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Sixpoint Mad Scientist Series #13: Gruitbeer

Sixpoint Mad Scientist Series #13: Gruitbeer
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RATINGS: 8   MEAN: 3.53/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.19/5   ABV: -
For hundreds of years in Europe, the pub drink was gruitbeer, a beer bittered and spiced with a mixture of herbs rather than hops. Rather suddenly, beginning in the 1600s, along with the rise of the Protestant Church, gruitbeer was phased out and hopped beer became the near-ubiquitous norm. But hopped beers weren’t preferred by the populace, who enjoyed the herbal brew and believed that hops caused drowsiness. Gruitbeers, on the other hand, were wildly popular and believed by many to provide a host of benefits— narcotic, antidotal, psychotropic and aphrodisiac effects were documented. With a small percentage of wheat and rye, along with a touch of smoked malt, our gruit’s grain bill is unique and muddled. Ancient brewers would not have access to 100% barley, and could not fire-malt their grain without leaving a touch of smoke. The result is a hearty ale with significant dimension. The final gruit mixture is made of heather tips, yarrow root, juniper berries and myrtle, resulting in a complex herbal bouquet and a lingering, light bitterness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Bulk_Carrier (3630) - Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA - MAR 22, 2014
Reviewed from notes. Consumed at When Pigs Fly, Kittery, ME; April 30, 2013. The appearance was a hazy brown body, no head (bartender pour - no worries), light white lacing. The smell was herbal - tea like qualities, caramel malts come out as the beer warms. The taste is sweet and herbal, herbal aftertaste and finish. The palate was about a light to medium, sessionable as far as Scottish Gruits can be, no carbonation was felt whatsoever. Overall, well, I liked it and would have it again though I haven’t had too many Scottish Gruits in my beer career.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
podey (637) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 14, 2013
Draft at Stag’s Head. Pours dark amber with a thin tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, fruit, candy and some floral and herbal notes. Taste is super malty, with notes of yeast, hops and flowers. Slightly bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 6, 2013
Snifter on tap at Cock & Bull in Hyde Park, for $7.50. ABV was listed on the menu as 4%. Interesting, sort of earthy flavor profile. Hint of chocolate. Some spice, something like cinnamon, but not cinnamon. Mildly hazy, darker red slight brown color. Thin off-white / khaki head. Couple loose splotches of lace. I enjoy the subtle smoked malt, here. Medium body, smooth lightly soft somewhat lighter carbonation. Lots of pleasant herbal notes on the palate. A bit more dry in the finish. Moderate bitter taste. Minimal sweet, lightly spicy. Interesting stuff, pretty tasty and creative, price not withstanding

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tcane7 (1670) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 5, 2013
Draft at Prohibition with Ray. Pours a murky reddish brown with thin beige head and mild lace. Nose of sweet malts, dark fruits, wood. Medium body and light carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
b3shine (8047) - Indiana, USA - JUN 2, 2013
Draft to taster. Looks good; somewhat cloudy copperish-brown with off-white head that dissipates into sticky lacing. Smells of light smoke and spice. Tastes like it smells, only better, with a good, zippy mouthfeel. Interesting, and I mean that in a good way.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
deliciosity (12) - USA - MAY 3, 2013
On draft. Really, you could tell me this was a porter and I would believe you. Not your typical fruit, but that’s not a bad thing. Nice roasted quality. Good mineraliness to the water (important when you’re not hopping the beer). A smooth, good drinking beer. Could drinobthis by the half liter, easily, if available. Definitely give this one a chance if you get the chance, although I prefer my fruits a little lighter and a little less clean.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sloshgator (696) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 3, 2013
Sixpoint Gruitbeer is billed as somewhat of a novelty, but I have to say that I would definitely like more of it. Not much aroma to speak of despite a nice head. Appearance is that of a nice dark brown ale with a bit of lacing on the glass. Taste is definitely malty with a slight bit of floral notes and a pronounced raisin flavor that hangs on the palate long after the last sip. The ABV is not listed anywhere I could find, but my experience says that it is probably a healthy 6-7%. I highly recommend that you reach back to the roots of beer craft with a Sixpoint Gruit on occasion. You won’t be disappointed and it is a nice change of pace from hop craze going on now.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (7402) - New York, New York, USA - APR 26, 2013
Draft at Blind Tiger with Andrew, Andy and Pearl. Pours a deep amber orange body with not much head. Some lacing. Aroma is vague floralness, spice, and earthy malt. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium with notes of grain, flowers, soft fruit flavors and a light earthy woodiness. Ok gruit.

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