Unchained #16: Herkulean Woods
Summit Brewing Company

Unchained #16: Herkulean WoodsUnchained #16: Herkulean Woods
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California Common / Steam Beer
3.89 | pDev: 13.88%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Unchained #16: Herkulean WoodsUnchained #16: Herkulean Woods
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 122
Reviews by Tricerahops:
Photo of Tricerahops
4/5  rDev +2.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Picked up a six pack of this because spruce tips & maple syrup, both of which I would eat daily given the chance. Plus, it sounds vaguely like something Short’s would brew, except there’s no prehistoric fungi found exclusively within 30 yards of Bellaire involved. 12 oz. stubby, after my own heart.

Pour is so amber I expect to find something prehistoric stuck in the stuff. Repeated swirling & twirling brings almost nothing to the nose. Faint yeastiness, sweetness, but nothing to put my finger on the play button.

Herkulean Woods is more like Frankenstein Woods. What is this monster? Why the big ABV from a Summit beer, of all people? And what is that I taste? Big piney hops burst through the line like Adrian Peterson uh, well, used to. Spruce tips hold hands with the hops & cannonball my taste buds, bringing an interesting twist to the beer’s bitterness. Residual sweetness that might be syrup, might be malts, but whatever syrup’s in here is the Invisible Man. Spicy hops take over the finish; this could try out as a rye IPA & get good marks. Nary a hint of the lagering, except that it’s going down like it’s running right out the bottom of my feet.

Nice job, Summit. A touch disappointed that the maple syrup was evidently spilled on the brewery floor – must have made quite the mess – but what’s left behind is a very good beer. Will have no trouble putting a couple of these down with my winning poker hands tomorrow night.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint.
8.2% ABV, Enjoy by 03/04/15

A - Brilliant copper amber in color, this bright clear beer pours with tall off-white cap of foam that leaves globs of chunky lace clinging to the glass as it slowly lowers.

S - Rich toasted maltiness brings a doughy smell to the forefront while suggestions of smoky maple syrup and woodsy spruce tips poke through the earthy hopped finish.

T - Aggressive hop bitterness slaps the tongue with earthy flavor, quickly followed by spruce pine-yness. The aromatic suggestions of maple syrup come through in flavor, adding slight sweetness to the hefty malt base.

M - Big and bold, the body remains smooth with a sharp pine and bitter hop bite on the finish that wonderfully evens out the feel for a round lager.

O - Herkulean Woods, as the name suggests, is a big and bold earthy beer with deep malt and maple syrup complexity that underlines it's aggressive hop bite and sharp spruce addition!

 966 characters

Photo of JackieTH
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 437 characters

Photo of ThaJokerWild
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of JakeBarnett
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Twotonsandwich
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of ImagenSeinfeld
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Torey
2.8/5  rDev -28%

Photo of Bamba1293
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Photo of enjambed
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Look: Dark amber, pretty much orange. Aggressive pour produces an overly large, off-white, head, that settles down to a decently sized cap.

Smell: Mostly hops with grapefruit, some pine. Caramel malts, some lager yeast, some earthiness/or earthy hops (is this the spruce?), and a little bit of sugar at the end from the maple syrup.

Taste: Very bitter, caramel malts take over as it warms. Did not detect any spruce or maple syrup like I did in the smell. The hops pretty much overwhelmed everything, which was a little disappointing given how much they tout the malts on the label. The 8.2% ABV is very well masked by all that's going on with the flavor.

Feel: Pretty thick for a lager. Lingering, dry finish.

Overall: Pretty good experimental beer. I expected more exciting flavors from the maple syrup and spruce, but didn't detect much of it in the taste. I've never had such a bitter, hoppy lager (is it an IPL, or an IPCC?) , and it was pretty good. It's already really good as it is, but like I said earlier, I feel that the hops overpowered the malt and the rest of the flavors a little too much. Some age to mellow out the hops might do well for it, and Summit itself even suggests aging.

 1,203 characters

Photo of Sensei04
2.52/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of PhillipBreker
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of Benh777
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of cdznuts
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%

Photo of kkesty
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Kark
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of adam88csu
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of TyFluth
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of BigAl18
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%

Photo of Statsmats
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Iowaund
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of hseldon15
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Taybeh
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

From a bottle into an imperial pint glass
A: Crystal clear amber, nice head that subsides into a tight 1/2 finger crown
S: Faint doughy sweetness, and a little something more also sweet...hard to put my finger on it.
T: Different in a fairly good way. Sweetness (caramel and maybe some faint maple syrup), then earthy dirty hops, lager yeast, and something with a different kind of bitterness (the advertised spruce, perhaps) at the end.
M: pretty thick for a lager; medium carbonation.

Overall: Can't say I'll put this ahead of many other possibilities...but it is interesting, and I'll give some credit for that.

 622 characters

Photo of jpwobbles
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unchained #16: Herkulean Woods from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 122 ratings