Harlem Sugar Hill Ale - Harlem Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harlem Sugar Hill AleHarlem Sugar Hill Ale

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BA SCORE
76
okay

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 15.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of M27
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of jsisko01
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark amber/golden color with a half inch head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is very nice.

Smell - Sweet with bread, grains, honey, and floral hops.

Taste - Light hint of honey with a few spices I can't point out. It's very sweet with pale and toasted malts, citrus, floral hops, and bitter dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Light body with mild carbonation.

Overall - The taste of this beer is a lot different than any other blonde ale I've tried.. It's not exactly a good thing, but not bad either.

Photo of rab53
2.75/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of tempest
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of mummbearsfan
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew from Harlem Brewery was a good buy. The golden color was dark golden color just had me wondering at first if this was a hybrid beer between an amber and an adjunct lager.

The aroma of this brew was malty with just a hint of hoppiness. Tasting this beer I found it quite smooth and refreshing not too heavy on the pallet.

Overall I would recommend this beer for parties and having a few while watching the game.

Photo of woodychandler
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of hopsgirl35
4.5/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I poured it into my beer glass the apperence
was deep golden with a small amount of lace on
the side of the glass and a small head on top.

The aroma is a fruity hopness with a breaded malt
smell that over powers the hops.

The taste is a medium bitterness with a spicy
dryness. More of a malt finish.

The mouthfeel is more creamy with a hint of zest
going down.

Overall I like how it's not over powering in the
taste buds. A beer I break to when I'm not in an
IPA mood. One of the best american blond ales I've had this summer!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

Photo of Scherring
2.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Mahogany color almost red, opaque with a half fingers width of off white head with an OK lacing.

S- Very aromatic with a very noticeable honey tone and under tones of sweetness and alcohol.

T- Off the bat, just like the first whiff, a taste of honey. There is a very brief taste of alcohol but not as noticeable as the smell of alcohol i had. It is very well hidden behind the sweetness of this beer.

M- This beer coats your mouth in a syrupy layer and finishes off smooth. The taste lingers on your tongue, but only for a moment

Photo of CHickman
1.53/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours cloudy orange amber with a 1 finger tan head that faded quickly; pretty weak lacing that slid down fast.

Smells of honey, sweet malt, light caramel, coriander, light brown sugar, cotton candy, yeast and almost like mead or a bready smell - kind of strange smell like a sweet piece of old wheat bread; not the light blonde ale odor I was expecting, in fact it was the opposite.

Tastes like it smells, which is not a good thing; the combo of honey, sweet malt, caramel, coriander, light brown sugar, funky yeast and wet bread just don't work well together. This beer is too sweet with basically has no hop presence, and to make it worse it left a funky yeast metallic taste with no good taste reward beforehand. The aftertaste was almost like rotten fruit.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with little to no carbonation and a silky feel on the tongue. Goes down physically easy, too bad it tastes like ass. This was a drain pour; my two friends that were with me tried some of my beer (this bottle) and both agreed that this beer just tastes bad; perhaps it was a bad bottle, otherwise it's just awful.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
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!

Photo of scootny
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice hazey blonde with a good sized off white head and decent retention. A few spots of lace here and there. Smell is light and sweet with a cereal grains and light English ale fruitiness. Some earth as well. Taste is much the same with a bit of honeyed malt and a nice firm earthy hop presence to balance it out. Flavors develop as it warms giving it nice depth and a touch more complexity. A bit of biscuits toward the end. Dry clean finish with a good carbonation to lend a light citrus aspect. Feel is well carbonated and almost creamy with a medium weight. Goes down easy and lends itself to any session you may find. Quenching and clean this is a beer that will satisfy the BA as well as the BMC drinker. Nice brew.

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into 500ml New Belgium branded tulip glass.

Appearance: Amber color with a good sized off-white, slightly orange, head that leaves a little bit of lace behind.

Smell: An almost overpowering sugary sweetness that has some fruit hints with a bit of a floral background.

Taste: Sweet fruits in the beginning (grape, apple) with a biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation and a syrupy finish.

Drinkability: This beer seemed a little off, so isn't something I'd be rushing to get again. Not necessarily bad, but unremarkable and a bit strange.

Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this since I've been in Harlem alot recently, and wanted to give this a try. The beer is actually brewed in Saratoga Springs, but I won't hold it against them.

A - nothing special. Typical look of a blonde ale.

S - Slight citrus taste. Also a bouquet of hops. Not strong, but I'd call it "floral".

T - pretty good. Again, a blonde ale is a relatively safe beer, so its hard to screw this up.

M - Fairly pleasant. You can enjoy this a slowly or as fast as you like.

D - Very drinkable. This would (no surprise) go well with soul food, or really any comfort food like chicken and some steamed veggies.

Give it an extra props for being one of the few breweries run by a woman. Celeste did a good job with this. Hey, it is a blonde ale so its not a stand-out. But I would absolutely go back to this one.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sugar Hill Golden Ale...had this bottle at Blue Hill Restaurant.

Appearance-muddled golden color, white to tan head, medium size, medium carbonation, nothing else was notable.

Smell-honey, hops, residual sweetness, sweeter than the average beer of this style.

Taste/Mouthfeel- run of the mill blonde ale, medium strength mix of alcohol, hops, caramel malt, light grain. Nice smoothness, goes down really easy, you can either sip this or down it quickly.

Drinkability- well it's not winning any awards but it does nothing wrong and went great with my shrimp.

Overall-meh, pretty much same as the drinkability, inoffensive beer that went well with my dinner and doesn't mess anything up, that said there is nothing to separate it from being an adequate blonde ale.

Photo of Andreji
4.08/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried during a night of jazz music @ the Dizzy club coca-cola in columbus circle.

Poured in an american pint glass, translucid and glowy orange hue with small creamy looking white head, very small but lasting.

Smell is dominated by by a certain citrus astringent feel although it is very pleasantly accompanied, however in a very discrete manner, by a certain honey nutty feel that just catches your nose discretely.

Taste is full of oranges, although some sour ones indeed, with a grassy very floral hoppy feel. not too strong but there nonetheless.

Not a bad beer, sessionable and refreshing. but nothing too far from the midline.

Photo of avalon07
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of Newkie
3.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Straw to light brown in color. Hazy. Very thin, white head that doesn't stick around. Not a bad look.

S: I actually smell lots of dark malt with some apple scent and some dark fruit. Very musky. A yeasty tone underlies the nose. Overall, its not too bad.

T: Yeasty flavor at the start. On the sweet side. A rather darker, malty flavor is in there as well. No hop notes that I notice. Maybe some citrus tones. Not all that bad.

M: Has that sweet, lower carbonation taste. Could be a little better. The sweetness sticks with you through the finish.

D: Not a bad effort. I actually like sweeter beers, so this one was okay for me. I could see having 1 or 2 in a sitting. Would want something a little better to session though.

Photo of Gavage
2.58/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours Golden with a small head and lace.
The aroma was subtle and it was pretty much hops,malts and some fruit hints.
The taste was simple. Mildly sweet,malty,hops and some fruity notes.
The feel was light,easy to drink with some mild bitterness and medium carbonation. The balance was very good and the finish was very clean with some grains.

Notes: Just my opinion,but I do not see this beer as "ghetto" or hip hop. I think of Harlem and I think Jazz,trumpets and fancy night clubs. At least that was the image Harlem had. Now,I suppose it is a lot different and constantly changing.I just do not think a decent beer such as this really needs any added images or personalities.Summer time brew and decent to stand on it's own.

Photo of garcia2a
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden color, very light carbonation with an almost non-existent head.

The bouquet has sweet malts and grains that predominate the nose. I'm not getting much of anything else. This translates well to the taste as I am getting quite a bit of sweet malts with just a hint of acidity. This ascerbic bite tends to form the bulk of the aftertaste.

The body is medium, a bit heavier than I expected. Kinda reminded me of a few Belgiam golden ales in terms of the body. Overall, quite drinkable, should be good for the summer.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into mini heffe glass at Spring 08 Long Island Craft brew festival by a employee of the company, name that escapes me.

A: A surprising cloudy amber gold but a dissapointing neglible head.

S: Tin ca with sublte sweet finsih

T: Comlex tartness that retreats before the aftertaste.

M: Tangy thinness, difficult to grasp at.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My local finally got some sixers in, as I'd been waiting to try it for a bit now.

"Taste the Music"

Props for the jazzy labeling. Maybe they can get Spike Lee & Wesley Snipes to endorse it in true "Mo Betta" character. Maybe Denzel can make a cameo. Snipes really needs the money I heard. :P

Now this stuff really twinkles the ivory! Crazy carbonation & a genuine golden shimmer. A half inch of ethereal eggshell-colored head that recedes on schedule.

Smell is half-way caramelized malt & an uncertain trust in cold steel.

Initial taste is cream, but it drops right into a total caramel base, a single slice of buttered toast, with semi-grassy addition to the mix for the finish.

Grainy, but the alcohol is smooth. Slightly thicker then it appears. Carbonation is lower then expected, which is the only big fault I could find. The name "Sugar Hill" is not an understatement.

I took out half the six in 25 minutes. :o

"Cause mo better makes it mo better." :)

Harlem Sugar Hill Ale from Harlem Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.