A Glass Of Friday – Hazel Brown by Samuel Adams

What is hazel? It makes me think of eyes. I like to think that my own eye color is hazel, a conflation of brown and green and flecks of other.

Wait a tick – hold the phone – hey, they probably mean hazelnut. So, a nut flavor in a brown ale? What the hazel will brewers think of next?

In Appearance …
It’s brown, very dark tea brown. I see no green. No other. What the hazel? Good ivory collar.

But The Taste …
It is very clean, like laundry. But the aftertaste is a liquid description of dank London – sharp, moist, a blurry photograph of Kate Middleton. A resounding and lingering creaminess coats my tongue. Thats not from the white part of the hazel eyes they put in the beer, is it?

What a fascinating dichotomy I may have detected, provided I know what the word means. This beer is a brown so it doesn’t really (and shouldn’t) have a heavy mouthfeel, yet that ethereal creaminess presents the illusion of thick mouthfeel.

That Smell …
It is brandy, raisins and oranges. Or a Snickers bar. Really, one of those icky filled chocolate things from a generic box of said chocolate. In a brown ale? Is that the effect of the hazel?

Join Me For A Plate Of …
It complements rocky road ice cream by shoring up the chocolate flavor (ooh, mayhaps that is the reason I detected so much dang chocolate in the beer; ere I was eating chocolate ice cream) and verifying he dryness of the nuts.

And how brilliant it is to pair beer and ice cream, especially whence counting calories.

The Conclusion Of The Matter Is …
This really is a delightful beer. So familiar, yet twisted in a soulful manner.

Hazel Brown is a fun take on a brown ale. I’ve had two and I’m not afraid to drink it again.

Sent with Writer.

Sent from my iPad

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Down the Double Barrel

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Throughout the years that craft brewing has been on the rise, I’ve heard the name Firestone Walker bandied about.  Not with reverence, like Lost Abbey or Dogfish Head, but certainly with respect.  I recall them winning some award a few years back at the Great American Beer Festival.  I may have tried some of their beers then, I don’t really remember.  But I know I haven’t had any since.  Part of the reason has been the inability to get them in the town in which I live.  It finally arrived, though.

I’ll just say it now, I wasn’t filled with wonderment.

I had their Double Barrel Ale.  It’s their version of a British pale.  It’s an adequate beer.   The crystal and chocolate malts come through during the initial aromatic escape upon pouring, as do the noble hops.  It’s a good mix, really, not dominated by any one smell.  The head is the right color and consistency of a good pub pale.  The collar stays throughout the life of the beer nicely floating on the body.  It’s amber in color, orangey-brown.  It reminds me a lot of a Sam Adams Boston Lager although this is not, of course, a lager.

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The body is, well – I hate to use this word from the chumps over at Craft Beer Radio but it does come to mind – aqueous, or watery.  They state that there are vanilla tones in the body along with toasted oak flavors.  But I just couldn’t find them.  It’s a standard pale.  Maybe I expected too much.  Maybe there’s so much good beer out there these days that standard isn’t really a demeaning description.  I can deal with that.

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