Unearthing A Gruit Ale

I was pleasantly surprised to find a Gruit Ale on one of my visits to New Beer. Gruit is a combination of herbs thatgruit.jpg were used to brew beer before the use of hops. There’s really an extensive and remarkable history to Gruit. The way it tastes, the way it effects you, and even in a social context. You can check it out at Wikipedia for a fairly decent history, or maybe I’ll write more on it later. Anyway… back to Two Druids!
Appearance: Pours with a small head that quickly fades away. There are all sorts of particles swimming around in the body of this ruby/caramel/brown/gold beer. I’m not sure how to capture the color, and my photo does no justice. These particles make for a murky beer.
Aroma: This beer has an aroma that you might expect from a seasonal holiday brew. Herbs and spice and some other things nice. Nothing over the top in any one area. My nose is assaulted by such a variety though. I small rosemary and maybe cloves or cinnamon, a raisin/apple smell combined with the alcohol gives this beer a white wine kind of smell. There’s also a kind of tangy smell that makes me think of soy sauce.
Taste: I’ve got to admit, I was terrified to sip this beer, but I knew it had to be done. I was pleasantly surprised! Often something with herbs and spice reminds me of chomping on potpourri, but this one didn’t. The flavors weren’t too overwhelming. There’s a bit of bitterness in this beer that fades to a slight sweetness. It reminds me of a cider, rather than a beer. That thinking makes me feel like this beer will taste good even as it warms to room temperature (as I imagine it was served in the ancient days that it was brewed).
Mouthfeel: While I was expecting this beer to have a strange mouthfeel, because of all of those particles floating around, it didn’t. It had a lot of body with a feeling somewhere between oily and creamy without being too filling.
What an interesting surprise this beer was. I love that the guys at Heavyweight Brewery put themselves out there and tried this unusual brewing technique. While it’s obviously not a brew for every day, if you’re into beer, don’t pass up the opportunity to try this unique brew.

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