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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Williams Brothers Brewing Co. "Grozet" Gooseberry & Wheat Ale

Willliams Brothers Grozet Gooseberry and Wheat AleWilliams Bros. Brewing Co. "Grozet" Gooseberry & Wheat Ale:

Did you know that the word "grozet" is Auld Scots for Gooseberry? Yeah, me neither. As a lovely Christmas gift from cousin, I received a four-pack of beers from the Williams Brothers Brewing Company of Scotland. Being of Scottish descent, and having watched Braveheart at least ten times, I thought this was wonderful. However, knowing that Scotland is also the land of haggis and Scotch whiskey (I'm not a fan), I had some doubts.

Cracking open the Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale, I was struck by its effervescence and head in the glass. I used a small pilsner glass instead of a wheat glass proper, and luckily El Presidente was not around to witness the faux pas. My nose in the glass, you can smell the wheat, tasting it, you are not overwhelmed. There is a bit of lingering wheaty aftertaste also where you can find some of the berry flavor. The berry flavors come out more as the beer settles down and warms up a degree or two.

To be honest, though, I am at a disadvantage, because I have never consumed a gooseberry, so I don't know what to look for (or taste for). But I liken it to another berry wheat beer I reviewed (Long Trail's Black Beary Wheat). Its subtly is its strength. Some wheat beers feel overly wheaty and fill up your nose and mouth and stomach. Some berry beers go overboard on the berry to make it distinctive. This is different and nice, and the fact that Scottish brewers have been using the gooseberry in fermented drinks for centuries, this beer strikes me as sophisticated and not gimmicky at all. Of course, maybe I'm just buying into hype. But I like it. I found it interesting, too, the ingredients listed on the bottle: Malted Barley Bree, Wheat, Gooseberries, Bogmyrtle, and Hops. Whatever the combination I like it. Very accessible, good introductory beer, not overly berry-ish, and at 5% abv, able to drink all night long as you recite Robert Burns poems and paint your face blue. Wallace!!!!!

Williams Bros. Brewing Co. "Grozet" Gooseberry & Wheat Ale:

Representation: .8
Accessibility: .95
Style: .75
Personal Preference: .85

Total: 3.35 Flags

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