Anchor Humming Ale - Anchor Brewing Company
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Ratings: 640 | Reviews: 328 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +30%
12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled July 29, 2011, drank August 29, 2011.
Appearance: Free pour yields a 3 inch fluffy white head that dissipates slowly and rockily, leaving sheets of lacing that lasts as long as the beer in the glass. Crystal clear light golden, lots of lacing. Perfect.
Smell: Pungent citrus and tropical fruit, with a pleasant malt background (toasted white bread). Lingering ripe melon and apricot aroma along with a little bit of initial dank grapefruit... really beautiful. Floral quality comes out with warmth.
I picked this beer up because I'm considering using Nelson Sauvin hops in an upcoming homebrew with morningthief. Needless to say, the aroma of this beer is telling me to go ahead and pick up some Nelson Sauvin.
Taste: All the hop notes from the aroma pop up in the taste, but while they're bold in the nose, they're profoundly refined and subtle here, forming a great balance with the just-prominent-enough malt backbone, both of which work great with the slightly creamy, fuller-than-expected mouthfeel. Malt is like crackers and sourdough bread, with a little toasted fresh white bread and some "stick your head in the pale malt bucket" at the homebrew shop like fresh NEBCO Gold Stock.
While the grapefruit and melon are present, the more dominant hop flavors have more of an orange and herbal character. The overall balance is masterful and delightful. The aroma advertises huge hops and enhances every sip, while the actual flavors, bountiful as they are, show a sort of muted restraint that reminds you that "American pale ales" don't need to be IPAs by another name.
As always, I hate to give out 5-for-taste lightly, but this beer is spot on for the style, and I love the flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy, but juicy ("wet") enough to remain refreshing and appropriate. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish that works great with the toasted flavors.
Overall: I don't know if it's because Anchor is such a fixture in American beer that it's overlooked, or that people don't appreciate a good thing when they find it, or that Nelson Sauvin is a love-it-or-hate-it hop, or that people aren't drinking this fresh, but I can't see how this beer averages below A. It is near perfect in every category.
I bought this just to get a feel for the hop varietal, but ended up finding a beer that should be a staple in my fridge for a month or so after it's released. This beer is outstanding; tons of different flavors without being at all in-your-face, excellent balance, really refreshing, looks great, stinks of potent, fruity hops... what more can you ask for from an American pale ale?
Maybe these particular flavors aren't for everyone, but if you happen to like them, you're in luck that they appear in such a finely crafted beer.
08-30-2011 01:46:18 | More by Pahn
4.8/5 rDev +28.7%
12 oz. bottle, bottled July 13th,
A: Pours gold/a light amber with a firm two finger head, lots of lace.
S: Massive citrus/orange, very pleasing hoppy nose.
T: Definitely more in the citrus realm compared to the more piney Liberty Ale. They are both fantastic at what they do. Tangerine is huge here, sweet marmalade, fantastic hop character and flavour.
M: Medium-bodied, smooth, resiny and sticky with hop flavour which I love.
D: This is great American beer, full-flavoured, delicious. You've got love Anchor, they come out with a new pale ale and kicks the pants off 99% of the pale ales out there. Absolute must try, only FFF Alpha King is still in the ring. In the middle of the beer, I just said,"Wow, this is fuckin' good," that says it all. Better than Liberty if you can believe it. It's surpassed fresh Liberty and Anchor OSA 2005 as the best Anchor beer ever for me.
08-13-2010 01:03:47 | More by Halcyondays
4.65/5 rDev +24.7%
I was very lucky to have this delicious, and apparently obscure, Anchor Brew on-tap. Thanks to the extremely awesome Dunedin Brewery for that! (And the XX Bitter, Beast/Mephistopheles, Immort '04, BrewDog Isle of Arran, etc.)
A – Lighter golden hue, perhaps slightly hazy, with a relatively small head and decent lace.
S – Very mellow citric hop, dank and herbal, and a light biscuity malt are the mainstay of the aroma.
T – Way resiny, dank, herbal flavor with a bready backbone, as opposed to a caramel-y base. Like a hop sandwich on sourdough. I really enjoyed this beer; it is not obnoxiously hoppy, rather it is sublimely understated.
M – Very refreshing, with a nice carbonation very similar to their Steam beer.
D – Drink it if you can find it.
02-09-2010 07:18:50 | More by ktrillionaire
4.65/5 rDev +24.7%
Pours a hazy honey color with a very large white head and perfect lacing. I might be able to float two bottlecaps on this one.
Aroma has a unique hop profile that I haven't encountered before. It's citrusy with a touch of tropical fruit, mango, melons, and a little bit of general tartness. Hop strength is exceptional, and reaches IPA/DIPA level.
Flavor is nicely balanced, with a hop bite that falls on the light side of bitterness. Hop flavor is full and satisfying with a grassy, citrusy, fruity flavor. A slightly caramelized honey malt note adds a great balance.
Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, with a slightly low level of carbonation and a wet finish. Drinkability is great. This was one of the situations where I had other beers lined up, but stuck with this one for the night instead. Will get again.
10-10-2010 18:04:49 | More by jeffthecheff
4.63/5 rDev +24.1%
I'm so happy to see this offering from Anchor, a nice slightly hazed bright golden hue very light in color compared to mst pale ales. Head is luscious nice thick creamy texture forms dimpled chunky shape rising above the rim of the glass. Aroma strong pungent lemon peel hop character going on. A biscuit malt character but mainly the hops shine through with each sniff, very pleasant hoppy nose to it. Wonderfully balanced session ale, this is perfection in a glass one of the best pale ale offerings I've witnessed in quite awhile. New ownership evidently hasn't hurt the Anchor Brewing Co. Bitingly hoppy with citrus rinds grapefruit/lemon some herbal floral tones as well, but more so a nice biscuit pale malt bready character to balance things out. Finish is full of dry bittering hop flavor, but it's nice easy going carbonation makes this one a pleasure for the palate. Picked this one up at D's yesterday after the Big Pour. Drinkability all around is a smash hit this is caseworthy for sure a beer I would like to keep on hand, it's fantastic best new beer from Anchor for as long as I can remember.
09-12-2010 19:31:34 | More by WVbeergeek
4.6/5 rDev +23.3%
Very fragrant, pungent piney aroma....bong resin too...the taste is big on the pine/bong resin hops but there is a nice suble sugar cookie like maltiness...combined on paper it may not sound like a good match but on the buds it is fantastic.
This is a pale ale with some character and vibrancy. Not particularly bitter but loaded with hop flavor. I love it.
09-06-2010 19:41:49 | More by ZAP
4.6/5 rDev +23.3%
Pours out a bright orange color with thick frothy head with some nice lacing. The smell is citric pine with some very faint herbal hop smells. This beer smells wonderful, and the taste, while there is no doubt this is an Anchor Beer, is also quite complex with a nice puckering grapefruit on the tongue, followed by a slightly briney aftertaste, with a ghost vinous aroma filling and warming the palate. Ahh, this is a sophisticated beer drinkers beer and probably wouldn't be a good starting place for the initiate macro beer drinker. Mouthfeel is somehow rich and full and yet easy drinking and somewhat light thanks to the restrained ABV level. I am a big fan of Anchor Steam beer. I think they are truly an American original and this beer is proof that despite their age in this ever changing craft brew market they can still brew one hell of a delicious, easy drinking beer. I will be looking for more of these soon.
01-19-2011 04:47:35 | More by Star80
4.6/5 rDev +23.3%
This beer is excellent. Hoppy, refreshing and perfect balance. Both smooth and effervescent. This is much more an ipa than a pale ale. It is the most balanced ipa you could have. Anchor shows their pedigree by making this very unique version of a classical ale.
09-06-2011 23:33:33 | More by davidlown
4.58/5 rDev +22.8%
Hazed golden yellow body. Thick froth with some substance and retention. Aroma is really bright and fragrant. Lemon, mint, pepper, pine and cakey dough. Really nice. Nicely balanced flavor. Not quite as bright as the nose leads on to be, but it is nonetheless high quality. Anchor Steam like malt base with a honeyed caramel presence. Hops mingle throughout nicely, with lemon, orange rind, mint leaves and resin standing out. Very drinkable, refreshing and flavorful.
09-01-2010 04:27:52 | More by Bighuge
4.53/5 rDev +21.4%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
This beer is beautiful. Pours a clear golden-orange color with a cream-colored 1" frothy head, which settled down to about 1/4". Great head retention. Leaves thick lacing.
The smell is also amazing. Delicious orange and floral scent (I want to say orange blossoms but I have to confess I've never smelled an orange blossom), papaya, a hint of honey and grass. Reminds me of Bell's Two Hearted.
The taste comes on with a dry lemon zest and grassy note, some grapefruit and juicy tangerine. A touch of sweetness as it warms. Very crisp and well-balanced, hop forward but with enough malt backbone. Ends very clean with some lingering bitterness, though it softens as it warms a little.
Nicely textured, spot on carbonation, light-medium bodied. A little effervescent even. Works well with the dryness of the taste.
Smooth but engaging, very easy drinking. Equally suited for guzzling while watching TV or relaxing and enjoying slowly.
A very solid, well-made beer with some character. I would drink one of these any time.
09-21-2010 20:36:51 | More by busternuggz
4.5/5 rDev +20.6%
Anchor Humming Ale has become my single favorite beer from Anchor next to Old Foghorn (of course they're two beers that are worlds apart).
I bought a six pack of this during the summer and drank it almost immediately. It's not overly full or malty, and it's got a good deal of complexity going on within the hops; as well as within the interaction between the malt and the hops and the bitterness. It's superbly balanced; and given that I was working in the garden it made a refreshing and bitter quencher that was more satiating than any light beer could ever be. (I also enjoyed it more than my usual Bavarian hefeweizen because they seemed to become a bit too sweet as they warmed).
The Humming Ale maintains the distinct pale malt character of their Steam Beer, and the bright hop nose of the Liberty Ale, but softens it a little bit and adds some fresh tropical fruit with the use of Nelson Sauvin hops. And that fruitiness, in my opinion, helps to cut through and balance it while still maintaining the traditional spicy and earthy notes that Anchor is known for. The earthy pale malt sweetness is a little easier to find, yet it remains a solidly bitter and refreshing beer.
I find it to be very much like some of the summer beers coming out of England in recent years, which are basically traditional pale ales juiced up a bit with some American hops (and occassinally some wheat). And with the exception of the "American" steam beer, Anchor has always made very English style ales, so for them to use some juicy American hops makes total sense. I just wished they'd done it sooner!
01-25-2011 15:33:44 | More by NeroFiddled
Anchor Humming Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 640 ratings.