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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 892   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - NOV 7, 2003
Bottle. So elderberries exist outside of Monty Python?? Opaque black, small head. A mixture of chocolate, licoriche, and (I suppose) elderberries. Doesn't seem to add up very well, and it ends a little too bitter for the flavor. I wasn't too impessed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopscotch (10210) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 4, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 12, 2007 Bottle... This beer rocks!... It has a lot of the same characteristics as a Scottish ale. Very dark, handsome, crimson hue. The aroma is nice and malty with notes of milk chocolate, red wine, vanilla and toffee. The flavor is pretty well-balanced. A touch fruity, pungent and tangy with some lesser notes of coffee and chocolate. Well-bittered. Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and mild carbonation. The finish is fruity, astringent and dry. I really like this one! World Class Brew!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Shag (2716) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - OCT 24, 2003
Appearance is very nice, dark with a long lasting beige head. Flavor is licorice, dark chocolate, raisins, and coffee with a mild sourness in the background. Very similar to a porter IMO. This is a nice beer even though I typically don't like Traditional Ales.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JPDIPSO (5124) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2003
Near black color with a tinge of rudy. A smaller tan head. Mocha and light lirorice in aroma. Roasted grains with a light fruity background. A somewhat fruity stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 6, 2003
Very dark brown hue with frothy tan head head and very good lace. Aroma hints of berry, smoke, leather, licorice, and wood. Twangy fruit and smoky malt taste. A bit of alcohol appears also. The finish is espresso like, dry and mildly bitter. Undertone of tobacco and black currents included. Weird and complex, yet the palate was a bit off as I found the beer a bit thinner than expected. The alcohol detected on the nose is not present on the tongue. Overall a very interesting beer that I will try again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - OCT 5, 2003
Very interesting looking dark ale, looks more like a porter, 90% opaque. Thin head of off-white bubbles. Smells of sweet berries as the name suggests (blueberry and boysenberry), pipe tobacco and chocolate. Taste is bright, tart and strong. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, both sweet & tart berries, and alcohol. Aftertaste is chocolate, tart-coffee, and more alcohol. This is one of the most surprising, perplexing beers I’ve had in a long time. From the time I pulled the bottle from the fridge, poured it into my glass, and put the glass to my lips I had no clue what to expect. This is definately not a traditional ale. I really hope this review hasn’t ruined the shock for anyone. Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, purchased at Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in Washington, DC.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bu11zeye (12363) - 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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
WISEGUY572 (1377) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
wnp22 (698) - 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.

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