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Our tasting panel is always skeptical of beers with unusual ingredients or marketing angles, but this brew was one of the few that pleasantly surprised us. Pouring a coppery golden-amber topped with plenty of foam, Honey Amber Rose offers up a certain subtle floral & fruity quality on the nose. Hops are mild but add some earth and grass. When used in brewing, rose hips (which are the fruit of the rose plant) add a bit of a sweet, citrusy scent, and we get a bit of that here. Honey notes merge with malt to produce a bit of a graham cracker impression. On the palate, we found the rose hip contribution is quite obvious, but not what we would deem heavy-handed as is too often the case when brewers turn to an unusual ingredient. They add a unique fruity character that hits upfront, while the clover honey and honey malt definitely deliver a touch of sweetness. Hop bitterness is intentionally mild to allow room for the natural tartness of the rose hips to balance the malt core, which delivers a mild but fairly toasty quality. Light and spritzy in the mouth, this is a perfect brew for summer days and chicken fresh off the BBQ. Cheers!
Beer Diva is the brainchild of founder Abby Waters. Waters served as president of the Inventors Society of South Florida, was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award nominee in 2004, and has been featured in multiple publications including Time, Celebrator Beer News, and Saveur. Her vision was to create a sessionable beer that would appeal to women more than the typical craft beer styles. Together with friend Kent Chamberlain, she designed what would become Honey Amber Rose from a European recipe dating to the 1830s. Their new beer took home Silver medals at the 2005 and 2006 Florida Beerfest Competition.
Brewed originally by Brewmaster Jack Owens at Florida Beer Company, the beer has now recently been re-released locally on the West Coast by Mendocino’s Ukiah brewery. For more info, visit www.honeyamberrose.com.
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