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
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.