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Bee Sting Honey Ale | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Bee Sting Honey AleBee Sting Honey Ale
41 Ratings
Bee Sting Honey AleBee Sting Honey Ale

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 04-03-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of JamLand
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of rye726
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goden yellow color with a thin beige head. Nose has bready malts, spices, subtle hops and honey. The taste is malt powered with a sweet honey presence and again quiet hops. Light body is a bit over carbonated. Seemed a bit syrupy. Nice session ale from Great Divide.

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Photo of whynot44
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium bodied, slightly cloudy honey color, plenty of carbonation with a large head.

Aroma is malt and honey with a little hops and citrus.

Taste is along the same lines with a tart, dry finish. A little metallic, but not offensive.

A bit of chunky sediment in the bottom. Something a little different, probably not for everybody, but well worth a try.

 364 characters

Photo of frazbri
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours slightly cloudy, golden honey with a tall, creamy white head. Decent lacing. Grassy and fruity aroma. Blueberry flavor, slightly tart and cider-like with a little orange zest & minimal bitterness. Fairly high carbonation, medium body with a dry finish.

Bee Sting has the makings of solid lawnmower beer. It's refreshing, moderate in strength, and not too complicated. If you want hops, seek them elsewhere.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey gold with an orange tint. The creamy cap is clotted cream in color with softly popping surface bubbles leading to a slow-motion collapse. A solid sheet of lace graces the glass initially, but melts away before very long at all.

The aroma, relatively well-balanced between malt and hops, is sweet, buttery and slightly butterscotchy. I'm not sure that I would have been able to identify the honey without being aware of its presence, but I can appreciate it in the nose. Still though, I smell more diacetyl than honey.

Honey is definitely more noticeable on the palate, especially on the finish where it's hard to miss. Bee Sting is undermalted and underhopped. It's a curious mixture of sweet, sour and bitter; and not an altogether tasty one. Sour fights sweet throughout each mouthful, never allowing the honey to get acquainted with the taste buds in the way that the brewers, I presume, intended.

I love honey and I applaud Great Divide's attempt to brew a honey-added, warm weather session beer, but it'll take a renovation project to bring Bee Sting up to snuff as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of rowew
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. Freshness info on side of label, but nothing is notched (grr..)

Appearance: Pours golden color slightly hazy. Nice white head. Faded slowly to leave decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet citrusy aroma.

Taste: Very fruity with hints of honey. Not much to balance the fruity sweetness.

Overall Impressions: This is another beer being discontinued by Great Divide in their efforts to make bigger beers. Can't say I'll miss it too much.

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Photo of skybluewater
2.86/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a totally standard honey gold color. Very thin head, no lace. Smell's very weak, and a little musty. Taste is, once again, not the greatest. A bit sweet, but nothing special here.

This is yet another Great Divide letdown. I simply can't believe that the guys who brew Titan, Hercules, and Yeti brew sub-standard beers like this one. Highly disappointing.

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Photo of palliko
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gold in color, with a little haze, white foamy head and some lacing that lasted a while. Aroma is sweet with a gentle orange scent. A malt sweetness is matched by very strong flavor that shouts: "orange blossom honey!" Almost no bitterness or hops, fruity middle, dry finish leaves the taste of honey that stays with you too long. Too sweet for me - tastes like carbonated honey, not beer.

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Photo of oelergud
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden brew with a slightly red tint. Lace is so so, very little retention, head is off-white small-medium bubbles.
Smells like spicy clover-honey sweetness with a hoppy undertone, some burnt sugar.
Honey very apparent on the palate. Fresh and spiced flavors, hint of brown sugar and other unnamed complexities. Aftertaste is honey and brown sugar.
Feels medium bodied. An interesting brew over all. Fairly decent drinkability.


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Photo of finepaws
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer. First time I had it I wasn't very impressed, but on trying it a second time, I changed my mind. It is a nice honey color. Not much head. Smells like a honeycomb. Spending time with some honey farmers, and liking honey as much as I do, it hit close to home. Very flavorful. Sweet, but not too sweet. Malty, light flavor, with a smooth honey aftertaste. I would get another 6 of this again. Good summer beer. Wish I'd had it at my cookout earlier this summer. Very light.

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Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a light head that wispa away pretty quickley,seems to be highly carbonated lots of tiny bubbles.A nice aroma of sweet colver honey and toasted malt,taste is sweet up front but a good dry malt balance keeps it from becoming overly sweet in the finish,a well rounded aftertaste of honey and toasted grain.A real quaffer great for warmer weather not outstanding but pretty darn good none the less.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is actually the color of honey, beer is very slightly hazy. Head is average one-finger. Aroma is a nice mixture of malts and honey. Taste has initially sharp honey sweetness, which fades into rounded caramel maltiness, and finishes with a longer round of sweet honey flavor. Balance is really well done here. This is easily the best honey flavored beer I've had since joining BA (around 90 beers). I'm sure there are better out there, but this is it for me right now.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey/golden color,with ever-so-slight haze, under a perfunctory head.
Aroma is sweet, and herbal at once, vegetal, pretty mild to the point of blase'.
Taste is mild, sweet, and ultimately lifeless. Enters the palate meekly, feels rather coated with honey at first, then dulls out, despite a persistent fruity feel.
Very ordinary, when all is said and done. Not bad, but not much, either.

 391 characters

Photo of Winter
3.14/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with an off-white head that shrunk to a thin surface ring. Mouthfeel seems thin. Pretty straight-forward upfront- Honey sweetness and maltiness dominate the palate. Finish has a rich toasted biscuit flavor to it. Leaves the palate slightly dry. Hops are light. In some aspects, Bee Sting reminds me of the candy Bit-o-Honey, but less sweet and more malty. Drinkability is ok, yet non-spectacular.

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Photo of usualpulp
3.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep golden color with some nice bubbles that create a nice white head, that laces down the sides .

Smells of honey, and roasted malts, with a little citrus kicker in the back.

The taste is very sweet, big emphasis on malt and sweet citrus flavors. The honey taste is very present, its nice though, not overly powerfull.

Mouthfeel is a little thick. The beer is very chewy feeling, and there is a slight bitter aftertaste.

Overall Bee Sting is nicely drinkable, a little too sweet for session drinking in my opinion, seems like this would make a nice after dinner beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with Northwest 2-row and caramel malts, and Rocky Mountain Orange-Blossom Honey. Hopped with Perle and Willamette. Fermented with American Ale yeast strain.

Pours out to a clear orange with golden accents, forming a large lwhipped ight-beige head with very good retention and nice lacing. Flecks of suspended stuff bob in the carbonation, which is moderate. Mouthfeel is initially vibrant but takes on an oxidized finish. Medium-light body. Aroma of modest dusty citric hops, kiwi fruit, light mandarin oranges, crisp water. Taste starts out with green kiwi fruit, a touch of sour metal, mandarin oranges, and a subtle touch of honey. Kiwi fruit and metals linger in the lightly dry and husky finish. Alcohol is not perceptable. No other off-flavors.

Another kiwi and aluminum brew from Great Divide BC. Stay away.

 827 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/light orangish color with a small creamy head that doesn't hang around for very long. Sweet nose of light honey, with a hint of vanilla and orange, tempered with a bit of adjunct (mainly corn). A bit maltier on the palate, with elements of honey and light hops that lend a touch of bitterness to the finish. Nice, creamy mouthfeel. More balanced than other honey ales I've had, but still not my favorite style.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bee Sting honey is a bland pale ale a la Great Divide's Denver Pale Ale (DPA). Though there is are strong notes of honey on the nose, I don't get anything that reminds me of orange blossom. It's basic clover honey and it's no where to be found on the palate. The aromatics are nice, but the beer far too dull with a lightly grainy finish.

Relax, relax.

 360 characters

Photo of filabrazilia
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light copper with a thin white head. Nice lace.

A definite honey sweetness is evident in the nose. There is a light malt essence as well.

A strong honey flavor dominates the mouth that is a touch too strong for my liking. The honey sweetnees is balanced by a mild hop finish. I would have liked more hops and malt and less honey.

This is a thin and crisp beer that has a dry finish.

A little too sweet for my liking but pretty good and definitely drinkable on warm days. However, I would probably reach for something else first.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.12/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: A pale malt base with light alcoholic whiffs and a slight honey note. No hop or spices evident
Appearance: Very clear gold with a quickly thinning head of off white. Very active carbonation streams noted. Some thin lacing of tiny bubbles and mild tidemarks
Flavor: A fairly well balanced taste, with an odd malt ending. No hops noted in the taste, but not overly sweet. The aftertaste, which I normally expect a hop bitter, especially from a pale ale, instead is this combination of (fermented) honey sweet and light malt taste. I also get some DMS (cooked corn) notes at the end, which isn’t quite pleasant.
Mouthfeel: Thin, but that’s expected from a honey ale. Coats the mouth for a long aftertaste, which is unfortunate given the DMS.
Overall Impression: A good beer with a flaw. The light body and DMS just give a “cheap beer” result to me. The balance is good and if the cooked corn taste doesn’t bother you, I could see some enjoying a few as a session, but I’m not one of them.
Not recommended.

 1,051 characters

Photo of DagFishHead
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light-amber body. Voluminous frothy white head fades to a 1/4" cap with creamy lace.
Smell: Sweet, caramel malt, faint citrus hops.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Creamy malt with caramel/honey sweetness at the front, light-medium bodied and smooth at the top, dries with a semi-dry citrus and grassy aftertaste.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable, if not memorable.

 364 characters

Photo of marburg
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange body with a crisp, tight white head. Very lightly hazed. Malty sweetness with hints of honey and lemon. Chamomile tea. Perfect session beer -- this drinks down in a big hurry. The ultimate conversation beer, perhaps. So incredibly smooth and malty. A very clean flavor. You can't really taste the honey, but you can certainly feeled inspired to think "honey" when drinking this brew. A very slight dry crispness cleans it up, but make no mistake -- there's no real hop presence here. Not terribly complex. Not terribly original. Not terribly perfect. But this is a well-crafted, sweet, easy-drinking brew.

 619 characters

Photo of Brent
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A malt-focused brew, with the mild honey sweetness offsetting some crackery grain notes in the middle. Rather light and airy, without being watery, a nice effect. A very understated beer, perhaps a bit too much so. According to the bottle notch, mine was quite a bit past the best before date, so either this beer holds up very well, or the notching machine was off. Reasonably well made and mellow.

 399 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color, large head. A medium bodied golden ale, brewed with orange blossom honey. Malts are mild and slightly sweet. Light hops. Honey flavor very subtle. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slighty bitter.

 252 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid golden color with an off-white head, low carbonation but leaves sheets of lace. Nice big honey aroma but may be a bit overly sweet. Sweet candy-like honey flavor / light citrus flavor is nice. Medium bodied but finishes too sweet.

Per Label: "Golden Ale brewed with Orange Blossom Honey"

Per G.D.B.Co. website:
Malts: Northwest 2-Row, Caramel
Hops: Perle, Willamette
Special Ingredients: Rocky Mountain Orange-Blossom Honey

Month and Week Bottled: 3rd Week of March (2003)
Tasted: 07/17/03

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Bee Sting Honey Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 41 ratings
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