bit of coffee to a lesser extent and a wheat-like flavor that really just gets overpowered by everything else. Cocoa powder on the finish.

M: On the lighter side of heavy. Lower carbonation levels give this one a smooth feel on the front end, but its fairly chalky on the finish.

O: An interesting take on the style. Not a bad beer by any means. Somewhat lighter than most stouts while offering up a bit more complexity as well makes this one a pretty good drink.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Major dark brown, lots of tan head, slow to leave. Not much lace.

S - Roasted malt. Very light.

T - Chalk, roast malt, astringent.

M - Not very sweet, but not hugely bitter either, so the balance is pretty good.

D - Not my favorite. A little too chalky for me and tiring.

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Ursa Minor from Rising Tide Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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