Saturday, December 1, 2012

Humboldt Brown aka Hemp Ale

I bumped into the local craft distributor rep at Total Wine recently. He was putting a few beers from the newest brewery to hit South Florida on the shelves. One called Hemp Ale caught my eye, and predictions were made that it would be a top seller. So I picked up a bottle of this Hemp Ale only to notice that the label calls it Humboldt Brown. Hmmm. It was surmised that packaging rules are different than label rules. So stupid. Anyway, seems like a gimmick from the start by brewer Nectar Ales in Paso Robles, California.

You guys remember Ofelia, right? Well, she's really interested in the highlights of this review. Go figure for someone that doesn't drink beer! I only bought one bottle but took a picture of the packaging to show you how it's marketed. As for the label, it does say this is an ale brewed with hemp. The artwork depicts a mountain and is very plain and boring.

Cocoa and nice roasted aroma with a touch of nuttiness. Cocoa and caramel malty sweetness come first. That is followed by some herbal bitterness to balance. Brown sugar, lightly burnt. By now I feel this is a little overly sweet yet still OK. Not exactly sure what hemp is supposed to taste like but I didn't find any flavors you wouldn't find in other brown ales.

Medium body, smooth but still with a little prickly carbonation. The 5.7% alcohol wasn't noticeable. Not a bad beer but fairly plain and forgettable, except for its name (assuming you bought yours with packaging and not a single). If you're hosting a frat party, grab a case. Otherwise it's good for a taste.

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