Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery

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Herb and Spice Beer
3.71 | pDev: 18.06%
Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: A collaboration beer with our friends at Fernet-Branca, brewed with a trove of botanicals including rhubarb root, saffron, angelica, star anise and 14 others.
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 15 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Todd:
Photo of Todd
4.85/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine #122 (March 2017):

I had the pleasure to taste Fernetic (several times) at our Extreme Beer Fest last month in Boston. Its herbal aromatics immediately reminded me of a fernet and were artfully layered with mint, rhubarb root, roasted malts, and anise. I literally got lost in the nose. Then the creaminess of the beer and its tight carbonation lifted flavors of dried wood, earth, spice, bitter grass, medicinal tonic-like qualities, a long pepperiness, floral notes, and deep cola suggestions to the forefront. Many of the aromas and flavors could be described as gin-like (as they’re also used in gin), and the malty richness provided a deep backbone. Although a robust and somewhat chaotic beer, the balance of ingredients brought a surprising drinkability. I could literally see myself sipping Fernetic throughout the day.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of smcolw
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark without much head. Nondescript.

For the smell I get tobacco and very strong medicinal menthol. Think schnapps.

Menthol minty with a "dirty" ashen flavor. Lasting medicinal mint aftertaste. Decent body and carbonation. Interesting but a bit of of bounds for me.

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

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Adamostella
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of krome
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The licorice/anise flavor completely overpowered the beer

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smbslt
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vigorous pour generates a healthy tan head that breaks at the edge of the glass intensifying the color. The dark brown liquid allows no light to penetrate.
Herbal aromas are faint but there
The beyond the roasted malts, lurk very different flavors that are hard the place except that there is a homemade, secret family recipe quality to it.
The chewy feel has a bit grit that drives the rustic quality home.
What could have been crazy and overdone was nicely done.

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Photo of stortore
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 4/28/17.

Pours dark, mostly opaque, a little bit of a head, some soapy lacing. Smells of star anise, peppermint, malt- if they used it. Overall herbal aroma. The taste is also herbal, with a good amount of bitterness. Peppermint, licorice, malt. Smooth, I guess, for what it is, pretty hefty feel for a botanical beer, appropriately carbonated.

I’m awful at describing beers like this, and with something like 18 botanical ingredients, I’M doomed. It does have a very good flavor and aroma, and is well crafted. If you don’t mind some non-hop bitterness, it’s definitely worth a purchase.

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Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For starters, the tasting is best with a stemless wine glass or a Govino glass. The brewery recommends a Snifter, but I tried both, and the stemless wine glass is a better choice for bringing out the aromatics, taste and MF. Start out at 40° as recommended and notice the changes in flavor.

Pours a muddy chocolate brown with a 1F head which subsides in a few minutes.

The aroma is overwhelming peppermint. But there are a number of roots, spices and herbs in the beer. Rhubarb possibly ( I eat rhubarb occasionally) and anise. The aroma broadens with warming and the peppermint remains strong.

Malty, smooth, earthy, woody, liqueur-like MF with no bitterness. A pleasure to drink. The liqueur texture is evident with the collab with Fernet Blanca.

The peppermint remains the most prominent flavor as the other flavors meld into the complexity of the taste.
Strong root and herb character.

Strong earthy peppermint finish.

Overall, a joy to drink. Take your time. It's a different sipper. Start out cold and note the changes in flavor.

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Photo of jgunther71
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of FBarber
4.46/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wjbent
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of REVZEB
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It was on clearance, so I figured why not, love crazy stuff anyways. Brownish black with a beige ring. Smell is something fierce, resembles fernet with the anise, and roots standing out, some licorice and herbs too. Taste is so botanical, overwhelmingly so, plus it is unnecessarily boozy. Can't finish the glass, but appreciate the experiment. Feel is boozy and very botanical, has some burn on the edges.

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Fernetic from Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 15 ratings