Brown Ale Battle: Nut vs. Honey
Ok, I’ve been meaning to do a review for a couple of bottles of beer that have been in the fridge for awhile. And since they’re both of the brown ale genre, I decided to taste them off against each other. The two battling brews worthy of today’s combat were Dead Frog’s Nut Brown Ale and Vancouver Island’s Spyhopper Honey Brown.
So Dead Frog Brewery has one of the best names in beer making. In fact, not only does it have a great name, but a couple great slogans as well, like “There are more hops in a Dead Frog.” Hilarious and slightly off colour! My kind of humour!
However, I have to say that the brilliant jokes don’t turn into brilliant beer in this case. As a brown ale you’d expect it to be a little sweet. And with the word nut in the name it should
have a little nuttiness to it. Well, it has both. The sweet is the stronger of the two, especially as the beer warms up a little. The nut is in there, but more in the background. There’s a little caramel in there as well, but yeah, I’ll be honest, I find this sweetness too strong, especially as it warms up. It has an almost syrupy taste to me, though I find this with most brown ales out of bottles. A sweet and burnt aftertaste as well. I can understand it maybe becoming an acquired taste, but with so much selection out there, I’m not going to put in the effort.
That, I guess, means the Spyhopper wins out. Surprisingly, I actually find this one a little less sweet, even with the honey. Which is even more interesting since I usually find honey adjuncts in bottles to be sweeter than the tapped version. But alas, they’ve done a good job to trim the sweet of the honey down a bunch.
However, that also means that it’s not as strong a flavour and doesn’t really lead this beer. It’s more of basic brown ale with tones of honey in it. If you really want a strong honey flavour, almost any other honey beer will do. This would be a good community beer though, if you’re sharing. It’s not going to put anyone off, just not really impress them either.
Funny enough, the Spyhopper is all over the place in people’s opinions. It’s received a bronze medal from the World Beer Championships but at the same time has been lambasted by bloggers. In the end you can only trust one thing: me…erm, ok your own opinion.