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 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MartinT (8619) - 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...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ARMed (622) - 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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Indra (2711) - 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.

   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...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCW (1277) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CapFlu (4820) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 29, 2003
(330ml Bottle) Another headless beer from Heather Ale. Pours a body exactly like Coca-Cola. Nice roasted malt nose. Smoked Flavour of cocoa, licorice, oak, leather and tar. Most enjoyable from the 'Historic Ales from Scotland' gift pack and the most complex.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RobBestwick (677) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 25, 2003
strong malty nose with hints of elderberry, jet black appearance with small off-white head, roasted malt flavour, red wine like feel, gentle malt finish, very rich.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GregClow (2990) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 11, 2003
Very dark black with reddish hue and a tan head. Aroma of malt, molasses and fruit. Flavour of coffee, molasses and light berry notes. Not bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
joeycapps (1468) - Waterdown, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 11, 2003
Black w/ grayish head. Light fruit on the nose w/ coffee & molasses. Firm, moderately chewy body. Flavour is roasted (coffee) & sweet (molasses, prunes, date) w/ also a light fruitiness (elderberries I suppose).

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