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Beer Review #217 Elder Betty

Disclaimer: This beer was sent to me by the brewery as a promotional sample

The other new beer that Magic Hat sent me as part of their summer sampler was Elder Betty, a elderberry weiss. I’m generally not a big fan of fruit beers, but I am a fan of Magic Hat #9 which is an apricot beer, so I know that they know what they are doing with it comes to fruit beers. The big key with fruit beers is not making them too sweet. Many times a beer will have a great flavor, but the sweetness to get the desired flavor overwhelms the beer. I don’t think that I have ever had elderberries in a beer prior to this one.

Elder Betty pours a nice light orange color. It is very cloudy and has a nice white head. The nose is super fruity with the elderberries taking center stage. Behind the fruit there are some bits of bread and toasted oats, but the main character in the odor of this beer is berries.

On my first taste I was surprised that the berries didn’t show up right off the bat. Rather, a nice honey malt flavor took center stage at the opening. A mild berry flavor comes in, but it is not nearly as strong as the nose promises, which is a good thing. There is some slight bread at the finish but no signs of hops. This beer finishes a bit too sweet for my liking, but as I have said before, I think that a lot of fruit beers finish too sweet. There were no hop flavors present to help dry Elder Betty out.

This isn’t a bad fruit beer and I would actually consider it one of the better ones that I have ever had. The berry flavor is mild enough to not totally kill this beer. I think my favorite part about this beer was that I wasn’t burping berry flavor for the whole night. If they could just find a way to dry this one out a bit more it I would enjoy it much more. For a guy who really doesn’t like fruit beers, this one was rather drinkable. (more…)