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Harlem Sugar Hill Ale - Harlem Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harlem Sugar Hill AleHarlem Sugar Hill Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 14.98%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harlem Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  6.09% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002)
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear deep golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a small head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of biscuit and cracker malts in the nose along with some faint hints of berbal hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste some flavors of sweet malts along with hints of herbal hops, the latter of which contributes a light amount of bitterness that persists into the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and flavorful compared to some of the other beers in the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2012 18:27:06 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, darkened orange-amber body with a modest, white head.

Smell: A sweetish, spicy, but not particularly effusive nose, smelling of crumbled biscuits, equally crumble toffee crisps, a drizzle of apricot, dried lemon peel, and spicy, dried herbs.

Taste: Pale malts with a pinch of toasted biscuit crumbs and a bit of sweet butter toffee. Lightly fruity citrus and a touch of dry, tea-like herbs. Medium-light bitterness. Drying, faintly herbaceous finish with a lingering of that sweetish toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a simple, satisfactory golden, nothing more. Best of luck to ya, Harlem Brewing!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 22:41:19 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer comes from a centuries old African recipe...uh huh.Anyways found this brew for $3.99 at the local health food store and gave it a try,pours a nice golden color with a head that starts out nice but fades really quickly.I get a slight toasted malt aroma but not much more in the aroma.A malt accented brew biscuity and lightly fruity finishing pretty crisp and clean.This beer was much better than expected,not great by any means but for $3.99 cant beat it good brew for the hot and humid weather down here.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 21:36:40 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sugar Hill Golden Ale
$1.99 @ Whole Foods, Union Square, NY

Appearance: Clear amber body with golden highlights beneath a creamy head of slightly off-white. The head retention is quite good and it maintains a solid surface covering even after dropping. A sheet of lace is left behind with each sip, and although it slides back into the liquid most of it remains, rising up like a mountain range in the distance.

Smell: Grainy malt with a bit of yeasty fruitiness and some minor grassy hop notes. Clean.

Taste: The grainy malt dominates the flavor profile, accented by the yeasty fruitiness (apple, fig). The hops are spicy and grassy, helping the very firm bitterness to bring it to a dry and spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with a gentle zest on the tongue.

Overall: A decent beer with an interesting character. It's a basic American blonde ale and it won't turn any heads, but it's well-made and should hold its own with the best of 'em.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 16:45:06 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clouded amber gold. No head. Nose is a fairly firm metallic with a bit of sugar peeking about as well. Flavor is bitter with a lemon citrus edge. Sweet as well, but just a faint touch. Metallic is the word here as that is the most dominant feature. Feel is nice on the bubble and a bit thicker on the liquid. Overall though the metallic flavors that are there kind of detract I think. I can't say it is anything exciting worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 08:19:45 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

2.54/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle at Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, NY

I cringed at the $8 price tag on this as my buddy got it, and sadly it was the best beer Iridium had to offer. I sampled it, but ultimately decided if I needed to reach a $15 minimum, I might as well get a martini.

But anyway, this was a slightly hazy, light amber beer, with a fizzy white head that receded to nearly nothing; bubbly carbonation and no real lacing noted. Aroma of toasted grains and corn sugar. More of the same in the taste, pale malty sweetness, toasted grains, light grassiness, slightly metallic edge in the finish. Light body, and not too pleasant overall. Shame on Iridium for gouging these suckers. A crappy club that I hope never to return to, though it was worth it to see Paul Gilbert play "Man on the Silver Mountain" with the Les Paul Trio.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 05:46:12 | More by Rifugium
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 10/06/12 notes.

a - Pours a golden-amber color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet corn, wheat, grains, bready malts, and light floral hops. Not great, and not much going on here. Pretty average nose.

t - Tastes of lightly sweet honey and light fruits, corn, wheat, bready malts, grains, floral hops, and earthy malts. Nice sweetness from the honey and fruit, much better than the nose.

m - Light body and low carbonation. A bit undercarbonated and has a watery feel to it.

o - Overall a decent beer, though nothing amazing. Easy to drink and some nice honey in the taste, though the nose is uneventful. Probably wouldn't seek it out again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 20:15:46 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a wispy head. No lace develops.

Smell: sugary sweetness is all that is detected.

Taste: mild malt profile with a super sugary and ripe pear / apple sweetness. Very little bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish.

Drinkability: this beer is not balanced nor is it refreshing as the style usually is. Way too sweet for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 18:50:07 | More by Gavage
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle at Euro Market. It poured a clear amber with a little yeast on the bottom of the bottle. By color and taste I'd say this is an amber ale, though it is light in character. The beer comes off like a lighter version of Dundee's Honey Brown, there's just a simple, mild caramel barley character that dries out in the finish. There's nothing exceptional here, but it is a clean, drinkable ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 22:13:29 | More by tempest
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, I picked up at the Brewtopia festival to sample. Pours medium straw, cloudy, white, moderate head and leaves respectable lacing. Moderate nose of mostly just abit of malt. This is a fairly light bodied brew, sweetness upfront and apparant, middle section is nondescript and it finishes with just a wiff of drying and grainy hops. Middle of the road quaffer. Worth a try to support this Harlem NYC, brewery , but will not be of much more interest for most BAs.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 17:15:07 | More by Billolick
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had to pick up some bottles recently and in getting a discount on a mixed-six, I decided to give this one a whirl.

From the bottle: "Legend has it that during the Harlem Renaissance, a special beer was being brewed Uptown in Harlem that was the rave! It was the brew of choice for musicians, artists and locals alike. Named for that swinging neighborhood made famous by this period, Sugar Hill Golden Ale sings with flavor!"; "Taste the Music".

My pour netted a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was quite biscuity, very reminiscent of Fat Tire, actually. Mouthfeel was medium with a big biscuit malt presence on the tongue. Finish gave way to a grassy hops taste that was nice. It was pretty standard for the style. A nice break from the IPAs of the last two days, but nothing truly remarkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 19:11:33 | More by woodychandler
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

2.75/5  rDev -15.9%

12-01-2011 06:56:55 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hugh with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice clean grain with a smattering of floral hops.

The taste was also a clean grain with a bit of a peppery hop spiciness. Very nice doughy finish. Stronger than usual sweetness for a golden ale.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp.

Overall an enjoyable light ale. Very good session material.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2006 20:24:16 | More by plaid75
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +7%

07-17-2012 14:46:13 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a very thin, foamy head that dissipated quickly. Average lacing.

S: Smelled mostly of malt, with some traces of yeast and citrus.

T: The malt dominates the taste, but like the smell, also has notes of yeast and citrus. Not a terrible taste, just very one-dimensional.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Light-bodied.

D: An OK, drinkable beer, in the sense that a style as undynamic as Blonde is drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 14:26:44 | More by avalon07
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not sure how this made it down to City Beverage in Winston-Salem, but whatever. Pours a lightly hazy pale gold color with a medium thin bone white head. Lightly effervescent. The aroma is somewhat hoppy and a little metallic. Light-bodied and rather crisp with equal parts hops and sweet malt. The finish is on the bitter side. Overall this beer is barely above average and nothing memorable.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2003 15:46:41 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, biscuts. Taste is refreshing, malty, some hops are present as well as a biscut flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer on a hot summer night.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 15:21:50 | More by tone77
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle with neck, obverse and reverse labels that all are all coordinated with a yellow-golden background color. The main label has a saxophone behind a large drum which in turn has a keyboard running across the front with the words ‘Sugar Hill’ formed from the ebony keys set against the ivory ones. Has the words ‘Sugar Hill Golden Ale’, and “Taste the Music” on the front label. No strength or freshness date listed.

The reverse label offers some background to the brew. Allegedly from a centuries-old African recipe, it is named after a swinging Harlem neighborhood made famous by musicians in the 1930’s.

Appearance: Has a lovely, ever so slightly hazed, fantastic looking orange golden body. The head is thick and rich, and readily forms a white blanket that is regular and uniform in appearance. Solid levels of carbonation, and excellent head longevity. Nice presentation, it looks extremely thirst quenching on a warm summers Sunday afternoon.

Nose: Sweet malts and not much else that I could discern to be honest. Serve well chilled thanks to a psychotic Fridge, even when it warmed the aroma was of sweet malts but a light hoppiness did develop after a while.

Taste: Sweet grainy malt bill to start with, had a light grain texture that is a tad cloying when set against the sweet malts. The middle though, is refreshing as the bitterness builds in the back end. Lingering bitterness on the tongue and in the sides of the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Average body in feel, bolstered by the initial grainy feel (whether you like it or not) and the nice bitter finish, all interspersed with a dashing sweet malt feel from time to time.

Drinkability: It took me a while to get used to this, but after a few mouthfuls, and after I knew what to expect, it wasn’t all bad. I am not too big on sweetness, just my personal trait, and I found that the sweetish malts and grainy malt texture were a little too much after a while. The lingering bitterness was nice though. For me this beer was much better at the end, as opposed to the beginning, if that doesn’t sound stupid.

Overall: A decent enough brew, but a tad too sweet in the long term for me to be honest. Not bad for a hot summers afternoon though.

A Big Musical Thanks to McCall for sending this rare one over!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2004 21:09:00 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jazz age motif on the label, with an explanation that the beer is a variation on an African (?) recipe.
A hazy, straw colored liquid from a 12 ounce bottle yields a slight, webby head. The aroma is a mix of grain and yeast. Very faint hoppiness in the smell, well in the background. Overall muted and quiet aromas.
The taste is sweet, with a clean, distinct hop balance. It's well proportioned and finishes as a very refreshing and drinkable beer. Moderately high carbonation.
It's not outstanding, but still very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2004 10:42:47 | More by Suds
Photo of petermethot
petermethot

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -8.3%

11-17-2013 19:59:30 | More by petermethot
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at Artisinal Cheese Restaurant in New York City. Not the best blond ale i've had. Had a deep orange color with a smallish head. Not a great or distinct aroma. Really a very run of the mill beer. I guess this is a new brewery so i'll keep an eye on them and see what else they come up with in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 18:38:54 | More by david18
Photo of jheezee
jheezee

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

10-04-2013 21:13:49 | More by jheezee
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -8.3%

04-17-2012 01:10:00 | More by DonFrap
Photo of smithj4
smithj4

New York

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

09-25-2013 01:06:32 | More by smithj4
Photo of bonbini26
bonbini26

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

05-25-2012 17:10:54 | More by bonbini26
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Harlem Sugar Hill Ale from Harlem Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.