Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale


2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1284) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2015
I’ve never really understood why breweries try to market “honey ales,” since if you know about brewing you know honey is used as adjunct rather than a flavoring ingredient. I can’t recall any beer that actually tastes like honey. So I’m not sure what Narragansett’s Lovecraft Honey Ale is supposed to be. It’s a big beer at 7% ABV, but it has little depth of character. Is it an amber ale, a golden/blonde ale or a braggot of some type? I don’t know, nor care since the flavor just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

I poured a 16oz can into a tulip glass. It was canned on 1/7/15 and cost $3.35 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful copper/amber hue with a crystal clear body. Pours to a large, beige, foamy head which retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Strong alcohol presence not unlike that of a distilled spirit. Some malty sweetness and a hint of flowers.

Taste: This brewery is not exactly forthcoming with their recipes, so it’s no surprise the description for this one is rather vague. It mentions pale malts, honey and hops – but which specific varieties are never mentioned. There is a light malty flavor through the palette, but nothing with individual characteristics. Just a general taste of malt. The alcohol also plays a major component; the beer tastes several under attenuated. Raw alcohol taste but without the distinctiveness of rum. Perhaps there’s a mead character here from all the supposed honey used. I can buy that, but the fact is the final product just isn’t appealing to me. I was able to get through about half a glass before calling it quits. There’s an odd astringency and tang on the finish that I find abrasive. It’s not a brewing flaw, this is the intended taste and it’s one I don’t care for.

Drinkability: Usually, 7% ABV tends to be the line between “big beers” and not-so-big beers. There’s plenty of body to Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale as the mouthfeel is quite thick and full. It actually does finish fairly clean with a crisp texture. That being said, there’s a lot of alcohol heat that’s quite distracting. Additionally, for such a big brew the palette is remarkably direct. Some complexity would be nice. 
Grade: 3/10