RateBeer
overall
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95
style
Brewed by Williams Brothers (Heather Ales)
Style: Traditional Ale
Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 866   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.45   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottled. A cask version at 5.8% is produced in October and November.
"Elderberry Black Ale"
Introduced to Scotland by Welsh druids in the 9th Century, elderberry black ale was part of the Celtic Autumn festivals when the "elders" would make this strong ale and pass the drink round the people of the village. The recipe was taken from a 16th Century record of domestic drinking in the Scottish Highlands. Elderberries were used for many natural remedies to cure sciatica, other forms of neuralgia, influenza and rhumatism as they contain tannins and fruit oils.
Ebulum is made from roasted oats, barley and wheat boiled with herbs then fermented with ripe elderberries.
A rich black ale with fruit aroma, silky soft texture,soft roasted flavour and gentle finish.
Recommended with stewed and baked foods.
Drink lightly chilled from a straight glass.


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - OCT 5, 2003
Pours black with a touch of red when held to the light. Nose is very port like. Slightly tart at the front with a medium full body. Finishes watery though. Reminds me of watered down wine.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bu11zeye (11942) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 2, 2003
(Bottle) This brewery makes excellent beers and this beer is no exception. The ale is black and creamy with the most intesting complexity. Your tongue will be jumping for joy!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 27, 2003
Almost black with quickly vanishing dark coffee colored lacing; with a lot of tiny bubbles it looks almost like a Coke. Mouth is big and round and viscous and oily, almost like a porter. Taste of bitter coffee, sweet dark malt, burned caramel and ... something else ... elderberries? Complex, but light, not overwhelming. Easy drinking, hides the alcohol. Not great but pleasant for a night cap.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
wnp22 (685) - Toronto (Roncesvalles Village), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 16, 2003
Tasted in Toronto from LCBO. Aroma is sweet with a licorice, caramel and spicy hint. There is also a lingering alcohol scent. Appearance is dark brown/black and opaque. Very slight head formation. Taste is burnt caramel and black licorice with come complex smoky undertones.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MartinT (7811) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 9, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 25, 2005 A porterish, roasted liveliness unexpectedly surveys a familiar territory...Elderberries (very similar to blackberries, it seems) waltz homogenously with the lactic creaminess which appears midway...Well-crafted, a little smoky, but relatively unthreatening dark ale...

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ARMed (602) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 14, 2003
Tastes like a mild porter, with a little oatmeal stout flavor, though a watered down version and much much weaker. Color is deep amber black. Head is minimal and not long lasting. Lacing is fair and bubbles are relatively small. Less carbonated than I would have thought, but I liked that aspect of the ale. The ale has a slight bitter burnt caramel taste. It is not as full-bodied as I was hoping. It is however very smooth and clean. Easy to drink and not a bad beer, but just not one that I would completely rave about. I really don't taste the fruity aspect of this ale at all, but it does have a good flavor, though a little weaker than I was hoping. Can't taste the 6.5% alcohol at all!

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Indra (2617) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - AUG 10, 2003
Dark, roasty aroma, some espresso and berry, which lends an earthy, fruity, vaguely winey character. Deep, dark mahogany color, almost black, with a light brown, slight but creamy head. Pleasant roasted grain flavor, along with dark (elder)berry and red grape fruitiness, some faint semi-sweet chocolate and coffee notes, with a light, tart and sweet note on the finish. Very smooth palate, medium-full body. Not quite like anything else I've had to date, although does seem to have some commonalities with beers in the Schwarzbier category. Enjoyable.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
blank (996) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 24, 2003
nice dark color with a soft dark fruity aroma. it had a nice berry flavor that went well with the beer. A very solid ale with fruit flavors...

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 5, 2003
Darkess traditional ale I've ever seen. Black, stout like appearance. Fruity aroma like black berries, I guess thats the elderberries. Sweet wine like flavor. Very pleasant beer. It would make a nice summer time dessert beer. Great with a cigar.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JUN 3, 2003
Nicely carbonated, in comparison to some other ratings here. It does look a lot like Coca Cola. Very nice earthen and leathery nose, slightly hoppy (pine needles, moss) - buttery elements in the aroma as well. Complex, yes, from the 4-pack - a hint of fruitiness that purports to be elderberry, but I don't know. Good roastiness, well-balanced.


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