You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. But can you get another chance on a second impression? That’s the burning question for me with Holy City Pecan Dream, a brown ale brewed with Pecans from the Holy City brewery of Charleston, South Carolina. This wasn’t the first Holy City beer I’ve tried (I sampled their Notorious P.I.G., a delightful bacon smoked porter, at a tasting years ago), but it was the first time I came across their beers in cans or bottles.
This time, my experience was not so pleasant as it was with the Notorious P.I.G. While passing through Greeneville, South Carolina I stopped at Total Wine, and amongst the beers I picked up were a few cans of Holy City Pecan Dream. I had a problem-not with the beer, though, rather with the canning.
When I got home with my beer, I noticed that one of the cans had its top popped up into a triangle. It didn’t open, so that was good, but I had purchased the second for a friend, and when I placed it in his beer box, Pop! Went the top on that one too. This time though it opened and I found the can half full of liquid with the other half full of foam. Over-carbonation in the cans seemed the problem.
From the label:
This beer was born in a dream. Co-Owner Sean Nemitz arrived at the brewery one day having woken from a dream where we brewed two beers. One was made with boiled peanuts, and the other with pecans. For logistical reasons, we decided to make the one with pecans.
5lbs per barrel of house-roasted pecans are added to this full-bodied American brown ale, imparting a great nutty nose that presents itself more as the beer warms up.
Nuts can dream, too.
Notable hops: Northern Brewer
Notable malts: Pale, Crystal 20, Crystal 60, Roast
Holy City Pecan Dream has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 25 IBUs. The price isn’t so bad at $9.99 a six-pack, what I would call in the average range these days. I did manage to salvage the one can, which had more carbonation than usual but not as much as the one that popped by a long shot.
Holy City Pecan Dream pours to a dark brown color with a faint cookie malt nose with a trace of nuts and a towering tan head of foam. Sipping, the beer features soft cookie malt and a hint of nutty pecans, is slightly sweet in the palate but dry in the finish with balancing hop bitterness. That said, it lacks the hop aromatics of a solid American brown ale. The beer was good, but not great.
I wrote the brewery and they did respond, telling me they did have a problem with a batch of Pecan Dream, and that they’re trying to recall the cans. They did say they would make me whole should I visit the brewery. I may take them up on that. Based on my experience here I’d rate this beer a three, but I would also give them another shot and try the beer again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.