All notes on beers in the style

Herbed / Spiced Beer

John John Juniper

Picked up the latest of the John John series to make it to Atlanta at Green's on Ponce. 22 oz bottle. Not really excited by the first one in the series, but this one seems to offer more potential for me. Color is an attractive, slightly hazed, golden body with a fine, wispy head. Not much retention or lace but a good color. Nose offers little other than some sweet malts and perhaps a touch of alcohol. Tastes are what I would call refined. A very tasty, noticeable light, citrus and herbal twang...

Bison Organic Honey Basil

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a fairly dark orange body with a fast receding head and little retention. The nose and tastes do not benefit much from the honey, but there is a distinct herbal quality to the beer which reminds me a little of a a Cinzano Bianco or other herbed/spiced vermouth. This is not really recognizable (at least to me) as specifically being basil, but the herbal nature is unmistakable. The herb nature adds an organic, green feel to the beer and a...

Underlig Jul

Purchased under the US/English "Perculiar Yule" label at Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour gives a solid looking, chocolate based pour with a well formed, compact off-white head. A LOT of sediment is transfered on the first pour. Settles nicely. Nose and tastes reveal what I would call a brown ale with spice. As usual the spices are difficult to pinpoint exactly, but certainly some all-spice and a touch of citrus peel/orange. Despite the obvious spice, the beer actually holds its own as a brown...

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Exciting times as I ran into this, the latest marketing ploy from AB at the Irish Bred Pub in Douglasville, GA, USA! Pour reveals a "dead" looking beer with less than an sixteenth of an inch of white head on top of a cloudy, butterscotch colored body. Partly due to the poor pour, but nevertheless even with agitation this beer fails to produce much life at all. Disappointing. Aroma is essentially of nothing. Again the circumstances don't help much (served FROZEN), but even on warming we get...

Brewer Patriot Collection – Traditional Ginger Honey Ale

12 oz bottle. Absolutely delighted to get a chance to try this after my own bottle fell out of the DBF and smashed on to the floor at the tome the patriot four-pack was original released. Didn't think I would ever see this again, but thanks to a recent trader, I got this bottle. Best Before October 2006 - err....almost three years late; never mind. Pour is a bright, tangerine body with a healthy head and some sediment. Head fades to a thin film on the surface of the beer. It looks as though it...

De Graal Gember

750 mL capped bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Very different label to the one pictured in the BA db. Notched as being best before May 2009. Mild fizz on opening. Poured into the Gouden Carolus chalice, the beer is a hazed, bright yellow and is reminiscent of the best Wits. Head is made up of fine bubbles and somewhat thin. Some lace. Ginger is present in very light amounts, but the beer is definitely herbal. The general spice is quite strong with the specific ginger notes a touch more...

Old Odense

500 mL bottle that came from Green's, Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. I actually bought this fro a trade that for one reason or another, fell through. Cost somewhere between $15 and $20 from memory - EXPENSIVE! TAP: 140208; MHT 110210 Hazed copper body with some head, but the head is forced by the aggression of the pour. Some film and collar left. Nose has plenty of fruit notes (cherry, pineapple and apple) but all are laced with a slightly sour character. The beer drinks with some of those fruity...

Rosée D’hibiscus

A slightly pinkish orange pour that gives he impression of a squeezed blood red grapefruit. A little murky. The head has a similarly light pink tinge. Head is short lived and there is not much lace to speak of. Aroma and tastes are fruit based rather than the floral one that I was half expecting. The taste is mainly a light, sweet and sour almost like a sweetened Cantillon beer but nowhere near as sweetened as a say, a Lindemans lambic. Low carbonation and an acidic finish. Dryish too. Pretty...

OBP Squared (Orange Blossom Pilsner Squared)

Extremely surprised to come across this at The Beer Exchange in Charleston, SC, USA. $2.49 as a 12 oz single. There is a smudged, inky, dot matrixed Best Before date on the label but it is unreadable. This appears to be a pretty rare find, but perhaps Thomas Creek is re-releasing/re-making it. I am VERY wary of this for two main reasons. Firstly Thomas Creek has been pretty much an unmitigated disaster in my book - beer, after beer, after beer has been disappointing in many cases, and very...

Noël Des Géants

750 mL bottle with a Deus type shape and a huge dimpled bottom. $9.99 from Green's on Buford. Very attractive presentation. Poured into the Brasseries de l'Abbaye des Rocs chalice, there is nice clarity on the the amber pour with some decent carbonation and a small head that fades to give a thin film on the surface of the beer. Very light lemon(ade) in the nose. Very light herbal note in the back of the beer but it is not pronounced. Especially surprising since the beer is described as a...

Commemorative Ale

$4.49, 12oz stubbie from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Part of the relatively recent influx of craft beer after the new ownership at Arbor Place. Insane carbonation - off the charts for most beers, but for the style uterly ridiculous. Completely opaque, murky orange body. Head is HUGE and nosiy with te carbonation being so high. No lace speaks to the lack of substance in the head. Nose is an extraordinary yeast, funky bomb - not unpleasant but very obvious. Very sweet with some...

Agave Wheat

On tap at Taco Mac, Marietta, GA, USA. $5.30 for the dubious pleasure of this beer. Just reached GA in the last few days. Butter colored beer that literally looks like melted butter! "Unfiltered" doesn't do this beer justice. It reminds me of the Widmer Hefe. Not very appetizing to look at. Minor film of fine bubbles as the head fades, and minor lace too. Thinnish mouthfeel and very little taste to speak of at all. Some light tartness but really very little.A little grain character but the...

Black Wattle Superior Wattle Seed Ale

12 oz single, Tower on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. I have no idea what Wattle seeds are, but this seems to work very well. Lovely amber clarity on the pour. Some carbonation - it's a shame that the head and lace are so poor. Definitely marked down for the lack of retention. Has the nose and taste of a malty, nutty Brown Ale. Very tasty, moreish and drinkable. Smooth but lacks presence for me. A little bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin for the kind of beer that it is. Needs a...

Baladin Nora

$12.99 Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. 750 mL with one of those stay fresh caps - a cross between a cap and a cork. Interesting story behind this purchase. I know for a fact that this particular bottle had been sitting on the shelves in the store for at least three years, and that the beer was almost certainly even older than that. I bought it with a little trepidation, but at the same time I was quite confident that the store had done the cellaring work for me. Took it down to...

Good Juju (Ginger Ale)

Taco Mac on the East West Connector, Austell, Atlanta, GA, USA. 12 oz bottle. Dated what looked like 08/28/05 but it was smudged. Almost certainly past its best. Essentially this is an American Pale Ale with a splash of ginger flavoring in it. Very unispiring and quite insipid. No character apart from an obvious ginger flavor in the finish, but outside of that the background is one of the blandest beers I can remember. Light orange color, served too cold, I didn't bother finishing the bottle....

Chateau Jiahu

750 mL bottle, approx. $11.99 at Shopper's Village, High St, Lexington, KY, USA. Well, here we go with another Sam Calagione/DFH inspired "concept" (for want of a better term) beer. Frankly I'm not really *that* interested in the thinking behind such beers, only if they taste good now! The history and context is nice, but without a quality, highly drinakble product at the end of the process there is not much in it for consumers at the sharp end. DFH may have learned a lot about brewing via the...

Brewer Patriot Collection – 1790 Root Beer Brew

Bizarre and unique to say the least. Hazed orange pour with a good head and some nice lacing. Frankly this looks pretty good. After that, well, it's a bit of a mess. Mint and more profoundly very strong medicinal tones in the nose and taste. These very odd aromas and flavors are very difficult to get beyond and this makes this difficult to drink. The best way I can describe it is as sweet child's medicine. Reminded me of the infamous Cherry Wheat in some respects! Pretty nasty, and although...

Juniper Pale Ale

Cloudy yellow pour with a good head and some lacing. Decent carbonation leads to a nice appearance. Pleasing hoppy bitterness that seemed balanced (unusually so for Rogue) with only a hint of the herbal/spice that the Juniper is presumably supposed to generate. Pretty dry all the way through particularly in the short finish. Easy drinking and a bit of a novelty but worth a try.

George’s Fault

Very interesting. Strikes an unusual balance between a Tripel and a Dubbel for me, with the honey definitely giving the Tripel sweetness, but whatever spices are present creating an interesting, darker feel. Dubbel like appearance, dark brown and a small head and little lacing, with sweetness of honey the power in the aroma. I didn't really pick up much coriander or orange in either the nose or the taste as advertised, but there was a sort of peppery twang in the finish. Alcohol at 9.00% is...

Bud Extra

Oh my gosh, what is this? Beer? Having resisted since its "birth" I finally tried this concoction. Wished I had continued to resist, you'd think I would know better by now, but ho-hum. US$ 3.00 in a seedy sports bar in West Georgia, USA. Pour is standard nasty macro, but not too offensive. Then comes the aroma and taste offensive - and I mean "offensive" in all senses of the word. If you like carbonated cough medicine then this is the "beer" for you. Amazing sweetness, medicinal and syrupy...

Midas Touch Golden Elixir

Leave it to a progressive brewery like DFH to produce this kind of product. A golden pour, but with zero lacing and a scant head. If I had to summarize this I would describe it as a malt liquor with honey added. As unattractive as that may sound this is delicious. Layered fruits and honey sweetness, this is a really rich beer and one that is guaranteed to wow! Lots and lots of repeated sweet, smooth layers break over the tongue to give a feeling of intense well-being. Nice. Mouthfeel is...

Mount Desert Island Ginger

Generally I like to be encouraging of brewers that try different things, as from time to time they can produce some really nice "off the wall" experiements. I don't think that this was one of those winners. Plenty of ginger in the nose and a little in the taste, the beer only really succeeded in being slightly sour and rather acidic. An orange pour with no head to speak of, its appeal was lost fairly quickly as the acidity overpowered the ginger, and the beer was lost. Nice try, but best to...

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale

Label describes this as a medium-bodied Porter but I don't see it in that light at all - far too light. Definite garnet color in the pour with a light and fluffy head. Not much lacing to speak of. I'm afraid I simply didn't get any strong cinnamon, spiced or gingerbread aroma's or tastes at all. In fact the whole experience was very subdued and a little flat. Not a bad beer, but rather disappointing, I was expecting a much firmer body and some bolder tastes. Instead I got a drinkable, but...