Brewer Patriot Collection - Traditional Ginger Honey Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

173 Reviews
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Brewer Patriot Collection - Traditional Ginger Honey AleBrewer Patriot Collection - Traditional Ginger Honey Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with authentic ingredients from the colonial era, such as fresh ginger puree, lemon peel and wildflower honey.

Added by Todd on 06-03-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 191
Photo of Guinness4me
1.64/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It smelled like wet fowl. It tasted like burnt hair. I won't be drinking this again. Ever.

If this was how beer was brewed back in the days of our forefathers, I'm glad I was born in 1965.

Maybe this beer is true to it's style? I have no clue. I usually like oak-aged ginger ales like Vernor's, but this beer was ever sweeter.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
1.91/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Here we go, my first review. I am very skeptical of this going in, but it was a part of my Brewer Patriot pack so I'll give it the college try.

Poured into a chalice out of a bottle stating it is best by Oct. 2006. The appearance is a nice golden yellow with hues of orange.

The smell is interesting. Definitely can smell the honey and lemon. Actually it has sort of a cough drop smell to it. Smells like something i would use to eliviate a chest cold. Not neccesarily a bad smell but not expected from a beer either.

Yep, just as it smells it tastes like a throat drop. Sort of a menthol lemon taste with notes of ginger. Not so good. Honestly, I would much rather drink a Natty Light. If this is what they were drinking in the colonial days as the bottle states, I probably would have been a pirate and drank rum instead. If you buy the brewer patriot pack, save this for when you have a cold.

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Photo of Padron4KM
1.96/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle, best before oct 2006. Hazy yellowish, with a fluffy lasting head, and sticky lace.

Very livlely carbonation, almost as tho someone dropped an alka-seltzer in there.

Initial aroma was lemon pledge, followed by the ginger and honey.

Flavor was much the same. Soapy lemon with candied ginger and a sweet honey finish.

Tough to drink even one of these.

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Photo of jwc215
2.03/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Poured hazy gold (not really cloudy as I would expect from an unfiltered - just a bit hazy) gold with a thin wisp of a bubbly lace.
Lemon dominated the ginger and honey, though the honey was a bit noticeable. It reminded me a bit of scented dish detergent - like Palmolive.
The honey became overwhelming in the taste. The lemon and some of the ginger were noticeable, but they were not well-balanced (despite what it says on the label). I suppose that they were going for a mixture of the three - but there was no real "beer" taste. The three main ingredients mingled in an awkward way and became overwhelming, producing a less-than-ideal taste.
A medicinal flavor remained as well as a cloying sweet stickiness from the honey.
I REALLY forced myself to finish this. I was a trooper for doing so...This is not good beer. I'm not a beer basher and try to rate beers for what they are, but I have to say that this was one of the worst beers I've ever had. It's a shame that such a good brewery would put something so awful out on the market. While the concept was good in theory, it simply didn't work in practice.

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Photo of hero27
2.1/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle.
5.5% abv. Best by October 2006.

Hazy goldenrod color. Fizzy off-white head.
Aroma is heavy grain (corn?) & ginger..macro-ish metallic attributes as well.
Plenty of sweet honey right off the bat..the combination of that and the tangy overuse of lemon peel made me feel like I was eating a pack of Skittles. A ton of ginger thrown in for good measure.. wow, is my palate confused on whether or not this is a beer. Certainly a bold taste from an interesting beer, but the flavors honestly do not blend together well at all.

It's hard to believe our forefathers would drink this stuff.. I hope they had better taste, because yeah, this one didn't work for me at all. A rare miss from Sam Adams.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.13/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Semi hazy honey-hued brew with a thin white head that disappears quickly. Spotty suds, but no real lace at all.

S - Candy sugar and honey for sure. Ginger is there, but only in a sweet candy sort of way.

T - Herbal funk with some ginger, molasses, licorice, lemon, and mint flavors. Much like Lipton's Brisk Iced Tea. Herbal, minty, and much too lemony . For some reason this "herbal tea" taste worked in the root beer brew, but it seems weird here.

M - Refreshing, but awkward. Again, very tea-like, Gritty and old, like a mediocre beer thats been in the back of your fridge for years.

D - Poor. This is a very bizarre brew was the root beer brew, but this just isn't doing it for me like that one did. I appreciate what they are trying to do with the rustic feel and all, but damn...this is pretty nasty.

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Photo of medic25
2.13/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Unfortunately, this was the first beer I sampled from the Sam Adams Patriot Collection. The appearance was the best thing the beer had going for it; a hazy golden yellow. Aroma was as titled, ginger and honey. The taste unfortunately can best be described as cough medicine. The honey and ginger combined to make something more akin to Robitussin than a drink intended to enjoy. I commend BBC for branching out and experimenting, but this one blew up in their face.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.15/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours a great reamy with with athick foam and pale wheat ale hoes and bubbling and lacing. This beer looks like it could be a good beer. But the smell is of knock-off ginger ale lemon and herbs. The flavor is a very strong ginger presence with lots of citrus and hints of toasty malts. The honey makes random appearances with the lemon to sweeten it up.

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Photo of gotbeer
2.25/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, what to say... This one poured a hazey yellow with a thin head. The smell reminded me of Halls Honey Lemon cough drops. That was the initial flavor of the taste as well. Dissolved white sugar, ginger, and some funk follow. Not really pleasing in any way. The mouthfeel felt oddly grainy.

I'm not sure I'll finish this one, so I'll have to say the drinkability is very low.

I appreciate Samuel Adams' adventurous brewing, but this one was probably best left in colonial times.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.28/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

0709/06- Purchased as part of a SE Patriot 4-pk at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, best by date on the package and the bottle. Poured into my Sebastopol Brewing pint glass.

Appearance- Hazy and a bit cloudy peach in color. About a 1/4 inch head, which fades fairly quickly. Leaves behind a touch of watery looking lace.

Smell- Damn, this is macro-esque. Corny, a bit sweet plus a few spices maybe.

Taste- Short and to the point. Not good. Tastes like Bud with touches of ginger and honey added. Also tastes a bit tea-like.

Mouthfeel- Feels OK, good carbonation level, just bad taste and the aftertaste isn't much better.

Drinkability- One of my few drain pours. Made it about half the way through until I discovered it was just like drinking BMC.

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Photo of cmmprez
2.28/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Apperance: Unflitered look similar to apple cider. Poured with little white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Honey sweetness. Maybe a hint of ginger but not much. (No hops are used in this brew.)

Taste: The ginger smacked me in mouth. It was really strong and surprised me. If you are not a fan of ginger you will not like this beer. The taste transitions over a few seconds from fresh ginger to a driness in the back of the throat. It made me cough the first sip I had. Definitely not a smooth finish. The honey blends well with the ginger but doesn't do enough to take off the sharp edge. The bottle suggests "lemon zest" in the flavor but if its there it is completely overpowered by the ginger.

Mouthfeel: Light in body and somewhat refreshing when your palate adjusts for the ginger taste. I could see drinking this on a hot day if its all I had back in colonial America.

Drinkability: This is one of those beers you try so you can say, "Wow, that's interesting, but nothing I would want to drink more of." I think there is potential for this beer if hops were added or the ginger pulled back and balanced, but this is Sam Adam's TRADITIONAL Brew. This is what they drank in the colonies so it is what it is.

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Photo of bigone4
2.28/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a light slightly clouded yellowish color. Light white head that dissipated rather quickly. Not very impressive looking. Smell is sweet with lots of ginger and spice in the nose. Some mild citrus tones not a real malt presence. This beer is just not for me. Too sweet and way to much ginger and honey. Although, it was neat to try a brew made to the style of our fore fathers. Very carbonated and bubbly no real lacing in the glass. Ginger flavor up front followed by the subtle lemon tones and the sweetness of the honey. Leaves a rather different aftertaste mostly of honey sweetness. Some beers are more appealing than others unfortunately this one falls short for my taste.

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Photo of Budlum
2.31/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours with one quarter inch of head lasting about one minute. Cloudy, pale yellow body similar to a weak hefeweizen.

Very spicy on the nose. The ginger cetainly will not be overlooked. Traces of cinnamon and nutmeg. Sharp citrus notes, mainly lemon and pungent lemon oil. Noticeable orange similar to spiced oranges used as Christmas decorations. A little too overwhelming and abrupt.

Immediately spicy and loaded with ginger on the tongue. Quite possibly too much ginger. After the intial rush of ginger, the honey shines through. The honey provides a good balance to what would be an over-loaded ginger beer. Plenty of citrus within the finish and lingering honey.

Mouthfeel is like the rest of this beer's characteristics. A little too spicy to be enjoyed.

Drinkability is highly dependent on the drinker. This beer is too spicy for my tastes which ruins the experience. That aside, if it weren't for Sam Adams I would have never have had the opportunity to try this type of ale. Always innovating and occasionally disasterous.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
2.33/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a pint glass the beer was a light-medium golden color with two fingers of pure white frothy head and a lot of tiny carbonation bubbles feeding up the side of the glass. Little lacing throughout the sample.

The nose is malty and very oddly spiced. A lot if clove aromas with subtle corriander, vanilla, ginger, and a cream soda like smell.

The beer's taste is interesting in that although it has a definative malt balance, the malty flavors are concealed considerably with spice. An artificial honey sweetness seems to come and go from sip to sip and a strong presence of clove an vanilla. An unusual aftertaste is lent from this combination of flavors.

Medium carbonation, a bit thin on the palate.

An interesting "throwback" to be sure the beer seems to be a conglomeration of flavors all thrown together, not one of which really helps to lend a pleasent taste to the beer. Overall it comes off as interestingly spiced and the combination of sweet honey and herbal ginger and vanilla flavors combined to give me an incredible headache.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.33/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This started out fairly good, and kind of went south from there. It poured a cloudy medium orange with a foamy snow white head on it. It actually looked good; almost thirst quenching. The smell was pretty good, too, with subtle herbal fragrances. It didn't smell too strong or offensive. The taste? Oh my. This is really not for me. Lots of ginger and lots of honey. In fact, this is sickeningly sweet. I'm going to complete this review, and then pour this away. The herbal taste and smell married to the thickness from the presence of the honey liken this to a cough syrup. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, inspite of all the negativity. Everything else, though, is just a bit much for me; the sweetness and medicinal herbal notes. Glad I tried it to be able to say that I had, but it ends there.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.35/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle purchased from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA, as part of the 4 btl Brewer Patriot collection.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" off-white head over the somewhat cloudy golden brew. Head lasts and lasts, with lots of frothy lacing. Aroma is slightly sweet, with ginger and lemon apparent. Hard to fault when it brings what it advertises so far. Taste is where things get a little hinky. Sweetness is dominant, and when the ginger and lemon arrive on the tongue, they don't compliment, but rather each dominates for a moment and then gives way to the other. They need to flow together at least a little bit. Mouthfeel and drinkability suffer for the same reasons. Gets worse as it warms. Cannot refute many of the earlier reviewers, yuck.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.41/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bright, pale, yellow in color. Unfiltered and rather large chunks of what look like some ginger chunks that made it through the whole process.

Humongous and sharp ginger smell just fills the air. Translates exactly to the taste although I would add a sweet malt backer to the sharpness. A bit of coca cola, soda poppish middle and aftertaste. Honey more or less just clings to my teeth and can be tasted long after its all said and done. The finish never cleans up.

Notes: Nice to try a beer like this but I don't think its something I'd like to see in my fridge every night or even every month....once a year? yeah that sounds about right. Although in concept I'm sure this sounded like a great idea, I'd rather they focus on modern beers....One mans opinion.

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Photo of cbl2
2.43/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$8.99 4 pack 5.50% Best by October 2006.


Slightly hazy and mildly orange with large soda-like carbonation, this almost resembles a somewhat darker ginger ale. Little to no head helps sell the resemblance.


Riiicooolaaa!!!! A blend of lemon and metallic medicine, this reminds me of the cough medicine made famous by that stupid commercial from the early 90's…A whiff of the promised ginger, but nothing more.


I can't quite describe how it starts, but the finish has a mouth drying wheat characteristic to it. The beginning is more muddled, a blend of various flavors, mainly lemon. Sadly I don't detect the pungent sting of ginger, which would make this beer more interesting. There is that medicinal flavor noted in the nose, and a sweetness imparted by the honey. Not as horrendous as the 1790 Root Beer, I'll actually finish this one, though I can't say I'll enjoy it.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.44/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Of course, part of the Patriot 4-pack, 5.5% ABV, 12 oz bottle. Authentic recipe No.1. Brewed with lemon peel, ginger and honey. Pours to a cloudy golden peach, forming a soapy white head with poor-average head retention and sparse to absent lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is at first crisp with lots of fresh ginger, akin to a strong ginger ale, then some ruddy ale characteristics with a touch of fusels pops in akin to a crappy yeast. Initially sweet with a brisk ginger bite, then followed by a wet cardboard mouthfeel in the middle...medium light body and crisp beginnings but goes south quickly with some musty, oxidized character. Odd wisp of smoke in the tail end with an chemical saccharin sweetness in the aftertaste. Moderate metallic qualities in the aftertaste. A little pucker of lemon flavor in the finish as well.

Hrmm, starts off nice, then just goes downhill. I'd rather have a beer or a ginger ale, but this in-between kinda thing makes me a little nauseous. 1/2 bottle is plenty.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.46/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 12oz bottle a hazy light gold with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving about a 1/4" layer for the entire session.

The smell has a pungent nose to it along with some earthiness.

The taste has a honey sweet flavour mixed with a ginger tartness that is *definitely* different...for me, it's a bit *too* different from what I expect in a beer. I'm not going to slam Sam Adams for coming out with this traditional brew, I'll just say that in this case, it's not for me.

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Photo of DESTRO
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

cloudy orange with a frothy head. right off the bat huge ginger is present with lemon and all sort of citrus. also fresh cut grass. flavor profile is pretty similar, lots of ginger and lemon, very medicinal. off tasting. cough drop like. ok mouthfeel. starts nice, drops off rapidly. not to hyped.

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Photo of palliko
2.56/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is an amber yellow with some thin foam. Aroma is citrus and ginger. Initial taste is herbal, with too much ginger, the mouthfeel is ok, but there is not enough carbonation. The middle has a hint of hops and malt, a touch of lemon, and some honey. Of the four beers in the Patriot 4 pack, I liked this one the least – but I am not fond of ginger, so no surprise. The finish was, as another reviewer stated, soapy, and not pleasant.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.58/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Recipe #1 from the Patriot Collection, best by 10/06. I can't imagine anyone drinking this beer; it's like drinking ginger ale and getting a little buzzed. It was a cloudy yellow-orange, with a small head that disappeared quickly. It smelled like ginger ale, very spicy and sweet. Ginger ale taste was quite prominent, with maybe a faint citrus flavor. Not a beer to savor, but a beer to drink because it's in the 4 pack.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
2.58/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a yellow straw color with a good bit of haze. two finger head that dissapates after a minute. Aroma is spicy-sweet with a faint bit of lemon. Taste is the same. A little too sweet for my taste but not a bad flavor over all. Carbonation is substantial and drinkability wouldnt be bad if it were less sweet. Not a great beer for Sam Adams, but I like the fact that they are trying this cool experiment and it is interesting to try some experimental beers.

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Photo of Gump
2.58/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of the Patriot 4-pack.
Hazy yellow pour and plain white head.

Sweet green grassy aroma.
Sweet honey taste with ginger prevalent on the tongue and mouthfeel.

A biteersweet bubblegum aftertaste.
Flat, no carbonation.

This might be the sweetest Sam Adams I've had. A little too sweet.

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Brewer Patriot Collection - Traditional Ginger Honey Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.19 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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