William Brothers (Heather Ales): Ebulum: Elderberry Black Ale (Scotland: Traditional Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual:  Dark, almost black but with reddish hints. Treacle brown head of decent bubbled style but little lasting power.

Nose: Coffee and liquorice. Slight sourness.

Body: Elderberry, coffee and bitterness. Almost black lager in its styling. Black cherry. Fizzy feel. Treacle and slight chocolate cake.

Finish: Liquorice, bitter. Sour grapes. Milk chocolate. Slightly oily thick feel to the remnants. Aniseed.

Conclusion:  While this beer is listed as a black ale by its makers the main body of it seems to call with great familiarity to the black lager style. The elderberry elements match up surprisingly well with this.  A slight sharpness against coffee and chocolate underpinnings, and is some larger sips brings in almost stout like touches.

Lovely mix of flavours, in a lot of ways it is a great nightcap ale (good thing too as I was nackered when I drank it).   It’s very soothing and very rounded it flavour, with that slightly thick final feel which soothes.

Balancing sour berries, black lager and stout, try tell me the sound of that doesn’t appeal.

Background: Drunk whilst exhausted after a weekend of Capoeira, where its relaxing qualities were well appreciated.  This beer was a gift from Dylan (Thanks Dyl), and is also if I remember rightly one recommended by the late great Michael Jackson (the beer hunter of course).  Drunk whilst listening to the OST from series 5 of Doctor Who which aided the relaxation.