The time has come again when International Gruit Day, February 1st, is upon us! Beau’s brewing was kind enough to shoot over something special for me to try and share my thoughts! I do not have much knowledge about gruit style ales, but for those on the same boat as me a gruit ale is one that has been brewed with a single herb to spice the beer. It is apparently an age old tradition, however since 1516 an act declared that all beer be made from barley, hops, and water. And since then it has been the norm. Beau’s hit the market in 2008 with Bog Water surprising the market with this traditional ale style. With a gruit style the hop dominance is taken out of the equation with the focus being replaced by herbs, spices and other worldly elements. This beer is definitely not all about the hops. So why would Hopcitizen of all people drink this? Well, because its fun to try new things and experiment with taste buds. Experimentation keeps the palate alive and expands it at the same time. 60 Plus breweries around the globe will participate in this years event releasing their respective gruit ales. For this years occasion Beau’s has chosen Lamb’s Wool.
Beau’s Lamb’s Wool
Gruit Ale (Traditional Ale) || ABV: 6.5% || IBU: 10
Lambs Wool is a Gruit ale blended with unfiltered all organic juice, pressed from Quebec orchard apples with cinnamon and cloves added for a spicy character. The appearance has this amazing muddy ruby copper, and the aroma destroys the nose with strong burst of fermented apples. To taste it has this interesting cinnamon apple kick with some herbaceous qualities dancing around. The finish is a nice meld of all the flavor points with the added light touch of the cloves. I don’t sense the cloves as much because the cinnamon and apples are definitely dominating the palate. I don’t have much experience with Gruit ales, but tasting this sparks my curiosity to seek some other ones and have a taste. As odd as it sounds to throw in cinnamon, cloves and apples into a beer it sure does seem to tangle my taste buds. It’s like a thick vegetable like cider that really does warm you up. At 6.5% abv I was thinking it’ll be easy drinking but its ease in drinking makes you sip this bastard down quick. And then the warming qualities of the spices are not the only thing warming you up. The finish can tend to become a little bold, rather than the flavor points being separated they all join together like megazord for one finally ass kicking to the palate, and then its all over.
I am sitting surprised for sure, at first I was a bit hesitant when reading the description. But my hesitation has come to a halt after cracking it open and continually sipping it. Its one of those beers where as a hop lover I’m telling myself, why apples, cinnamon and cloves? But I keep thinking that as my glass empties and I need a refill. “Please sir, may I have some more?” (Obnoxious British accent)
It is safe to say that I am pretty impressed as well as satisfied with this beer. I would definitely be interested in seeking some more gruit ales out and experimenting with my taste buds! You can pick this one up at majority stores in and around Quebec! Generally Beau’s sees some good distribution including some groceries stores etc. So this one should not be hard to find locally in Quebec!
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen