Review Date 4/8/2013
Well folks I’m cleaning out the DBR (that’s Dedicated Beer Refrigerator in case you didn’t know) and what should I find buried in the back but a long lost bottle of Samuel Adams Longshot Honey B’s Lavender Ale. This is part of the 2011 “Category 23” Longshot release, so this being 2013 as I type, the beer is almost 2 years old.
That’s OK, though, as it hasn’t seemed to suffer. Folks talk all the time about the perishable nature of many beers, and I myself think delicate brews of moderate alcohol content (Honey B’s has an alcohol content of 5.5% by volume) generally don’t age so well as bolder ones. But I’ve kept my bottle of this beer well chilled since I bought it, and that can certainly help prolong shelf life. It has certainly survived, and perhaps even thrived, well past the September, 2011 Best By date on the label.
Honey B’s Lavender Ale was the winning recipe of Caitlin Declerq of California, a Boston Beer Employee. The name “Honey B” is derived from the use of lavender petals and honey in the beer. The beer was featured in the 2011 sampler along with Friar Hop Ale and Blackened Hops.
From the label:
“Brewed with dried lavender petals for a distinct lavender flavor and fragrant aroma. Honey adds a slight sweetness that balances out the herbaceous and floral character in Caitlin’s brew. This pale, dry ale is perfect for kicking back and relaxing with your feet up. “
Longshot Honey B’s Lavender Ale pours to a yellow orange color with a thick creamy head formation and a soft flowery nose. Taking a sip, the beer has an amazing richness up front and smoothness of texture. This is, doubtless from the honey. Toasted almond notes abound in the palate, along with hints of lemony citrus, honey sweetness, ginger, and in the finish a very flowery herbal aroma from the lavender. The aroma is intense, and only slightly attenuated by the gentle and balancing hop bitterness.
I really enjoyed this beer when I bought the six-pack sampler in 2011. Here it is 2013 and I am amazed such a delicate brew could have held up so well. But it has, and it is indeed delightful. While you can’t buy this beer today, it is April as I type, and on the bright side, a fresh new sampler of Longshot beers will be hitting store shelves very soon for 2013.
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.