Gahan House Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale - The Gahan House

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Gahan House Sir John A's Honey Wheat AleGahan House Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale

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45 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Gahan House visit their website
Prince Edward Island, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sulldaddy on 08-17-2004

A light golden brew with honey-ish notes on the nose and a rounded, off dry and slightly citrusy body.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 23
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The second of two gifts from my friend Lucas. Brew is in a growler from PEI. Chilled and sampled in a pint glass. Beer pours bright gold with a bleached white head foaming up and fading to a surface layer very quickly. Aroma is mild with some wheaty twang coming through andsome light fruity characters, some honey, maybe clover scents too.
Very lite body, average carbonation.
Flavor is some caramel with a strong honey sweet presence on the finish. The beer is very lite and smooth, drinkability is very high with tons of these able to go down. Not a very complex brew, but some nice characterisitics. Overall nice beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up during a trip to the brewpub last summer. The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is just what expect from this beer, full of honey and wheat. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of grain and wheat notes, with a little bit of honey. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.73/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle brought back from NS by a buddy of mine - thanks David!
First beer from PEI - not surprising since Gahan only started bottling three years ago.

Poured into a sampler glass. Pale golden, thin head, disappears pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing.

Smells like pale malt, a bit of honey, something off. Pretty uninspiring.

Despite our groups' collective love of Sir John A and our appreciation for our friend's generosity, we still had great difficulties finding things to compliment about this beer. Aside from a mild honey flavor and a bit of pale malt, there was absolutely nothing here of interest. I'll give credit to Gahan, as they are one of the few breweries with a "honey" brew that actually tastes of honey. Unfortunately, in this case it was pretty mild. The fact that the label's description of the beer's taste is so wishy-washy ("honey-ish") is really telling, and a bit sad. It's one thing to have zany, irreverent descriptions of your brews (BrewDog anyone?); it's quite another to be meek and lack confidence.

Thin bodied, zesty carbonation.

As the first bottling brewery in the beautiful province of PEI, I truly want them to do well - I hope that folks continue to try their brews and give them the encouragement to make bolder, more exciting brews in the future, because a brewpub in downtown Charlottetown sounds bloody fantastic. But I'm sad to say, this first brew was a major disappointment. I've never been a fan of pale wheat ales, but I do know the style can be done well. This brew is not one of those. Really, really uninspired - the craft-brew-starved folks of PEI deserve so much better, as does a brew named for one of the fathers of our country.

Photo of biboergosum
3.32/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle, 4.5% ABV. Another nod of thanks is in order for the Alberta rep for the samples. I had a Jean Chretien-themed brew on Canada Day - this one would have been more bookishly and historically appropriate, then, eh?

This beer pours a glassy medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of foamy, bubbly, and somewhat creamy eggshell white head, which leaves a random array of splattered limestone erosion lace around the glass as it steadily sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet, lightly gritty pale wheat malt, some muted pepper spice, earthy field honey, with hints of clover (the southern Albertan in me just wants that), and leafy, kind of musty hops. The taste is grainy, faintly spicy wheat malt, merely an echo of indistinct pepper, well-faded generic honey, and more earthy hops. Nothing at all off, but nothing grabs you either.

The bubbles are present, and generally unobtrusive in their plebeian toil, the body a near-medium weight, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the wheat malt a wall-flower, maybe, but hardly alone in its temerity.

While the wheat here has little going for it to keep it out of typically generic Blonde Ale territory, the hints of honey and spice attest to capability, and probability, I suppose. Call me when certainty comes into play.

Photo of ssmack
3.71/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy golden brown colour. One inch of white head that strank to a slick and then a ring. Some lacing with no retention.

Aroma of wheat straw and tangy honey.

Complex taste. Not sweet as was expected. Slightly tart. Wheat and slight honey sweetness. Herby hop bitterness. Woody oakness.

Medium feel.

An OK honey wheat ale. Nothing special. Easy drinking.

Photo of papat444
2.71/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Part 2 of 2 of the Gahan Experience. Thanks to terryeckmeier for giving me this.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light, slightly hazy golden body with a bit of carbonation racing in there (phew!). But again same story. Thin ring literally disappears in seconds and leaves nothing behind! Even worse that the Island Red (if that's possible!). Not good and i dread what's coming.

Smell: Ok, not bad. Some grass (and wheat maybe?) with a mild bitterness and some grain. I think i'm being generous on this score only because i expected worse and was surprised.

Taste: Very hard to grasp on the flavors. A bit of sweetness and an aftertaste of honey but not much else. At least there are no off flavors but not terribly interesting. Again, i feel i'm being to kind on this score but it exceeds my expectations (which were by this point pretty low).

Mouthfeel: Marginally better that the Island Red with (thankfully!) a bit more carbonation though nothing to get excited about. Thin and watery lackluster body make it very so-so.

Drinkability: A bit of a chore and i almost drainpoured this one but it has nothing offensive going for it but nothing exciting either.

Overall: You know what? I didn't finish the last third because life's too short to drink beer you don't like. I'm sure their beers are not too bad on tap but something tells me they should take a serious look at their bottling because it seems to be a trend which is why i'm reviewing these as i sense a pattern here.

Photo of NSBeers
2.32/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Appearance - Clear, golden, very crisp definition. Half a finger of eggshell white head, dissipated quickly.

Smell - Very much of hops. A sharp green-apple smell, and slightly grassy. None of the expected honey notes that usually come with Honey Wheat Ales.

Taste - Immediate strong citrus flavour that follows through as you swallow, leaving a spicy heat in it’s aftermath. It begins mellowing into a sweeter aftertaste which lingers for awhile. There is less bouquet than I normally like, though the flavour is very defined and well-made. Very lackluster finish, flavour seems to diminish sharply.

Mouthfeel - It feels light, though it bears a definite weight. It has a certain chewy texture, but not overly. All in all a very generic feel.

Overall - I don’t believe this qualifies as a Honey Wheat Ale. At best, it is an average Blonde Ale, at worst a watered down green apple cider. While the taste matches the smell, it’s intensity betrays any softer, more subtle flavours that may be apparent. Two out of Five Stars.

Photo of berley31
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured with a very spare, white head that diminished to a thin film almost immediately. Body is yellow and clear, with a very slight haze to it.

S: Average aroma of light wheat, maybe a little bit of cooked corn in there too. Pretty weak.

T: Flavor is very inoffensive... and quite boring. Slightly sweet, with a little wheat flavor to it, but quite bland overall.

M: Light-bodied, thin texture, average-to-soft carbonation.

D: This wasn't the first time I had had this beer, and I don't remember it being quite so bland last time I had it. One of the other two bottles I had opened with no carbonation, flat as "piss on a plate"... so I had to dump it. Inconsistencies with bottling? Either way, they should really improve on this...

Photo of smcolw
2.94/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Near clear. Straw to gold color. Modest head, good ring lace initially.

Very bland smelling. No wheat nor any honey. There's a bit of fruitiness to the nose.

Very much pale Blonde ale. Again, the wheat and the honey are missing. There's a strong sour apple to the tongue. This could almost be a watered down cider.

Photo of nmann08
2.95/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bottle, pours a translucent straw yellow with a thin white head.

The nose is wheat, pretzels, honey, sweet malt, and corn. The flavor is a bit grainy, a little citrus, honey, bread dough, wheat, more corn. Overall, this is not offensive, but I don't think it is good either. Just okay.

Photo of Noxious26
2.54/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml brown bottle with pry off cap poured in a dimpled mug. Thanks to my buddy Scott for the brew!

Pale golden in colour and a little hazy. White head is 1/4 inch on the pour but quickly recedes to nothing. No lacing at all.

Aroma is grainy and cooked veggies. Really macro-ish

Smells like a macro and tastes like one too.

Nothing to see here... move along.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Gahan House as part of the sampler.
Pours a brilliantly clear straw color with a smallish white head.
Aromas of light sweet bready malt with bits of lemon and spice.
Flavor is sweet almost honey like with earthy spicy citrus and yeast to counter.
Easy drinking somewhat flavorful wheat beer.

Photo of suspect
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Thanks to my buddy Chris for bringing this back from PEI.

A: Crystal clear golden color. Aggressive pour leads to a pure white foam one and a half finger head. Lacing sticks and is relatively consistent.

S: Lots of wheat with the expected honey notes. I half expected this to smell like a honey wheat pretzel and it wasn't that far off. Light malts make their way into the aroma as well. Nice smelling beer.

T: Follows the nose almost directly except the taste backs down a bit in intensity. Wheat, honey, light malts and some hop essence round out a good but not great flavour (spelled in honour of my Canadian friends!).

M: Thin and watery. The lowlight of the beer. Carbonation is good and the finish is crisp enough but it just feels like a cheap lager.

O: I'm glad I tried it, it's an easy drinker for sure. At 5% you could definitely put a bunch of them away on a hot day without blinking. Thanks again, Chris!

Photo of ofosho
3.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(From a limited, dated journal): Golden, straw-colored hue; thin head with malty, citrusy notes crowned with spiciness. Quite buttery and biscuity in taste with a great malt tang and hint of hoppiness. Finishes mild. I enjoyed all the Gahan brews, and this was one of the better ones.

Photo of Viggo
3.47/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow colour, slight haze, no head, no lace. Smell is malt and citrus, wheat, some honey. Taste is malty, with some honey, and lots of citrus, very refreshing. Smooth, high carbonation, medium body, somewhat bland, but not bad at all. Worth a try if in PEI.

Photo of PorterPro125
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Bought a single bottle at local liquor store.

A- Pours a pale golden hue with a surprisingly thin head. Slightly Hazy.

S- Sweet grainy aroma with hints of grassy hops.

T - Immediate notes of citrus dominate this brew. Finishes slight peppery bite with notes of honey, although quite miniscule.

M- Lightbody with medium carbonation. A little too thin for my liking (similar body to a light lager).

O- Compared to other Honey Wheat Ales that i've had, this one does not seem to fall in the same category. It seems to be lacking characteristics that denote the use of wheat and most of all, honey, in this brew. Otherwise, Sir John A's is a great beer. It tastes pretty good and is quite refreshing. If you're looking for a true Honey Wheat Ale, I'd say look somewhere else. If you're just looking for a tasteful brew, give this one a try.

Photo of MMansfield
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from Seaport Beer Fest 08/11/07

Appearance: Clear dark gold colour wiht a medium white head. Decent enough retention.

Aroma: A dash of wheat and some floral hops. Mostly sweet malt aromas.

Taste: Sweet with a very small wheat bite. Pretty medicinal finish. A tiny bit of the hops appear. Overall not that bad, could be refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied. Low carbonation.

Final Statement: Not a fantastic brew, but I'd take anything that was craft if I was an Islander.

Photo of wordemupg
2.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into pint glass sept30 2010

A clear golden yellow with very few bubbles but somehow has a big bone white head that has good retention and left a fair bit of lace

S a little floral honey and some sweet grains but that's about it

T pretty average mimics the smell

M quite thin and a flat a little disappointing

D looks better than it is, I wouldn't say it's a bad beer but I doubt I'll drink it again

I feel like I tried quite a few honey wheat beers out East and I don't think any of them impressed me and this one is no different

Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sir John A's Honey Wheat looks somewhat like creamed honey in that the thickness and lack of transparency are similar, except it's a little too pale and glows way too much. The bubbles and lace-like head are also dissimilar attributes, though the latter shows plenty of stickiness.

Unfortunately the aroma isn't anywhere as stimulating. Not to suggest it's unpleasant - not at all - but it doesn't exactly get me excited to take a sip. Comprised mostly of a seemingly stale cereal grain-like maltiness, with only superficial hints of honey sweetness, this bouquet is not one to give much attention to; the more I smell it the less I like it.

Prince Edward Island is home to a lot of good produce - not just potatoes. Their honey is quite good too; in fact, I added a big chunk of it into my tea this morning. The flavour of that particular PEI creamed honey is easily appreciated here alongside a dry graininess, bready maltiness, faint orchard fruit esters, and a drop of lemony citrus.

All in all, this is a fairly plain recipe. Of course, the other side of that coin is that it probably has widespread appeal; for the same reasons there's little to entertain craft beer devotees, there's nothing that will turn-off casual drinkers. For me, personally, it's a bland and forgettable ale, but it is well-made and, I suspect, intended for a demographic to which I do not belong.

Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister, was actually a fairly severe alcoholic. During his speeches he'd typically take the podium with a glass of gin disguised as water and would often have to excuse himself to go off-stage to puke. He'd surely have no issue drinking this Gahan offering brewed in his name. Then again, it's so agreeable that no one should.

Photo of Seanstoppable
2.62/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a perfectly clear golden color with no head.

Smells sweet and reminiscent of corn and wheat.

A bit of malt characteristic and a bit of a honey taste at the end. Nothing really more to say. No real aftertaste.

Overall, I think this is mis-categorized. There is no way that this is an American Pale Wheat Ale. Nothing about it is like is similar to the Hefeweizens the style is supposed to be based on.

Outside of the style disappointments, I was disappointed overall. Fairly bland. Not overly enjoyable for continued drinking. And this from a fresh growler, I've enjoyed Gahan House ales before, but this one apparently did not travel well.

Photo of seand
3.57/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden color with a foamy white head. Just a few bubbles retain, leaving little lacing.

S: Light malty sweetness, with a grainy background.

T: The same light sweetness, fairly mild, but pretty decent.

M: Medium to light body, medium carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, would make a decent choice for a session beer.

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.91/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear veiled golden color going for amber. Creamy and foamy beige 2 finger head lasting around 4 minutes. Average legs with low activity.

Aromas and flavors of smoky corn, grains, citrus, herbal spices and faint honey. Well balanced flavors and intensity with some nice crispy sharpness and authentic sweetness (not just pure sugar).

Slick full body with pleasant carbonation. Short clean finish but well intensified, ending with a pleasant slightly bitter smoky corn and honey sweetness feel on the tongue.

Overall : Fresh, flavorful with a great wheat feel, good craft and very accessible. What adjunct lagers *should* taste like.

Photo of nickfl
3.22/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves light lace.

S - Light malt, some herbal hops and just a hint of honey.

T - Much the same as the aroma, there is very little evidence of wheat and only a little more of honey. Finishes with a touch of herbal hop flavor and almost no bitterness.

M - A moderately light body, average carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Completely inoffensive and completely unremarkable, really more of a blonde ale than a honey wheat.

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Gahan House Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale from The Gahan House
75 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.