Chronique bière-Honey I’m Home-Anglais

When I first started brewing my own beer, just like any beginning home brewer, I was quick to asking questions! Can I do this? Can I add that? What types of sugar can go into beer? Well, it turns out that any sugar can go into beer! It’s all about the way a brewer incorporates in into the final product and to what degree and quantity. That being said, my very first series of experiments centered around the use of honey, which is why I chose to write this next piece on that same buzzing topic!

Brasseurs Du Monde Nectareüs 

Style: Brown Ale

Alcohol: 6.5%

Format: 500ml Bottle

Brasseurs Du Monde has not been my go-to-beer for a shock and awe experience; however they are quite a fun brewery for the conception of several series that I quite enjoy. The first that comes to mind is “Gamme Passion”, which has done very well for itself in the past few years. The series currently contains 7 beers, ranging from a Porter called Big Ben to a Farmhouse Ale named La Saison. Right in the middle is a fairly (but not too overpowering) sweet Brown Ale called Nectareüs, which had the pleasure of being brewed honey in honor of the gods of Ancient Egypt.

This tribute to the Egyptian Gods poured into the glass with a radiant, light brown, yet somewhat cloudy color. A big sweet, honey and caramel nose jumps from the pint, with perhaps the faintest hint of acidity that may actually just be the honey after fermentation. The head stuck around for quite some time, remaining creamy for my personal enjoyment, wild the wildflower honey notes continued to pleasure my sense. T

The high sugar level continued to my mouth, as I picked up what seemed like light apricot paired with a lingering chocolate and caramel mouthfeel. A small roasted character made it to the front of my palate, which was pleasant, but dissipated quickly. Honey remained as the leading aspect of the beer, creating an almost cloyingly sweet overall experience. Looking back, I might even say that the yeast fashioned some darker fruit notes, producing an almost Belgian beer profile (however this may simply have been due to warmer storage temperatures).

For the style and overall enjoyment of the brew, I would give it a solid 8/10 !  

 

McCoy Honey Pale Ale

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol: 3.5%

Format: 473ml Can

 

McCoy… What can I say?! I’d actually never heard of them before I went searching for beers brewed with honey. Turns out this imported brand is owned by Groupe Geloso, which is the same company that owns other known brands such as Boris, Poppers, London Calling Cider and Mons Belgh Brasse beer series. I did find it on sale, in a convenient store, so the obscurities of its commercial roots do not surprise me. What the hell, let’s drink!

Popping open the can resulted in immediate, fresh and sweet honey, hand in hand with a strong acidic presence. I can say it smelt almost like sherry or mead because of the high level of sweetness. From a brewing standpoint, I would guess some combination of Caramel, Munich, Biscuit and/or Honey Malts was used in this one. Still, it felt light, fresh and summery. After my first hit, I started to pick up the hops, which were giving off a spicy, piney and almost spruce like manifestation. Being very honest, the overall aroma reminded me of some of first batches of homebrew, which used malt extract over malted barley (all grain).

The mouthfeel was fuzzy and over carbonated for an English style Pale Ale, which surprised me considering it came out of a can. The caramel flavor was the first I picked up, which even though a little stale, had a surprising clean finish. At the end of the day, honey still stood strong as the dominant character, providing a malty brew. It seemed dry but actually left a strong residual sweetness that just worked! Not the tastiest beer in the world but a nice summer/fall beer.

For the style and overall enjoyment of the brew, I would give it a solid 6/10 !  

 

Le Trou du Diable Mellifera

Style: Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol: 5%

Format: 600ml Bottle

Le Trou du Diable’s Mellifera was my most eagerly awaited tasting of the evening, as I am a fan of this brewery. In my experience, they are known to hit and miss, with some beers being much better than expected and others letting me down. I found this bottle while searching for sweet inspiration and didn’t think twice!

Woah! That first smell stings the nose! What starts off as a mix of sulfur, honey and acidity… doesn’t change very much as time goes on. I immediately questioned the fermentation of this brew, given the particular coming out of my pint. My first guess was some kind of sour mash or lactic fermentation, which is exactly (the latter) what it turned out to be. Lemongrass was another predominant aroma in this one but the sulfur really overwhelmed my senses.

An unfortunate Band-Aid like taste was my first impression of Mellifera. No apparent honey. While there was sweetness in the taste, I could not bring myself to say it as honey. The mouthfeel was quite stale, leaving me more parched than I was before the beer. I picked up a perceived bitterness that tasted more like bitter lemon peel than anything from a hop. I would really like to try this on tap, with the hopes that this experience was due to bad bottle storage, as I would not buy another bottle anytime soon.

For the style and overall enjoyment of the brew, I would give it a solid 4/10 !  

 

What would I drink again for taste?

Brasseurs Du Monde Nectareüs

 

What would I buy again for price?

McCoy Honey Pale Ale
What would I unfortunately avoid as a “Honey” Beer?

Le Trou du Diable Mellifera

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