Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sam Adams Honey Queen Review

Name: Sam Adams Honey Queen
Style: Braggot
ABV: 7.5%

For this post, I bring to you something completely new and different that I have never reviewed before but have always wanted to try. I'm reviewing my first ever Braggot, which comes in the form of Sam Adams Honey Queen.

Since it's more of an obscure style, not many people are familiar with what a Braggot is. It's basically a beer whose fermentation process if like that of mead. They're typically very malty, brewed with honey and can either have hops or have no hops. In this instance, Honey Queen is brewed with hops.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not terribly familiar with the Braggot style. In fact, the only Braggot I've had prior to having this was from Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery as part of their Small Batch Sunday series.  Sadly I wasn't taking any notes at the time, but I thought it was solid!

Honey Queen pours a relatively hazy yellow color with a reasonably thin white head. The visible carbonation is somewhat moderate and the lacing is quite abundant and sticky.

The nose starts things off with a prominent Belgian yeast and honey aroma. This in turn is backed up by some cloves, floral hops and flowers, which I'm guessing is the chamomile used in the brewing process.

Now in the flavor, you have have some yeastiness, floral hops and chamomile at the front end of the palate. It isn't until you get to the back of the flavor and aftertaste that the honey makes it's way through and it does so in a fairly strong way because the aftertaste of honey and chamomile sticks around for quite a while. There is a slight boozy characteristic to the flavor itself but I didn't think it affected the overall quality.

The palate as a whole is moderate in both weight and carbonation. I do think the carbonation adds a little bit of dimension to the flavor so I can't find anything wrong here.

Since I'm not familiar with the Braggot-style, I really don't have a bar as far as what constitutes a good example of this style. With that said, I enjoyed this quite a bit and I feel it's safe to say that those looking for a great way to get into an obscure style would be wise to try this out.

Sam Adams Honey Queen - 8.5/10 

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