This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Honey Queen, an excellent choice for a Rosh Hashanah table.
This past Shabbos we had very special guests for lunch so I opened the bottle of Honey Queen that I had been saving since I picked it up earlier this summer. I had never seen the Honey Queen sold individually, so when I saw it at DiCicco's of Brewster, I plunked down my $7 and put it away for a pre-Rosh Hashanah Shabbos. As we were joined by homebrewer expert Dan R of kosherhomebrew.blogspot.com (check out his kosher home brew instruction video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaeWCLTT_3M) I knew that this was the perfect time to serve the Honey Queen.
As you can see from the picture above, the Honey Queen is classified as a Braggot. I had never hear of a Braggot but the experts at BA explain that:
The Braggot is quite an old drink, there is a mentioned in Chaucer, Canterbury Tales in the late 1300s, and there are earlier references dating even further back to the 12th century in Ireland. Braggot is simply made by blending spices and herbs with mead and beer, to produce a strong concoction with uncommon flavors. Many taverns would make this blend right at the bar though brewers would also blend them as well.
There should be a balance between the honey character and malt flavor with the hop bitterness not overpowering the sweetness yet should be noticeable. Todays Braggot may or may not be spiced.
The Samuel Adams Honey Queen did not have any hop character, but the sweetness was not overpowering and had some interesting notes from the chamomile and other spices. We enjoyed the Honey Queen between the fish and main course, rather than with a particular dish. I would not recommend pairing this with any savory dish, but if you are looking for something to have with the apples and honey or new fruit on Rosh Hashanah, this would be a good choice.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link -http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/92899.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
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