Looking for ales with some honey sweetness

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Schnaq, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Schnaq

    Schnaq Initiate (5) Jan 19, 2021 Arizona

    Hello, my fellow beer people.

    I was hoping that someone on here could help me find something. A certain flavor profile, I guess you could say.

    Recently I started thinking about the idea of mixing an ale with mead. I thought it would be great to have a good, strong ale with the nice sweet, crispness of the mead. Not too sweet, of course, but something light and noticeable. When I started researching this idea online, I discovered braggots. But every braggot I looked up was flavored with some kind of fruit. What I'm looking for is just a good flavorful ale with a little bit of honey sweetness. No fruit or anything like that. Basically, what I would think they would have drank back in the days of the Vikings and the Saxons.

    Could anybody recommend anything like that? Are there any breweries that make anything similar to this?
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  2. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,450) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

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  3. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,053) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon

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  4. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,232) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Welcome to BeerAdvocate! There is a fantastic community here, with many people who are willing to lend help and advice, and I strongly encourage you to explore the other forums once you've (hopefully) found your answer, and check out all this wonderful place has to offer!

    I really suggest you look into some English-style barleywines. True, some examples can lean pretty sweet - perhaps not as sweet as truly sweet mead, but sweet. Others can be much more balanced, lending those (particularly if they're lighter in colour) honey, caramel, apple, fig, graham cracker, sultana notes. Cognac and Calvados barrel-aged English barleywines can really accentuate those fruity apple/white raisin notes, while lending some oaky tannins to dry the finish out a bit. The blonder, the better (for this flavour profile. Big hoppy or dark chocolatey/roasty barleywines won't have this effect, but on the lighter end of the spectrum, I think there's a chance you'll really enjoy these, if you like that big, bold, semi-sweet honey/caramel flavour profile.

    Can you still get Helldorado from Firestone Walker in AZ? It's a blonde barrel-aged barleywine. J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask-Aged variant) is also a great choice for this, with a bit more of that fruity pop to it. That would be my suggestion.
    #4 SierraNevallagash, Jan 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  5. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (51) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    The Swarm from Twin Elephant Brewing in Chatham NJ.
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  6. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,645) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Welcome aboard, @Schnaq! A style you might want to check out is the braggot. It's sort of a hybrid style combining the qualities of beer and mead. Good luck!
    Schnaq likes this.
  7. Insomniac

    Insomniac Aspirant (280) Nov 5, 2019 Canada (ON)

    Fuller’s in the UK does Honey Dew Organic Golden Ale but not sure of availability where you live.
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  8. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,689) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I’d suggest googling honey beers and under untapped they show a list of ales brewed with honey. I’m afraid most might be fairly regionalized, but in AZ it’s possible Cali beers might bleed over.
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  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,812) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    If you are accustomed to hops hopslam has a distinct honey flavor.
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  10. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (573) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    This... any beer brewed with a honey addition. Lickinghole Creek has Nuclear Nugget (aka poor man's VA Hopslam)
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  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,881) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Hopslam has already been mentioned but permit me to emphasize that the sweetness of this beer is encouraged by aging this beer. I prefer this beer fresh when sweetness is not as prominent and I personally do not enjoy 'old' Hopslam but maybe this is what @Schnaq is seeking.

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  12. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,689) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Know a guy who likes it with a year on it, sounds perfectly awful.
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  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,812) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Didnt you know when you age a DIPA it becomes a barleywine? :smirk:
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  14. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,851) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    I have one in mind that should be “fairly” easy to find depending on your imports. Not something you have to trade for ffs


    Perla Miodowa

    and if you want to trade. Flying Fish Blueberry Braggot out of NJ does not taste like blueberry in the slightest. Just honey.
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  15. Schnaq

    Schnaq Initiate (5) Jan 19, 2021 Arizona

    Thank you so much, everybody. I knew I was going to have a great community around me when I signed up on this site. I will definitely do some more research and look into all of the suggestions you guys gave me and I'll post my results. Again, thank you very much.
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  16. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,851) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    Use postimages.org and copy the link to paste in the photo picture above this text box and join the what beer are you drinking now thread. The virtual bar.
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  17. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,908) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    If an 'ale' isn't such a critical item to you, I recently had this beer compliments of @PA-Michigander https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13371/530072/ from VooDoo Brewing in Meadville, PA, and it had the best honey flavor that I've ever experienced in a beer. I think you'll have to trade for it because this seems like a small brewery with limited distribution. The only thing that says it is a lager is the label on the can, so don't let the ale requirement restrict you.
  18. Jo_Renish

    Jo_Renish Initiate (57) Nov 10, 2020 Vermont

    If anyone out there has a bottle of Honey Bunch that The Alchemist put out about a year and a half ago, that would be the move for this one. So much rich honey in a strong ale!
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  19. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (767) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Jackie O's Wood Ya Honey is a barrel aged wheatwine brewed with honey. I like it quite a bit.
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  20. elliot23

    elliot23 Initiate (104) Jan 27, 2009 Maryland

  21. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,232) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    And you really only need to sell one car to get it, too! Some may ask for your house, your firstborn, or both your daily driver and your weekend roadster, but I'm confident just trading the daily driver could get it done.
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  22. WestCoastVibin

    WestCoastVibin Initiate (10) Jul 7, 2020 California

    Pizza port has a honey blonde ale. That might be available in Arizona
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  23. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,206) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I have had it around 1 year, perhaps a bit less than that, it was surprisingly not bad although I certainly prefer as fresh as possible. I accidentally have aged one for about 2 years that’s been sitting in my fridge since purchase. I’ll probably crack it open soon and compare it to the 8 day old sixer I just bought. Will report back in the Cellar Reviews 2021 thread when I do.
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  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,689) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Curious if the honey dominates the taste or it fades like most adjuncts. If it’s not stale it could be that it’s decent enough, I think a lot depends on individual palates, if you like sweetish beers I could see this going to cloyingly sweet, that big 10% is still there. Interested to see your findings.
  25. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,267) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    I'll make a suggestion that's very different from everybody else's.

    If I were you, I'd go back to your initial idea of mixing ale with mead and simply take care of it yourself. Forget about trying to get a braggot. Most of the beer suggestions you'll get (or beers brewed with honey that you'll find) will fall into one of these categories: a) very expensive, b) very hard to get, c) tastes of bourbon touched oak, c) very focused on hop flavor, d) easy drinker that either has no honey flavor or tastes like candy.

    Instead of all that, buy a mead that will hold up well if opened... and buy beer(s) that you think will work as a good base to mix with the mead. Then go ahead and blend them to your heart's content. You can control the blend ratio yourself and experiment with different beers that are easily available to you. (Note that I've never done this myself)

    "Strong ales" that aren't focused on hops, bourbon barrel aging, or strange added ingredients are actually in short supply... and beers focused on those elements will compete with the blended mead rather than allowing it to come into focus. If you want to try something with a high ABV that's more of a clean foundation for the mead, then perhaps you can shift to lagers instead. Something available in Arizona is Abita Andygator. It's a "Helles Doppelbock" - which is a German style of beer that's a pale strong lager. Abita's website has a beer finder. Around here, that beer is available in 6 packs and large single cans. Just make sure to factor in the ABV of the mead when you blend so you are aware of the strength of what you're drinking.
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  26. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,206) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Shockingly excellent. Full reviews on the 2021 Cellar Review thread.
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  27. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,689) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I’ll look it up, thanks.
  28. hobbitz

    hobbitz Initiate (114) Jun 17, 2010 Rhode Island

    Connecticut Two Roads honeyspot Ipa
  29. cg123

    cg123 Initiate (93) Feb 27, 2012 Ohio

    Good job reading OP's original post!
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  30. Schnaq

    Schnaq Initiate (5) Jan 19, 2021 Arizona

    This is actually a great idea. Thank you very much for this. I'll check out Abita Andygator.
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  31. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,851) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    You just reminded me of Narragansett doing a Helles bock called reanimator and it was so crazy good
    zid likes this.