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

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.

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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 226
Photo of Pecafaced
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A- Nice appearance, golden in color with a decent size white head. Very clear and nice lacing around the glass.

S- Sweet malty aroma with some floral notes from the lavender, some mild citrus scents as well.

T- Huge floral sweetness is present up front, some hints of honey just a bit too sweet for me.

M- Medium mouth feel with some syrup textures. Carbonation is decent.

O- This one is okay. A bit too sweet for me, but I'm sure some would find pleasing.

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

-Very fragrant with sweet floral notes.

-Toasted maltiness combines with a sweet floral impression on the taste.

-Creamy textured...a little sticky perhaps...finishes with a little dryness to balance the sweetness.

-Nice beer. I enjoyed it. Would fit nicely as a sweeter summer style seasonal. Certainly not in the same league as Longshot Hazelnut Brown circa 1994-95? but solid.

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Photo of Beejay
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale gold in color, and a nice full white head. Crystal clear.

S: Lavender and citrus come out right off the bat. Lots of floral notes, almost dish soapy..

T: Nice sweetness to it. Lavender and floral notes throughout. There is a good honey note, but the entire beer seems just a little too sweet for me.

M: Medium, and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is full, and seems to match the style.

O: I like the lavender character, but overall the beer is a touch on the cloying side.

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Photo of bmwats
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Amber hue. Medium light carbonation. Pours about a half finger, frothy, white head. Settles fairly quickly and unevenly. Some really nice beer ring lacing.

S: Very light malt base with just the slightest floral note.

T: Hoppy malt body, with a very subtle sweetness, and a very light bittersweet floral flavor.

M: Light body, very crisp, very refreshing. Slightly sweet in the front, and an unusual planty aftertaste.

D: This is a very interesting brew. I was a little put off by the idea, but it actually comes out very well. That said, its unusual character limits how many of these you might want to drink.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Nice body, frothy head, decent lacing. Nose is not complex, but characterized by the lavendar floral note. Not overbearing though, actually quite subtle. Flavor is pretty basic light malty body with a bitter and sweet floral character. Overall, this is a pretty good (albeit unique) quaff.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty standard amber gold, nothing extra remarkable. However, it's amazingly, perfectly clear, and the head won't quit. A solid coating through the whole glass, leaving sheeting lace laddering with each sip. Very, very nice.

The aroma is mainly populated by toasted malt, and a field of pillowy-soft clover honey, but there's a strong, gruit-like quality with the lavender. Spicy and floral, without a lot else interfering. Clean, allowing the flowery qualities center stage. If you don't know what lavender in a beer smells like, try this.

Sweet and malty overall, with some light medicinal bitterness from the lavender. The honey keeps this one sweet, yet delicate, dry and airy, with the lavender supplying most of the assertive flavor. Much of the bitterness comes from the flowers, I'm guessing. The honey comes through in the end with a gently sweet, light, clover aftertaste. A little flighty, with the flavors coming across as distant and fleeting, just there long enough to recognize and flutter away. Even the aftertaste is nothing more recognizable than a spoonful of clover honey. The addition of an assertive yeast strain could fill out the bottom end, or adding an earthier herb. With the addition of a second, heartier herb to compliment the lavender, I think that would be a showstopper. I hate rosemary, but it seems to be an obvious choice, Maybe Thyme, or dandelion greens? As it is, this brew could be stunning, but lacks a bit of complexity. It's all treble with no bass.

This reminds me a lot of a scottish gruit, in the strong presence of the floral, herbal bitterness and lack of hops. Unusual, a little challenging and confusing for the palate of the average beer drinker, and well done. Despite my enjoyment of the black ale, i think this has the most potential of the mixed sixer. It could do with a little more complexity, but this is a fantastic introduction of ancient beer styles to a novice. Of the mixed pack, this is the beer I expected to like the least, but wound up having the most potential. Not like I'm an expert, but I've had a lot of beer and I know what I like. A little tweaking and this could be incredible. Go gruit with some heather or juniper, and who knows.

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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 yesyouam
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Longshot Honey B's Lavender Ale is a crystal clear golden ale with a thin, white foam that fades to a film and leaves great lacing on the glass. It smells grassy and floral. The lavender aroma is solid, but not overbearing. There's a lemony note and something medicinal. It has a fluffy medium body with a scratchy finish. It's pretty boldly flavored with a soft sweetness carrying it to a pretty bitter finish. The lavender flavor persists from start to finish. There is a tartness and an almost cider-like quality to it. The honey flavor is faint and only surfaces in the aftertaste. It's fun to drink. It's too wild to be a session ale.

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Photo of shand
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice golden color with two fingers of white head that loses half of it's volume fairly quickly, but the rest retains very well. Lacing is also nice. The aroma on this is fantastically interesting. The lavender is really the first thing I pick up, being a fragrance enthusiast before a beer enthusiast, notes used in perfumery always stick out to me. There's also some nice citrus aspects here, and a touch of sweetness, probably attributed to the honey. There's also a nice amount of earthy hops in here too. This is a seriously great-smelling beer. The taste is fairly echoed by the nose. The delicate floral aspects some through right away, followed up by a rush of honey, spices, malts, and earthy hops. Earthiness, graininess, and a touch of lavender stick around for the finish.

The mouthfeel is nice, this is well-carbonated and goes down very easily. The drinkability suffers just a little bit due to the honey sweetness, but this glass didn't last too long in front of me due to the unique flavors present. Overall, this is a great and innovative beer that any true lover of craft beer should check out. I promise you've never had anything quite like it. It's nowhere near the best beer I've had, but it more than makes up for it's shortcomings in uniqueness.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Clear golden color. Thick, creamy looking white head. Very good retention, sticky rings of lacing.

S: Lots of pilsner malt. Straw, grassy hops. Takes a while for the lavender scent to open up, but it's there. Soft and floral. Maybe a bit of buttery biscuit. The honey adds a subdued sweet, sugary smell.

T: Sweet and fruity/floral as it is first introduced to the palate. Some plum and cherry, and what i suppose is the lavender. Slight hint of pepper. Pleasant grainy tastes balance all the sugary sweetness that the honey adds. Dry grainy tastes and sugary honey tastes trade off. Throw some biscuity malt in there too. Grassy hops balance with moderate bitterness. finishes semi-dry with grassy hop tastes and biscuity malts.

M: Medium bodied, slick, creamy, and smooth. Active carbonation adds a refreshing bite. Well done.

O: Innovative, and an impressive effort. Well done.

Notes: A bit like a Czech pilsner, with a few bells and whistles added. this is the type of innovation and experimentation that drives the craft movement. The best of this year's Longshot winners, hands down.

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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 Phelps
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle with a best before date of Sept. 2011, into a tulip.

Pale gold and perfectly clear, with a one-finger head of pure, frothy white that quickly collapses to a very thin top layer but leaves gobs of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

Sweet, floral and earthy. It’s like a handful of honeysuckle, soil-flecked roots and all. I get an impressive amount of English hops, met with dollops of sweet honey and a touch of roses and lavender. There’s a lot more earthiness here than I expected, but it’s not bad.

The flavor mirrors the nose, leading with spicy hops before a mild honey sweetness comes mid-palate. The floral character settles in after the swallow. It’s like a subtle potpourri — though I never get as much lavender as I’d like.

Medium carbonation fizzes up the beer quite a bit as I move around the medium-bodied brew. Refreshing, snappy finish.

Nothing special to see here. It’s light and drinkable enough — the floral qualities would lend themselves nicely to a hot summer day. But when a beer calls itself a lavender ale I expect, you know, lavender.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Light white foamy head. Nice lace. Beautiful golden yellow. Completely clear.

S: Slightly sweet, floral. A little aromatic spice.

T: Lavender is very upfront. At first it's nice but it wears on the taste buds rather quickly. The savory element of the herb is well balanced by honey.

M: A little oily and viscous. Good.

D: I like the herbaceous-ness here but I couldn't session. Light but a very distinct flavor.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a nice crisp light amber color with a nice head of foam. Aroma is very nice, you can smell the lavender, with orange blossom and coriander spice like flavors as well. Quite fragrant, like a field of flowers.

First sip is... wow very nice. A lot of honey-like sweetness, honeysuckle, a touch of cinnamon, and nice dry, crisp finish. This beer walks a fine line between too many floral non-malt flavors, but I think it pulls it off quite nicely. I'm very impressed. A perfect summer outdoor sipping beer.

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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 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 Boppar
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a large red wine glass.

A: It pours golden-orange with a quickly vanishing head fading to lace with a few large soap bubbles. It's a pretty beer.

S: Very faint. I actually detect more biscuit than lavender or honey. It smells primarily of biscuit, then of faint alcohol spice, and then the faintest whiff of something floral but not lavender... maybe apple petals?

T: The taste is open and inviting. It begins with sweet malts and ends abruptly with a semi-bitter finish. On the second sip, I swirl it around in my mouth, which yields two pleasant surprises: the first is the pleasant mouthfeel, which had escaped me on the first pass, and the second is the lavender I had been waiting for. It is there, just at the end for a shimmering second before the bittering hops wash it away.

Overall: It goes down smoothly, and it looks pretty in a wine glass. The use of lavender is an interesting idea, and one that I would like to see executed with a more liberal dose of the herb. I'm glad I tried this beer, although I would not go out of my way to find it again in its present form. With further tinkering, this beer could be quite good.

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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 DaveHS
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours clear golden/light amber with about an inch of fluffy eggshell white head. Leaves moderate soapy lacing.

S-Light grainy malts, lavender, honeydew.

T/M-Drinks like a kolsch with a light perfumey lavender finish. A little hoppier than I expected for such a light beer. Dry, mouth coating bitterness in the back end has a residual quality. Builds up over time.

O-Pretty good. Would've liked a more bold lavender flavor.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Crystal clear light golden color. A decent cover of white head with some spotty lacing. Not a bad looking pale.

S: The lavender really stands out in the nose. Right after that comes the honey. Lots of sweetness going on. Almost like a sweet bread. Pleasant if one dimensional.

T: The name really nailed this one down. You get the floral elements from the lavender then the sweetness from the honey. Just enough hops to sort of balance it out in the end but it also finishes sweet.

M: Light bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Got a bit thicker as the glass went down.

D: An easy drinker but I would not want more than one of these as the sweetness does catch up around half way done with the glass.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for his generosity

This beer pours a super pale straw color with a nice frothy bone white foam. The aroma is actually quite pleasant all of the components promised to me are evident in the smell. There is a nice sweet honey aroma as well as a fragrant floral aroma with both hops and the lavender petals. The taste is actually rather nice. It tastes just like it smells. The mouthfeel is pretty thin and oddly bitter for the ingredients involved. It's a pretty decent beer, crisp and refreshing for a summer's day, but as far as almost any other situation this beer would just find itself mediocre.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a light amber gold with a tight 1 inch head.
in the aroma you find lavender, sage, some other white floral qualities, honey, pear, pepper, and some wheat
the taste has got wildflower honey,some spicy herbal characteristics, and generally the same kind of things going on as in the aroma.
the mouthfeel is solidly moderate in all respects.
overall, a unique and tasty beer. i'm not sure how many i want to drink, but it's a very nice change of pace.

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Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer of the lot to try. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark gold with a thick white head on top. I expected a different shade to this given the ingredients. Some faint lace left behind. Nose is fruity with notes of pomegranate, honeysuckle, and just faint whiffs of lavender. It definitely doesn't knock you over the head. I thought this would be more lavender-soap like, and I am happy to say that it is not.

The mouth is very bubbly and effervescent, though not harsh. I've already been surprised by this beer, is more surprise in store? The flavors on this beer remind me of an APWA, more than an spiced beer. Again, I like that it is so. Lots of wheat background with just the subtle markings of lavender on the palate. Fruity flavors wash it out on the finish. I was really impressed with this beer. It was the one I was least looking forward to in the pack, but it is the most surprising, and might actually be my favorite. More Honey B's, please!

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a one-finger, soapy, fluffy white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of honey and lavender with mild caramel notes.

T - It tasted of honey and spcies - lavender and other unidentifiable spices. It had some nice caramel flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was interesting. At times I thought it was really good and other times it seemed over done. Overall, though it is tasty and a worthy edition to the Longshot series.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wasn't expecting Honey B's Lavender Ale to be purple but, truthfully, I find the appearance to be somewhat anti-climatic. Although it's probably unwarranted to say given the beer's tanned, golden colour and indefatigable bubbles, something about its complexion looks dreary. And the scraggly outlining supposed to be its head is depressingly decrepit.

There's nothing in the nose not to like, however, I find the bready, biscuity pale malts are a little imposing on the more delicate notes of lavender and honey. But the latter are definitely perceptible, the honey enacting a palpable waxiness while the lavender registers less vividly, more so as a vague, general herbaceous element. Quite nice.

Likewise, the flavour is nothing if not delightful. Earthy, delicately floral notes of lavender brush the tongue with the softness of a cloud and leave a pollen-y, herbaceous finish that slows the heart rate to an almost tranquilizing pace. The honey is less noted despite contributing an appreciable (but sensible) level of sticky sweetness. Tasty stuff.

The glue that holds it all together, however, is the zesty, faintly spicy, notably fruity persona of the hops (which I suspect are Cascade) that lend the beer such a quenching, citric tartness on the finish. Those little green cones accentuate the purple lavender leaves with notes of bright yellow lemon and pink grapefruit. Very pleasant.

Caitlin was smart to foresee that combining a lusciously hopped pale ale with lavender and honey would make a beer simultaneously this unique and delicious - and Samuel Adams was smart to foresee the mass-appeal of such an offering and release it commercially. Hopefully they have the sensibility now to make this their new summer seasonal.

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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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Longshot Honey B's Lavender Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.59 out of 5 based on 226 ratings.
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