Longshot Honey B's Lavender Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Longshot Honey B's Lavender AleLongshot Honey B's Lavender Ale
226 Ratings
Longshot Honey B's Lavender AleLongshot Honey B's Lavender 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by jdhilt on 03-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 226 |  Reviews: 169
Reviews by eclaycamp:
Photo of eclaycamp
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer presents itself as outside the box, right from the start, as the label description mentions lavender, honey, and a pale ale. I'm going to use a pilsner glass for this, as I'm just not sure what other glassware would really be appropriate. It looks like I guess right as the beer comes out a light straw, bordering on gold. Big fizzy carbonation rises to the top but doesn't stick around all that long. One thing I notice is that this beer gives off lots of bubbles - huge, massive ones that burst to the surface. I'm guessing we've got some heavy carbonation. The initial aroma is biscuity malt and wheat - it almost overpowers everything else. Going back a second time I get the lavender - but it's faint. You really have to dig down to find it, but once you do it's very powerful, floral as one would expect. I don't get a lot of honey in the nose. Taste is, once again, almost pilsner like. Biscuity malt hits the mouth first, followed by wheat, but that washes away relatively quickly. What's interesting is that the honey comes through towards the middle and into the finish, but it's the hibiscus that lingers in your mouth afterwards - almost like you chewed on a flower petal. Interesting - and not necessarily in a bad way. I think that the carbonation is spot on. This beer has a medium mouthfeel, and the carbonation lends effervescence to the beer, otherwise it might be a little bit cloying. I'm not the biggest fan of honey in my beer, if it was me I'd excise it completely. However this beer does a relatively good job of balancing that flavor. The word that comes to mind when drinking this is delicate, as the lavender and honey are both well balanced and not over the top, which in turn really lets them shine. In this case, less is more.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
2.77/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

In a pint glass this beer was a clear golden color with just a film of head.
A sweet malt aroma, floral.
The mild floral aroma turned into the predominate taste. I felt like I was eating a bouquet. There was a little hit of hops late.
This just didn't come together for me. Too floral, then too sharp.
No more for me. But, as Meatloaf said, "Two (Longshots) out of three ain't bad."

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Photo of orm56
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Mora2000
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a golden color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the bread and honey with some lavender notes mixed in. The flavor is a mix of lavender, honey, lighter bready malts and some grassyness from the hops. There is a little bit of bitterness to the beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I admit to a great amount of trepidation entering this review, for even though Honey B's Lavender Ale won a spot in Sam Adams' homebrew contest, lavender is not an herb I'm terribly fond of in any form, and usually associate it with nasty smelling bath salts. Still, in the name of, oh, science, I'll give it a shot.

The ale opens with an aroma that does distinctly feature lavender, but thankfully bears no resemblance to the dread bath salts. Instead, the beer comes across as extremely floral, as if the aromas of a decent ale and a solid cup of herbal tea had mingled. Lavender and honey are easily recognizable, as are light streaks of grapefruit and orange, and an undercurrent of toasted wheat.

On the tongue, the beer is very floral, beginning with a strong shot of lavender and clover honey, as well as a significant spiciness (pepper, cardamom, allspice) that does help somewhat offset the lavender, which is just a few shades too strong for my liking. Hops add a welcome bitterness (though not a great deal of flavor) and tingle the tongue and soft palate. At the very bottom, exposed more in the aftertaste as the sugars and lavender die off, is a good base of toasted grains. The aftertaste also features some grapefruit hops, and fades relatively quickly. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation seems medium-high, adding to the tingling.

Overall, while I can't say that I'm terribly fond of the beer, I do give it credit for being far better than what I was expecting, and even, in its own way, good: it does what it says, and does it well enough that I can see why it did win a place in the six-pack. Kudos for daring and innovation.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.28/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a pale golden completely filtered body with a nice sized fluffy white head, forms scattered delicated lacing. Aroma has some evident spicy lavender, floral rose water, slightly cherry/citrus fruit laiden notes with a touch of honey there as well. Light biscuit pale malt base. Flavor cloying sweetness with an unpleasant medicinal spiced blend of flavors, the honey really doesn't complement the overall experience. Not a chick beer actually aggressive levels of lavender, makes you feel like some sprayed perfume in your mouth. Mouthfeel does finish dry but upfront it's a cloying dose of honey and bitter herbal lavender, carbonation is sturdy really upfront with bubbles gets you burping after a sip or two. Overall I don't see this one making it into regular rotation, pretty unrefinded unbalanced variation of what a good beer from this style could taste like. It always seems like there's a hot female on one of the three Longshot labels, I'm sure it helps when going around and procuring votes during this competetion.

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Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

served in pint glass

A - near clear golden with whitish head.

S Lavender and sweet honey tinged light malt in good

T - flavor departs from aroma, with far less lavender (except, I guess, in the noticeable herbal flavor and also in overall bitterness) Signature herbal flavors blendswell with (Noble?) hops. Quite pleasant and refreshing with both sweet (early) and tart (later) components.

M - light-medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - A pleasant surprise in a lighter (than normal for me) beer with a pleasant and distinctive aroma and flavor. A winner indeed.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: A light golden brown, this ale really does look like dark matured honey. It has a a thick fluffy white head that sits on top like marshmallow, and it leaves nice thick lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is not as dominated by lavender as I thought it would be. Some light lavender is present; however, other smells are more obvious: the sweet scents of honey and malt mixes with sharp and bitter citrus hops.

T: While the lavender might not have been as aggressive in the nose, it definitely is a large part of the taste. Floral notes of lavender are there from the start. Some sweeter notes of honey arrive around the middle, and the finish is balanced out by some piney bitter notes from the hops.

M: Medium bodied and dry.

O: Spiced beers can be interesting if done well and terrible if done poorly. Luckily, this ale is on the better side of the equation. It is dry with nice floral and herbaceous notes, and it is balanced by sweetness from the honey. However, be prepared for a large amount of lavender flavor (of course if you do not expect a lot of lavender you clearly did not look at the name of this beer).

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep orange body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a snow white head that last for a good bit.

S- The smell of honey malt and pale malt take on a graham note followed by a soft lavender note and some apricot jam notes come through as the beer opens up. The lavender and honey are both pleasantly subtle.

T- This beer has a floral mild perfume flavor with some slightly sweet pale malt flavors and a nice hop note in the finish. There is a very slight soapy lavender bite as the beer warms but it is very mild.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish.

O- I'm shocked. I was expecting this beer to be over the top lavender and honey, both of which flavors I don't care for in beer if they are to strong. This beer has lots of nice fresh malt flavors/aromas with just a touch of honey and the soft lavender keeps this from tasting like fabric softener and it was quite tasty. I enjoyed sniffing this a bit more that the taste but both were nice.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden wheat colored beer with a plump white bubbly head. Mostly clear with a sudsy top is a great start to this drink.

I love the smell of this beer! There is just enough lavender in there to balance out a sweet honey grain. Touches of lemon and cardamom remind me of a Belgian Witt I used to homebrew. Fantastic.

Sweet with a touch of floral spice. A good mix of flavors that I find both satisfying and interesting. The lemon makes another appearance along with that cardamom/clove taste, flanked by a honey finish. Well done Caitlin!

Perfect carbonation in this light bodied brew. Flavorful with a sharp bite of both spice and bubbles. I can drink this exactly as the bottle suggests, kicking back and relaxing with my feet up. This longshot is a home run. Too bad there are only two in a six pack.

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Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear dark yellow-golden. A small white head forms on top and demonstrates fari retention. Lacing left behind isn't impressive, but it's adequate and shows of bit of character.
The aroma is mostly of grains with a grassy presence forming the body of it, with the lavender done nicely; light but not weak. There's also a touch of honey sweetness in here.
Sweetness comes out up front with a zing of spiciness in the flavor. There's plenty of pale malts lest anyone question this as a genuine beer, and a light but balancing floral hops bitterness which may also add to the orange peel flavor a bit. This is actually quite well done.
The body is as light as I would expect without being thin and, as expected, quite crisp and refreshing. Malts do pull through in the body to add some smoothness in the finish.
I like this effort as a light, refreshing beer that won't destroy the palate or offer an extreme experience. It's simply a good beer.

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Photo of nickthegun12
4.19/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i love this beer....

a light golden appearance...great head....with nice lacing

smell is lovely it reminds me of sah tea!...very herbal smell...maybe from the lavender....great!!!

it taste as good as it smells!....lots of spice on the front with not much of an aftertaste! very light on the palate!

the feel is great....not over carbonated....great bitter taste too...but i don't think its from the hops

overall i love this beer....in some ways its better than sah tea!

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Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of cokes
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deeply golden with eddies of gas feeding a sizeable and lasting white head.
Lavender is obviously the main player in the aroma, adding sweetly spicy floral notes. There's a backing honeyed graham cracker maltiness and touches of tangerine fruitiness. Though it definitely leans in the floral/spicy dry direction.
A crackery malt base, a little wheaty. At fattens just a tad and grows sweeter, with honey notes and rock candy. Lavender adds a measured wallop of heathery florality. Hops are congruent enough to hardly be detected, but seem to add a spicy bitterness and glints of citrus. A touch of anise dots the swallow.
On the plus side of light bodied. Carbonation stays perky throughout without seeming gassy or fizzy.
Usually the "flavored" entry in the Longshot series is the one I'll try to pawn off on someone else. Not this year. I'll drink both of these. Drinkability might suffer due to the aggressiveness of the lavender, though it adds uniqueness in the short term.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, best by September 2011.

At the pour this is a very golden and effervescent ale. The head is a puffy, tight white phenomenon and the body is of darker gold. All seems in order, proceed.

The nose does not belie the presence of that lavender; herbal, oily lavender reaches up from the glass, possibly mingled with some earthier hops. Perfume comes to mind, as does lavender oil room scents.

While heavy on the lavender, it's a rather pleasant earthy, herbal, minty drink. A little chalky yeast gets in there and this seems to me a bit like Saison du Buff. Rosemary could be construed.

The mouth is actually a little heavy and chalky for what should be, and mostly is, refreshing.

What is the base beer? A Saison or some kind of Belgian pale certainly. I don't think it's boring, as one of the very early reviewers I read seemed to think. I could question how this was the best that a Sam Adams employee brewed, but not bad, not bad.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden amber, with a rich, white head. Lace is nice and ornate.

Lovely honey aroma. Only a slight hint of lavender in the nose.

Taste is heavy on the lavender up front, followed by a smooth honey followthrough and finish. Not bad -- a wee bit on the sweet side, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One finger of foamy white head on a translucent gold body. Some lacing.

Hops and honey on the nose, with definite lavender. Very floral.

Honey taste, but balanced and not at all cloying. Lavender is an undertone and an aftertaste, accompanied by some hops and honey.

Not too much carbonation, but coarse in texture. Refreshing and smooth.

Very interesting-- might pair with Swiss cheese.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer of the day when I got home from the Hop Juice Fest was Sammy A's Longshot Honey B's Lavender Ale. The appearance was cloudy, somewhat yellow with a thin white head. The scent was a mix of honey, spice I'm not sure but there was something in the nose that gave a weird scent...like a hint of mexican fahita weird??? I notice on another Advocate review there was a guess at a bay leaf or tea leaves, which could be it..I dont know...but there is something funky in the nose. The taste is crisp and clean and comes off the pallete quick. Certainly can pick up the floral and spice undertones. Just as the smell, there is someting in this beer that gives a different zing to it. This beer is easy on the mouth and is a great summer delight!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear golden yellow color with a large off-white head with great retention and lacing around the glass. Looks great!

S- The aroma is pretty solid. Pale malt, very floral from the lavender, honey and some citrus make up the aroma. If I didn't know better, I would also say there is just a hint of mint in the nose as well. 

T- The taste is pale malt up front with a lot of sweetness probably coming from the addition of honey. The taste almost has some citrus-like acidity and just enough bitterness to help balance out the high amount of sweetness up front.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one much more than I was expecting. Kudos to Caitlin for this solid beer, well done!

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Photo of prototypic
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Honey B’s Lavender Ale pours a pale gold color. It’s very clear. Light gives it more of bright yellow look. A white head caps. It stands a little less than a finger tall and falls quickly. A respectable coat of sticky lace clung to the glass as it descended.

The nose is a little below average. It is extremely light in terms of aromatics. There’s definitely a floral quality to it due to the lavender. I am picking up a little honey. It doesn’t smell sweet. It’s a tad grainy and earthy. It’s not a complete disaster, but could definitely use some work.

The flavor is rather average. It is floral initially. Lavender is easily noted. It’s not a bad flavor, but it isn’t all that great either. Honey is stronger in flavor. It works fairly well with the lavender presence. A little better than I expected. It definitely has a grainy, earthy flavor to it that is prominent and lingers throughout. There are secondary flavors of pear and pepper.

The body is surprisingly medium, and is definitely heftier than expected. Carbonation is mid-range, and it is smooth. Mouthfeel is definitely its strongest asset. It goes down relatively easy, but the flavor’s okay at best.

Honey B’s Lavender Ale is an okay beer. I’m a little surprised that it was included in the Longshot series. It’s very average at best. It definitely has novel flavor. I’m not sure the combo of honey and lavender can really be improved in any significant way. It’s not bad, but it’s just quite good either. It is what it is. I guess if you’re really into honey or lavender, you might be into this beer.

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Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker glass. Pours a clear golden pilsner color. Thin white head. Ok lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Sort of sage ish. I'm assuming that's the lavender. Little bit of malt

Taste is sort of crisp honey blond with spice. No too much. Smooth. Nice lavender. It's an ok taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Pretty smooth.

Overall an ok beer. Worth the try because of how unique it is.

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Photo of bradleyp
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Bier Stein for stocking this beer.

A: Very light copper toned with little to no lacing at all.

S: A very distinct aroma of floral and hops, not too overbearing in the nose.

T: I can't say I've ever had a beer with Lavender in it before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect with the taste, but I could really taste the Lavender mixed with some nicy spicy notes. Very good overall taste that is something I could get used to.

M: A smooth beer, very easy to swallow, not too much in the flavor that would kill my tastebuds, but I felt that it was still missing something. Mabye a little higher in the abv would've made this beer a 5.0.

O: A very nice balanced beer, which is something I'm glad I got to try. Congrats to the girl who won this contest. If I was a homebrewer, I would love for the entire country to try what I've made. She is quite the lucky one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent honey color with 3 fingers of ivory colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Honey & ginger, hints of hay once warm

T: Follows the nose, some breadyness, some pear & a kiss of lemon up front. Dry pears, a slight spicyness that borders between ginger & white pepper, I assume that's the lavander & hops at work, some honey too. Finishes wet & sweet & spicy

MF: Light/medium bodied, semi-soft carbonation, decent balance

This is alright, but I wish they would ditch the foo-foo beers in the mixed sixer, they always seem to the worst beer in the mix IMO. I could only do one of these at a sitting, too sweet for my liking. Would probably work great with some Thai, Sushi or Korean fare

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with several fingers of foamy bright-white head. This settles down into a frothy ½ finger, leaving back a good bit of patchy lacing. The aroma is floral feeling up front, with a huge push from the lavender that is layered on top of notes of green citrus and sweet honeyed grains.

The taste has a firm grassy bitterness to it, which is balanced by some softer fruit flavors, sweet honey, and toasted grains. The lavender flavor gathers itself on the edges of the profile and then pulls together in the finish, leaving back a heavy flowery feel that lingers with some gritty bitter dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the tongue, before giving away to a bit more of a thicker creaminess across the back.

Well this certainly brought to the table what was advertised, as there was an abundance of both honey and lavender here and I honestly enjoyed what they brought to the table here as this was both balanced and breezy feeling on the palate. I’m not sure if I would want more than one in a sitting but this was unique enough to keep me interested during this glass.

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Longshot Honey B's Lavender Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 226 ratings