Beer Reviews

Williams Bros Kelpie and Ebulum


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Having reviewed Alba and Fraoch already, I couldn’t resist reviewing their other “Historic Ales” as well. After all, they’ve got that authentically Scottish feel to them and that, in many ways, is what this blog is about. The historic range includes another three ales, but I had my heart set on reviewing them in pairs – and so I will. The solution is simple; I’m going to review one of their non-historic ales as well.

I’ll stick to the historic expressions for this post, though, and in front of me stands a bottle of Kelpie (seaweed ale) and a bottle of Ebulum (elderberry black ale). Seeing as Kelpie is a favorite of mine, I’m going to start with that. Kelpie is made by adding seaweed to the mash tun, which gives it a quite unique salty and sea-like quality. The nose is reminiscent of a dark sweet ale brewed from black malt, with a fair bit of chocolate, salt, coffee and of course malt. It’s pretty rich and creamy, and the palate presents pretty much exactly the same notes found on the nose, with a lovely salty and chocolate aftertaste. If you like a dark ale and sea-salt chocolate, you’ll love this; it’s unusual but absolutely gorgeous. Oh and you definitely don’t want to chill it, at all.

Ebulum is also a dark ale and, in my opinion (which is all you’re going to find around these parts), follows Kelpie quite nicely. The nose is full of roasted malts, some berry sweetness, dark chocolate and slightly floral. It all comes together really nicely, like a warm hug on a cold autumn day – in my mind’s eye I see a forest on a cool October morning, ground full of golden orange leaves.  The palate starts with chocolate accompanied by roasted malts, followed by some of that floral and berry-esque sweetness.

If I had to pick one of the two to recommend, it would have to be Kelpie – it’s just that little bit better and more interesting, but Ebulum is certainly worth a try as well. Hey, it’s not like they’re expensive!

Kelpie Summary

Eye: Dark amber? I forgot to make a note of the color before finishing it, oops!

Nose: Chocolate, salt, coffee and dark malt.

Tongue: Quite rich and creamy, chocolate, coffee, salt and malt.

Ebulum Summary

Eye: Dark reddish-brown, nearly black.

Nose: Roasted malts, some berry sweetness, dark chocolate and slightly floral. Distinctively hug-like.

Tongue: Chocolate and roasted malts, floral and berry sweetness.

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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