Organic Honeydew | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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Organic HoneydewOrganic Honeydew

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-09-2002

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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 418
Photo of sammytag
2.01/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

For all the "buzz" about this beer, I'm very unimpressed. With the Fuller's '08 vintage ale still on my tongue, I decided to give this one a try. Not great.

The nose is weak, with nothing distinguishable going on. A little touch of honey, yet, it's not enough to entice me.

The taste is clean, but not flavourful. The hops are lost in a tangle of weak malts and sweet graininess.

Not a very rewarding beer, unlike the rest of the fuller's commercial export line (Vintage, London Pride, London Porter, ESB).

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.12/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours an extremely carbonated dark golden colour, fizzing head out of the bottle as soon as it's opened. Head is rocky and full; a very large crown of yellow-white bubbles that crackle and pop their way down to a disappointing nothingness, lacing no lacing. Head is too large bubbled, although the colour is nice.

Noticeable fruit on the nose, with a light citric note of orange peel, with some fragrant, if slightly cloying honey notes. Altogether, it smells rather like its namesake, with some organic sweetness reminiscent of melon rind. It's quite nice, very fresh and summery.

Taste is very bland, with a welling of really unpleasant wet grain funk on the back. Initial lightly sweet citric flavour, crashed with a really raw, almost meaty finish. Honey sweetness has disappeared, just leaving this organic compost-like flavour. Extremely light body leaves nothing to the imagination.

This started off like an unassuming, if tame, English honey pale, but ended falling on the poor side of drinkable. I find honey beers very often lack something, and this is no exception. Spice them, like mead, give them some character, or do something guys... This is at best bland; at worst undrinkable.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.14/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: a fantastic solid brown embossed brown 500mL bottle with a stylish label. A nice package.

Appearance: pours a clean light amber in colour with a fluffy off-white head that settles to a thin cap. Limited lacing.

Aroma: an awkward combination of light grains and honey. Just smells like beer with honey poured into it.

Taste: I will admit that I have never met a honey beer that I like, and this seems like more of the same. An okay bitter hop and malt flavour behind, but the honey just doesn't seem to integrate into the other flavours at all.

Aftertaste: fortunately the honey flavour dissipates quickly, leaving only a touch of hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: the mouthfeel is crisp and clean, with a decent level of carbonation.

Overall: euch! I really don't understand honey beers. Most of them just taste like this one - a pretty ordinary beer that tastes like it has had warmed honey poured into it. Pretty awful stuff. At least this ordinary stuff would only be AU$130+ per equivalent case of 24 x 330mL bottles. Seriously, Fullers??

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Photo of hebdomeros
2.16/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

5% ABV. 500ml / 16.9 US fl. oz. bottle. Purchased in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Fuller's Honey Dew Organic Golden Ale is classified by CAMRA as a Golden Ale, not an IPA. Golden Ales, as a style, appear to be an attempt by British brewers to produce an ale that is as close as possible to the bottled pilsner lagers - Beck's, etc. - that became popular style accessories among the young in British pubs from the 1980s. The style prototypes are given by CAMRA as Exmoor Gold and Hop Back Summer Lightning.

This beer is thus misclassified here as an IPA. Judging purely by description, its nearest US equivalent might be an American Blonde Ale.

Pours with a meagre quarter-inch white head that disappears almost as soon as the pint glass is full. A clear honey yellow in the glass with little visible carbonation. Scent is thin and difficult to characterise - similar to many lagers. No obvious hop, honey or citrus character.

Taste follows the scent - distinguished by very little. Clean on the palate, with a faint aftertaste of honey. One could drink many a pint of this very quickly, or a single bottle as an accompaniment to food, but as a drinking experience per se it is null and void. This is a beer designed for those who prefer an ale with little beer character - i.e., the young, and others who have been raised on cheap lagers, whose lack of character is partly disguised by cold serving. Significantly, this ale is stated to be best served chilled.

Overall: this is a thirst-quencher for a hot day, and fine for that purpose. The organic ingredients allow the drinker to bathe in righteous self-satisfaction. Otherwise, an undistinguished and utilitarian ale alternative to undistinguished and utilitarian lagers. Reasonably priced if purchased in multiples. Not worth seeking out, but inoffensive and palatable if encountered.

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Photo of TerryW
2.16/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Fuller's usually offer up decent beers, so I was quite curious about this one and looking forward to giving it a try. Unfortunately, beyond being not bad looking, I think it's a bust.

Crystal clear golden colour with a moderate head that quickly settles to a thin film, but still manages to give up decent lace. Looks fairly appetizing.

Slightly sharp nose, grassy with a hint of honey and some malt in the background. Very disappointing to drink. Thin bodied, slightly floral and metallic. Finishes with a lingeing metallic bitterness.

Fuller's is capable of far better. Not to my taste at all.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.28/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a deep yellow color ale with a surprisingly big white puffy head with good retention. Aroma of honey is quite dominating with some malt also discernable. Taste is way sweeter then expected with honey making a huger impact then expected (I guess I’m getting used to those American honey brown beer where honey is quite subdued). Definitely too sweet for my own personal liking and one of the worst from this brewery.

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Photo of kjyost
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear straw yellowish (it was a dark room so I can't be 100% sure) with a short lived head atop it. Left light to no lacing. The nose of the beer had a sweetness to it and a bit of straw and apple. The beer itself was thin and had a touch of sweetness, but didn't have any substantive flavours or character that left me thinking it was much other than a macro. Once again the apple flavour was there, making me wonder if something was wrong with this beer. Bubbly in the mouth, and not a beer I would be reaching for again when given a decent second option.

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Photo of ThaCreep
2.39/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An easy-drinking palate, offering honey to taste, but without being really convincing. Honey is also present in the nose, in a style more grilled. The body is a little too soft and watery to really satisfy. Moreover, the lack of bitterness, often characteristic of Fuller's brewery is also disadvantageous. A model of Honey Ale, which gives an impression of poorly controlled, perhaps due to the absence of a higher ABV to compensate for the missing body, which remains light years ahead of Belgian models.

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Photo of bark
2.43/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The colour is golden yellow; the white foam sinks down with a fizzing sound.

The smell is spicy (garden cress) with notes of malt and honey.

The carbonation is fresh, more like lager than ale.

The taste is quite weak and sweet, but it is almost too full-bodied, the malt resembles of a cheap standard lager. The aftertaste is milder with a low bitterness and flavours of honey drops, malt and marzipan.

I don’t really get this one. I reviewed it chilled; maybe I should try it really cold?

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Photo of BrewsCrewSA
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours golden with a massive foamy head. A bit cloudy, carbonated.

S - smells of produce and faint malts, alcohol. Can't say much else about the bouquet.

T - Hmm....that was interesting. Sourness of (honey?) follows immediately by the sting of carbonation and alcohol. Kind of tastes, in all seriousness, like blood. Sweetness follows through the finish. Not impressed.

M - Meh. Acidic sting hits the palate, does not resound nicely, not at all creamy like Fuller's others. A bit disappointed here.

D - No.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.61/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yet another honey beer... I don't really get them, it sounds like something that should be simple to make taste good - sweetness of honey versus the bitterness of hops, however I am yet to find one that doesn't taste like a lager with honey added as an afterthought. Brewers should be mixing a decent hoppy pale ale with honey, hopefully Fuller's can work some of their magic into this brew.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Tis a pale ale, a lightish tinge of sunglow in yonder body glassed, white thee breath of angels lace upon thee head [here endith thine Shakespearian verse].

S: Malt and honey, honey and malt. Pretty uneventful actually... and hops? What hops? Yawn.

T: Probably the best honey beer I've tried, and that's not saying much. At least it's not a lager with honey added, it's an ale with honey added (they got one thing right). This has a grain malt with honey and there is little else to add.

M: Mid to light bodied with a slightly higher than usual carbonation for an English ale.

D: One-dimensional is a hyphenated word that gets bandied about with honey beers quite a lot, and with good reason, they don't have a great deal of character and this is due to demographics; the average drinker likes a lager that is thirst-slaking and boring, why? Because it is easy to drink. Craft beer lovers aren't the norm unfortunately and macro lagers are macro for a reason - loads of people like their beers to be inoffensive (to them at least) and as an alcohol delivery system in the cheapest way possible. That is where honey beers slot in and I am yet to find a honey beer with even the tiniest amount of hop flavour so for me they are a dud, sorry world. IHM (I Hate Macros).

Food match: Honey-roasted peanuts. Ingredients: Salt, artificial honey-roasting agents, pressed peanut sweepings, Mmmm... (Simpson's reference).

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Photo of ritzkiss
2.67/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle pours a slightly cloudy apple juice color with a finger of tight head that quickly runs away, leaving very minimal lacing.

I'll give them this - it smells like honey. Maybe some apples and some light light malts.

Taste is... bland. Bready malts and grains carry the brew into bland nothing-land. Some light honey notes, some lighter fresh fruit notes. Slightly acrid back of the mouth-feel , combined with the taste makes it seem a bit like stale apple juice (I guess that's the "zesty hops" they proclaim on the label). Ok carbonation.

I probably wouldn't drink more than one of these because of the taste but if you were to dig it you could easily pound these back for a while. Just not much there.

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Photo of bobsy
2.7/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the LCBO. Nice golden colour, but no head. Aroma of honey was not overpowering, and I liked the subtlety it implied. Flavour was sweet, but too me it was a generic sweetness, and didn’t identify with the honey aroma. There is also a malty kick in there. Refreshing, but boring.

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Photo of treque
2.77/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Orange Hue little fast dissipating head, steady but slight carbonation

S:honey-sweet aroma very light, expect much more

T: The taste is not as intense as you'd think. Leave a refreshing sensation in the throat, medium bodied, with extended ending that tends to honeyed flavor and a touch of malt

A little bit dissapointing, i would not buy this beer again

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
2.82/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A. Gold body.
S. Metallic and bready.
T. Bready and metallic. Grainy like a pilsner. Fairly biiter but no hoppy flavours. It's all wrong.
O. Can't believe how dull this Fuller's offering is. They're mostly hit but sometimes miss.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first organic beer we tried was terrible. I am hoping the honey helps this one. We have only had one from Fuller, but there are a ton on the list. I also found it interesting that BeerAdvocate, a site that has ALWAYS had every beer I was looking for, was missing this one. Not sure what the deal was… but it wasn’t there. There is one listed with cranberries, but this one is just honey. Organic honey! I had no idea that was hard to find. I guess another reason I need to visit South Africa.

This beer will go good after a long day in the office. Let’s get started.

In the Glass: It looks like a thin, polished lager. I was confused because on the website (the official Fuller, Smith, & Turner website) they pitch it as a lager when the style is actually a pale ale. Not sure… but it looks like a lager before it looks like a pale. I am a little worried, because the bottle says to enjoy before April 12.

Nose: The beer doesn’t have that big of a nose. I don’t pick up the honey until the very end. This is a beer that you want to drink freezing cold, but I am sure more aroma will come as it heats up. But that is a double edged sword… gain aroma but lose flavor on a beer like this.

Flavor: The flavor is bland, but the sweetness from the honey really stands out. As I drink this beer, I think about how drinkable it really is. There isn’t much in terms of the mouthfeel or the aftertaste… I would compare this to an infused light beer, like a Bud Light Lime. That’s not a bad thing, because the honey stands out.

Mouthfeel: There isn’t much of a mouthfeel here. It is thin, slides across the palate like a light beer, and is gone just like that. There is some subtle dryness toward the end, but that is gone as fast as it gets there. There aren’t as many bubbles as I expected, either.

Aftertaste: There isn’t much of an aftertaste here. What aftertaste there is is calm, with some dry honey notes. I am not sure I could tell the different between organic honey and regular honey… but it makes me feel better drinking an organic beer, I suppose.

This beer is good, but it is not great. I would order it again if the price is right. I would like to have this on tap in a pitcher to share with friends. If this was being served in a restaurant, I hope they throw a little honeycomb on the rim of the glass for garnish. That would be sweet!


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Photo of allergictomacros
2.87/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear gold with a solid one-inch head.

S - Hmm. Mildew? That's a new one on me. Some grassy hops as well.

T - Sweet. Not sure I taste the honey. Solid hop kick though.

M - Slightly creamy, but light overall.

D - It's alright, but nothing special. Definitely on the sweet side, and needs some balance.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: golden hue, great clarity, thinnish layer of foam that quickly turns to a thin half-moon of film

Aroma: light honey, used shoe leather(?), malt, angel food cake, a breath of English hops

Flavor: honey sweetness at first, then a touch of meaty yeast flavor followed by a malty backbone and just a tickle of hop flavor, finishes semi-sweet with an aftertaste of butterscotch, saccharine, hop bitterness and (funnily enough... or appropriately?) honeydew melon

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, light carbonation, slightly minerally

Other comments: Not a bad beer as it definitely reflects the quality that is common with Fullers. And I swear I'm not imagining the honeydew thing just because of the name.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Pours gold with a very small head.
Nose shows straw, faint honey, earthy and herbal hops. Some cereal grain characters too.
Flavours include a little more honey with some bready malt and earthy hops. Quite sweet. Faint cardboard.
Nice moderate carbonation.

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Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light golden colouor, small head that fades soon, leaving a big lace. Smell of honey, cookies, bread. Medium body, taste of honey, caramel, bread. Drinkable.

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Photo of MrCharlieMops
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Appearance: Golden in colour with a small head which shrinks in a few minutes.
Aroma: Lightly roasted barley, cooked apple and a light honey scent which feels fresh in the nostrils.
Taste: Medium bodied, carbonated and bitter with a honey flavour that combines with a malty flavour and ends in a minimally hoppy taste.
Overall: Refreshing, different and easy to drink. Was expecting more of a honey taste but the sweetness/bitterness combination is good. I could chug this all night...

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: golden orange body with 2 fingers of tight white head that fades quickly leaving a little sticky lace on the side of glass

s: caramel malts; raw grains; just a hint of sweet honey; not overly fragrant

t: raw wheat is the predominant flavor; dryer than expected; caramel malts and honey flare up mid sip and slowly fade away leaving the grainy taste w/ just a hint of honey

m: nothing special; medium carb with light body

d: could definitely be a refreshing summer beer with just a hint of honey but a little on the boring side

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Photo of PlowKing
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serve chilled from the 500mL bottle.

Appearance - A transparent golden colour with an off-white dense head.

Smell - Distinct aroma of honey, slightly floral.

Taste - The ale was lightly carbonated which produced a nice smooth texture. Unfortunately, the taste was disappointing. There was a lack of body and none of the dryness associated with the addition of honey to a beer. Overall, the beer resembled that of a lager, albeit a "light" lager.

Its a shame that this beer seems like an underachiever compared to the London Porter.

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Photo of Macca
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a dark golden in colour with a generous white fluffy head. Clear.

Some sweet honey aromas and some graininess as well.

the taste is malty with quite a bit of sweetness. Very little hop influence.

Light mouthfeel. The sweetness is a little cloying.

It's ok but nothing exciting.

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Photo of Mit
3.07/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a straw colour with very little head to speak of after initial pouring.

Smells of honey...initial smell is somewhat cloying....

Mild hop flavours with a def honey flavor coming through. Some bready notes coming through.

Solid mouthfeel for this beer. Fullers has this down pat IMO.

Overall this was a tasty beer. It got a little sweet but I could go for it again.

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Organic Honeydew from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
3.5 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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