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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 909   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46/5   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SirTom (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 6, 2003
Better than I expected. 'Your father is a hamster and your mother smells of this beer.' Whatever the heck an elderberry is, it's good in this beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2003
Bottle pours black with no color showing through light. The head is minimal and brownish. The aroma is malty like a Scotch Ale and smoky like the Alaskan Smoked Porter I just rated with not much in the way of a hop. The flavor starts out like a porter, but then goes into a fruity and salty middle, and somewhat acidic finish. I think I now know what an elderberry tastes like. It seems to linger for some time. The palate is nice and rich and smooth. Overall, I like this.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Dorwart (2498) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 30, 2003
Ok brown head with almost no carbonation. Dissipates to nothing after a couple of minutes. Smokey aroma that is dry and slightly fruity. Color is black. Flavor contains coffee, smoke, roasted malts, and a touch of hops. Very smooth texture. Finish is dry and slightly bitter and leaves a pasty aftertaste. A interesting beer that tastes a lot like a porter with many of the same characteristics. And no my mother was not a hamster and my father does not smell of elderberries.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - NOV 24, 2003
All the signs of a porter: dark brown/black color, roasted chocolate malt aromas and flavor, medium body. All this with addition of dark fruits in the aroma and flavor and some acidity in the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
wildchefbill (245) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - NOV 20, 2003
Pours ruby/black with a vert small tan head. Mild black cherry aroma. Flavor starts very malty chocolate/cherry with an extreme dry finish. A little acidic with no bitterness. No hop flavor. Has the feel of a dry red wine. A strange brew, but nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 9, 2003
Wow! Great suprise. I don't really like traditional ales but this was good. I don't know how to drink an elderberry beer so I used a tulip glass. It has a nice refreshing palate with just a hint of what I presume are elderberries. I didn't know elderberries existed other than for Monty Python to use as parental insults. It has a hint of smoke or malty flavor, it's a bit subtle. It still has the traditional beer rawness to it though. The taste may be a bit tainted by a raisin beer I drank earlier but all in all it is the best fruit-related beer I've had.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Andrew196 (1292) - Katy, Texas, USA - NOV 7, 2003
Color of coca cola.....head even resembled it. Distinct caramel and plum in the aroma. Medium bodied, lots of fruit and chocolatey malts in the flavor. Plum on the roof of the mouth in the finish. Pretty good!

   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 (10532) - 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 (2769) - 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.

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