Unchained #16: Herkulean Woods | Summit Brewing Company

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Unchained #16: Herkulean WoodsUnchained #16: Herkulean Woods
Very Good
122 Ratings
Unchained #16: Herkulean WoodsUnchained #16: Herkulean Woods

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ryancl on 09-02-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 bottle

11 characters

Photo of jonbonfondle
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hopstout
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jason
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

It has that lager feel to it a bit, clean but big like a bock. Addition of spruce bring another element to this already well hopped brew, the maple syrup drops more of a mineral and warming juiciness. Perhaps one of the best heads on a beer I have seen in while. Semi-sweet but balanced from the spruce and hops. Too drinkable for a big beer ... I'm not complaining at all though.

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Photo of Chaz
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a brilliant, amber-copper in color topped with a pale tan head.

Nose is sweetish and spicy. Seems a bit tangy.

Taste follows the nose closely. Sweeter and lightly sharp/tangy, with quite a bit of alcohol warmth all around. Aromatics, the spruce tip has a character akin to strawberry and mint -- although I'm not sure that the latter isn't a hop character.

Likewise, the aromatic character of the spruce tips strikes me as being less expressive (or differently-expressive) than it has been in the beers from breweries who have used them in the past, and which I have tried.

The maple syrup is not so noticeable, but there's a 'caramel' like character here which may be in between the strawberry and other (high fermentation temperature?) character.

Solid bittersweet / bitter character, here, which balances the sweetness.

After a few months in the bottle this one really came into its own as a bigger and stranger steam beer. Not bad at all.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summit Unchained #16: Herkulean Woods. Lager brewed with Maple Syrup and Spruce Tips. Proudly brewed in St. Paul, Minnesota. Christian Dixon, Brewer. 8.2% Alc./Vol. 77 IBU.

Clear and copper-colored, with slim, off-white head, leaving lace, looking nice.

Aroma: hops make a bright, bittersweet appearance, but are swiftly subsumed by the maple syrup and the caramel malt. Spruce tips are hinted at, just behind. A delightful blend in the nose.

Taste: In the mouth and on the tongue, it's a tempting treat that starts highly hoppy and find itself a mixed bag of malt and woodsy trimmings. Higher than normal alcohol content starts to make it's presence known, but is kept at bay by the delicious blend of malts and hops. I'm going to take a short break to read about the recipe…."Profile: Malty, caramel backbone with a pine, resin, and citrus hop flavor and aroma….malts: Harrington, Lacey, Caramel….hops: Herkules (hence the Herkulean, then woods for the maple syrup and spruce), Northern Brewer, Experimental 05256" Anything else? "Inspired by the natural beauty and ingredients of the upper Midwest" You don't say. Well, that's different. Don'tcha know.

This is a terrific brew for the kind of season we're stumbling into, and a great choice for those who are tired of pumpkin as the compulsory choice of fall flavors. Nice dessert beer, good for 'round the fire. It's also a great representative of what makes for a good entry in the Unchained Series and why this program continues to be successful. Keep making the offbeat beers, Summit, keep stretching and inventing, and you'll always a place in my beer-y heart.

 1,628 characters

Photo of leefx
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jpwobbles
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lupercmda
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of JackieTH
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color topped by a stiff foamy persistent cap. Looks good. Great lace. This smells like a rich lager beer. Grain, honey, biscuit, soft malt. The taste is intriguing. There's the hint of spruce right away. Then a berry-honey wash of sweetness. Now more biscuit and bread. A nice bitter hop here keeps it all clean and dry. Great flavor, nothing over the top. Smooth and well-crafted body. This is a tasty easy drinking beer.

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

Photo of kmanjohnson
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of hseldon15
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of kkesty
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of JamesMN
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 3/4/15.

Appearance: Really nice honey brown color with great clarity. Poured a fluffy two finger off-white head that has subsided leaving a lot of thick lacing.

Aroma: Grain, caramel, straw.

Taste: Lots of earthy/spicy hop flavor with a bitterness that really sneaks up on you. I have a feeling the spruce tips are getting confused with the hops on my palate because the hop character is very pine tree-esque. The base malt flavor is basically dark caramel but is quite overshadowed by the hops. There is an odd balance to it due to a sweet flavor riding high above the hops, perhaps the maple syrup addition. I'm shocked to see this is 8.2% ABV! I thought for sure it was in the 5-6 range considering I've rarely seen a Summit beer over 7% ABV. Either way, well hidden alcohol and a nice job by brewer Christian Dixon.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body if not a bit higher. Somewhat aggressive carbonation that in part tricked me into thinking this was a lighter beer. Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I had this fresh over a month ago and it was even tastier. Usually I wouldn't suggest springing for a sixer but with the high ABV and Summit's low prices (locally) it is a steal. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of Kark
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of zeff80
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jwerner23
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of herman77
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of GeezLynn
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mikerieder
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Hopsiam14
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

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Unchained #16: Herkulean Woods from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 122 ratings