Welcome to a special edition of our weekly beer tasting! This week, we’re reviewing six beers themed with Valentine’s Day. Three of them represent love (and have a running honey theme) and the other three are for those who HATE Valentine’s Day!
So, please, go get your favorite beverage, sit down, kick back and enjoy as we do our tasting!
Our first beer is…
BEER: Honey Kolsch
BREWERY: Rogue Ales – Ashland, OR
LOOK: Gold with just a touch of haze
SCENT: Sweet honey, wheat, and a hint of citrus/fruit
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Thin mouthfeel with a nice honeysuckle aroma which matches the taste it places on the back end of the tongue. Not overpowering at all and goes down easy.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: This is a nice, crushable spring/summer beer that has a sweet scent and a nice flavor that reminds one of beers like Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Company. Not bitter at all and extremely crushable and easy-going. This is a good light ale that’s very accessible.
BEER: Bees Better Have My Honey
BREWERY: Morgan Territory Brewing – Tracy, CA
LOOK: Gold and hazy
SCENT: Sweet honeycomb and blossoms
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Slightly thick mouthfeel. Another easy-to-drink beer with a very nice balance of sweet honeycomb and hoppy bitterness.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: I thought this beer was slightly better than the last one we had. My wife thought it was just a smidge below it. The honey is a lot more prevalent than the last beer we had — but with some bitterness to balance it out. This is just a beautiful drinker and would go great at a BBQ with some ribs with barbecue sauce dripping off them.
BEER: It Must Be the Honey! (Blonde Ale brewed with honey)
BREWERY: Belching Beaver Brewery – San Diego, CA
LOOK: Gold and hazy
SCENT: Honey and some citrus
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Thin mouthfeel with a LOT of tart citrus and a touch of honey on the way down.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: This was the least of the three honey tastings for both of us. The honey on this beer wasn’t as pronounced and there was more citrus than anything else, almost to the point where it made things taste antiseptic.
BEER: California Hello! (Oak-Aged Berliner Weisse)
BREWERY: Dunloe Brewing – Davis, CA
LOOK: Dark gold, slightly hazy
SCENT: Extremely sour and pungent
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Slightly thick mouthfeel. VERY sour all the way down with a slightly creamy aftertaste which offsets it.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: I’m not a huge fan of sours but this is almost like a Lemon Meringue Pie in a can. There’s a nice, bitter sour flavor to it, which is offset by a slighty sweet cream flavor on the back end. Very good.
BEER: Red Mistake (American Brown Ale)
BREWERY: Del Cielo Brewing Company – Martinez, CA
LOOK: Dark brown, soda colored
SCENT: Chocolate, toasted malt/wheat
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Slightly thick mouthfeel. Chocolate for the most part with a toasted wheat/hops flavor and VERY dark coffee on the back end of it.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: I’m not a big fan of red or brown ales. That said, this is a decent brown ale which benefits from giving the taster all the good stuff on the front end and saving the bitterness for the back end. The front end has nice chocolate and cocoa notes but the back end is all burnt toast and coffee. My wife wasn’t particularly impressed and thought the bitterness was overpowering. We were split on this one.
BEER: Raging Bitch (Belgian IPA)
BREWERY: Flying Dog Brewery – Frederik, MD
LOOK: Dark gold, clear
SCENT: Wheat, malt
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Slightly thick mouthfeel. Very nice malty IPA with some bitter hops and wheat.
FINAL REFLECTIONS: This is a very simple IPA with a lot of character and body to it. The malt and alcohol are front and center with bourbon-esque notes. The bitter hops are most welcome to offset the sweeter aspect. A very nice IPA despite the provocative title of the beer.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, we had a lot of fun with this tasting. The first three were a nice, easy-going, love-filled amalgam of beers while the last three were fittingly bitter and challenging, much like those bad experiences we’ve all had with love!
HEAR OUR FINAL THOUGHTS:
COMING THIS FRIDAY: Another great beer tasting…stay tuned!