Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer Beers: Oh Honey!

Oh my giddy Aunt, after weeks of wondering whether we'll actually get a proper summer this year, we've got a bloody good summer! Now, I'm a man who enjoys his beers in all weather conditions in any scenario, whether it be in a beer garden, curled up by the fire or behind the wheel of a car...wait, I'm not allowed to do that one.

But anyway, for a sunny day like this and for the foreseeable future, I enjoy nothing more than honey beer. It is quite simply, beer brewed with honey. It adds a sweetness and complexity of flavour that is perfect for warm days like these.

So today I've got two brews from this fair country to treat you with. First off, Fullers Honey Dew Organic Beer. Brewed in London beside the Thames (hope they don't use the water), the first thing of note is the magnificent golden colour. It does look exactly like honey. The nose is sweet and heady with a nice touch of malt coming through. In the mouth it feels smooth with initial sugar on the tip of the tongue giving way to malts and delightful citrus fruit coating every taste bud. The finish is not what I was expecting, with the honey making a resurgence giving it a rather rich finish. It's a supremely satisfying beer and served chilled, it's beautiful for days like these.

Next up from Joseph Holt is a real Humdinger...literally. Hailing from Manchester, Joseph Holt Humdinger is slightly darker in colour than the Honey Dew and has a much more aromatic nose with notes of waxy citrus and hops. Humdinger still has that first hit of sugar on the palate, but it lasts longer than the Honey Dew, working beautifully with, and eventually bowing out gracefully to wonderful citrus hops, all of which is constantly underlined by gorgeous but not overpowering malt flavours. The finish of the 'dinger is dry and bitter, giving a perfect balance to the forefront of sweetness when it first touches the palate.

Both of these beers are available from all supermarkets and are currently £1.99 a bottle at Sainsbury's.

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