Brother Adam’s Honey Bragget Ale (Atlantic Brewing Company)

Style: Braggot

ABV: 10.5%

Hops: Pilgrim, Wye Goldings

Malts: Pale, Black, Munich

Yeast: Nottingham, Champagne

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Brewer’s Note: “Our bragget is named for Brother Adams, a monk from Buckfast Abbey who is credited with saving the bee industry. Braggets were virtually extinct as a style when we decided to try out our recipe. This type of ale was traditionally brewed in Wales where honey was used to increase the fermentable sugars. Our Brother Adam’s has a warm, rich body coupled with a delicate tawny honey profile, creating an incredibly complex beer. We age our bragget for six months, but you can continue to age this high gravity beer for years to come.”

DSCN4788The beer’s label is ugly in color, and a little strange looking at first look, but as I observe it more and more, I start to like it.  The honeycomb background, and soft honey colors are a nice touch, actually, and the gold foil on top is very classy.  I love the bees depicted on the back of the label.  The font is plain and simple but works nicely.  The cursive for the style of beer, however, is far too cluttered and close, which is too bad.  I wish the coloring the graphic was a little brighter, too. My biggest problem with this label is that the beer is a “barleywine-style braggot” and yet they don’t list a vintage nor a bottled on date anywhere on the label.  How the hell am I supposed to keep track of it lay the bottle down for a few years like the label suggests? Overall, the label is interesting but not my favorite.  I might scrapbook it, but I wouldn’t put it on a shelf.

DSCN4796The beer pours a dark, murky, amber brown, like honey muddled with mud and water. The beer pours with a thin ring of bubbles that fizzle away and appear almost soda-like in quality.  The beer’s body is murky, like fresh honey.  The other side of the glass is indiscernible through the haze, but some light does travel through the beer.  It leaves a thin set of legs on the glass when it washes up against the sides.  On the nose, the beer smells richly of fresh, wildflower honey.  Sticky and rich on the nose, the honey muddles with thick caramel malts, similar to Long Trail’s Triple Bag.  Maple syrup, honey, toffee, and even some chocolate fudge touch upon the nose.

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On the tongue, the beer tastes sticky sweet but a little too bitter, with a bit of a bite on the middle of the palate.  Hot booze tingles as the beer travels down the throat, and the finish is a little dry for what I want with just a touch of boozy sweet. On the tongue, the beer is on the heavy side of medium, practically heavy, with a chewy, slightly rough mouthfeel and faint carbonation.  The beer bites at the tongue, oddly enough, which takes away from the rich, honeyed flavors that the beer should possess.  It does, however, gel on the back of the tongue with some syrupy goodness.  In flavor, the beer begins as sweet caramel barley, which turns into fiery alcohol with some interesting spice character and a touch of woodiness on the middle of the palate.  The finish is hot and cloying with fusel notes. Touches of stone fruit and raisins can briefly be felt on the tongue, but really this beer is all about the hot booze on the finish.  The aftertaste finally brings hints of sticky sweet honey to the tongue, where it creates a pool of saliva. As the beer warms it mellows some of its rougher edges, but still hits the palate with too much booze and not enough honey character. Overall, this beer is lacking in sweet, soft honey flavors that I want from it.  I want a sticky thick beer but this just doesn’t quite deliver for me. The smell is rich with honey character but I get none in the taste. I suspect that with time in a cellar, this beer will open up into a rich and unique dessert beer, but it’s a bit of a hot mess fresh.  Complexity in this beer opens up the warmer it is, but it still is a muddled mess on the palate.  If you have a bottle, sit on it and drink it at room temperature.

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One thought on “Brother Adam’s Honey Bragget Ale (Atlantic Brewing Company)

  1. I think this helps to confirm that the bottle of this I got a little while back was, indeed, spoiled. It was cloying sweet with a lot of vegetable flavor in it, flat in character, and didn’t have the booziness, or even faint honey you described.

    I may try it again if I see it back on the shelf.

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