always wary of beers that have gimmicky-sounding names. It’s like the
manufacturers of such beers are trying to say, “Hey this beer has been
artificially sweetened to distract you from that that nasty beer taste.”
Well, you know what? Sometimes I like a beer that tastes like beer.
Ironically, I find this to be true with JW Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager.
I’ve had a few times over the years but it’s never left an impression on
me whatsoever. It’s not as famous a brew as Budweiser and yet it’s not
nearly as tasty as Sam Adams. It’s just plain old beer.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
It’s a good thing Honey Brown doesn’t pour like its namesake, otherwise
it would quite an annoyance. In fact, its actual physical form is one
of its most appealing aspects. It flows smoothly out of the bottle and
forms a very small head which lingers until the last drop. There’s also
quite a lot of bubble action happening that almost never stops. At least
no one can accuse this beer of being flat.
Color-wise, it’s a
very pretty shade of dark gold/light brown, although I’d say it leans
more towards the gold side. Why they decided to use the word “brown” in
the name is beyond me (it’s the most unappealing color in the spectrum –
ask anyone who has taken Marketing 101). The aroma is fairly standard
“beer” smell: not too sweet, but not too bitter.
I was quite surprised to find Honey Brown Lager such a thin-bodied,
weak-tasting, watered-down beer. I was expecting it to taste like, well,
honey! It’s rare to find a lager that is very sweet since sweet
seasonings tend to lend themselves more to ales than lagers (whether
artificial or natural).
Honey Brown Lager has a little bit of a
bite to it, but because it’s so watery it’s not overwhelming. In fact,
it’s quite a smooth beer to drink. It definitely is sweeter than the
average lager but those expecting it to taste like honey-flavored beer
will be disappointed. It’s just a cut above your run-of-the-mill lager
in terms of taste, although just barely.
I’m actually a bit surprised this beer isn’t considered a light beer
because it has the complexity and body of one. Actually, it’s not so
ridiculously watered-down as Bud or Miller Lite, and yet it’s not nearly
as full in body as the regular versions of those beers. It certainly is
easy to drink and to drink quickly, but it leaves much to be desired.
Throughout a pint or a bottle of Honey Brown Lager you’ll feel some
tingling on your tongue but that last swig is surprisingly harsh. The
constant dancing of bubbles in the glass is entertaining but you’ll know
why there was so much action at the finish of the beer. It’s not even a
reason to dislike the beer, just an unexpected element.
I had never given much thought to JW Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager until
now, but at least I know why. There just isn’t much to appreciate. It’s
not nearly as sweet as I expected and it’s got too much of a bite at the
end. However, it is definitely an easy-to-drink beer and not filling at
all. Lightweights and novices are much more inclined to enjoy it than
beer snobs (although I seem to be in the minority on this view).