Monday, 1 November 2010
Honey, I've Drunk the Beers
I think I used that header last year but you must forgive me as I have been laid low with man-flu for what seems like weeks. I am now self medicating on fine ales and am hoping that a visit to the Dark Star showcase at the Cask, Pimlico tonight will help me shake off the lurgy completely.
Back to last week when myself and two other hardy souls headed off to the National Honey Show in Weybridge to judge the honey beer category in their annual competition.
As you can see this was serious stuff and we made sure we looked the part among all of the other honey judges who were shining the lights into the jars and dipping in their tasting sticks. We joined in by sniffing, swirling and tasting the range of beers brewed with honey.
The winning beer was Fullers Organic Honey Dew. In the previous year this beer was a big disappointment with very little honey character and a slightly dirty aroma.
This year it was much improved and walked off with the gold medal for its delicate honey aroma backed up with a taste that had a perfect balance of honey and malt sweetness combined with a very low bitterness making it a very tasty beer.
Our runner up was Lovibond Wheat Wine. A completely different style of beer and very difficult to judge alongside the Fullers Honey Dew. This is a 7.3% wheat (like barley) wine brewed with a large amount of local honey to balance the use of wheat and create a beautifully tasting beer balancing the sweet honey with the complex spicy esters developed by using wheat and brewing out to over 7%.
It was a close run thing but the drinkability of the Fullers Honey Dew and the more obvious use of honey on the label gave Fullers the edge.
Another fun morning in good company in the interest of good beer. The other judges were John Porter (left) and Tim Hampson (right).