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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 872   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.45   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
khayman70 (154) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2002
I loved the flavor of this strange dark brew. It almsot has a burnt flavor.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jaymobrown (1692) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 13, 2002
Dark, syrup pour. Burnt wood nose. Bitter burnt flavor. Some type of straw, grass taste. Probably the herbs in the description. Some carbonation gives it a little fizz.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cartoonkhaki (1220) - Brantford, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 9, 2002
This brew poured so black and thick. The head didn’t last long at all and it resembled flat Cola. Coffee aroma with fruit. It was very sweet almost like a wine at times.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 22, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2005 The blackness scared me because i forgot it was a ’black ale’...it poured with a tan head but it settled with absolutely nothing, no head, no lace, NADA!...aroma whispered with cocoa coffee veggies..roastedness pops out at first, bitterness weaving its way in and out but...where’s the fruit?? I do taste something pecular, but fruity I’m not sure...besides that confusion, oily..sugary, bittersweet...UH..maybe a wierd 4th dimensional raspberry tartness, not too sure though, craziness, insane, oiley...ah hah..raisins...fruity, crunchy, chewy, sweet raisins...thats the fruitiness in a half shell

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Pjones6738 (500) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 20, 2002
Best by Feb 2004. Solid black color, with lots of really long lasting tan head. Smells like coffee, which wasn’t what I’d expected. Tastes like a stout, with a smoked coffeeish flavor. Chocolate flavor moves in at it warms. Just didn’t enjoy this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 12, 2002
Aroma of light malts, olives? Black in hue, tannish head. Light fruit in the backdrop, velvety soft, and rather quaffable. Roasted grains, bitter clean finish. Decent, and enjoyable. Berry flavor comes through a little more as it warms up. Good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - OCT 23, 2002
Was expecting much more fruitiness, but it’s barely noticeable. Very surprised at the smokiness of this one, very reminiscent or a mild rauchbier or particularly smoky Scottish Ale. Some hints of maple, herbs, and a few roasts, but nothing to particularly impress me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
delacerveza (166) - Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2002
syrupy, chocolate color with a tan pillow-puff cloud of a head. roasty, nutty aroma. i was expecting it to scream FRUIT because of the elderberry ingredient but it really didn’t. it tasted a bit like an herbal medicine (like an echinacea tincture if anyone has ever tried one of those) and there was a pronounced smokey aftertaste. really tasted like a porter to me. i’d buy it again, but it was pretty rich so definitely not a session sort of ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
leaparsons (8303) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 3, 2002
Quite a complex amalgamation of cough medicine, vimto, cola and herbs. An interesting "historic document".

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
SilkTork (5273) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - SEP 30, 2002
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2012
September 2002 The Heather Ale brewery are making a name for themselves with their offerings of 4,000 year old ale recipes with slightly unusual ingredients. Some people try them for the historical connection: ’So this is what those ancient Celts drank!’ Some people try them for the unusual flavours: ’Ah heather! I wonder what that’s like in a beer?’ But then most are put off because the description (ale, lager) doesn’t match the experience. It’s happened to me on a few beers - my brain is expecting one range of flavours, but my mouth is encountering something completely different. Confusion results and I downgrade the brew. With Ebulum one might expect a fruit beer of some sort. Well, there is fruit present, but it plays a minor, though significant, role in the taste encounter. To better prepare yourself, and to judge if this is the beer for you, consider Ebulum as part of the Porter family. The rich roasty, chocolate flavours, balanced by a mildly acidic fruity tone, all held together with a light, refreshing body would be recognisable to lovers of Porter. And I loved this beer. Surprisingly modern, this is a complex and fairly challenging ale. It hides its strength well - using the alcohol to enhance the flavours rather than produce a blunt alcohol kick. I drank mine at cellar temperature - I’m not quite sure why the brewers suggest slightly chilled. [3.6]
Nove, 2012 330ml brown glass bottle. Deepest red so appears black apart from a deep ruby glow when catching the light. Malty chocolate aroma and flavour. Low condition. Dusky, dusty chocolate and burnt hemp rope flavours play with elusive dark fruit notes - not quite cherry, not quite plum. A little bit chalky, but pleasantly so. Occasional roast flavours. Light bodied and easily quaffable, there is, however, always that awareness of alcohol - particularly the fumes which catch the throat on swallowing, and some sense of oiliness - rather like Engine Oil. The elderberry connection is misleading. I can’t pick it up, and by advertising it, I get the impression this beer is going to be more fruit based than it is. But all in all this is an attractive and satisfying brew. [3.6]

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