Great British Beer Hunt: Lavender Honey and Gower Gold

Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt 2013

The Norfolk based Wolf Brewery had their Poppy Ale in the final of last years Great British Beer Hunt, which also happens to be a beer with honey in it. It was one of my favorites at the regional heats and given how much I liked the Williams Brothers The Honey Thief from this years competition, I was quite looking forward to trying another honey beer.

Wolf Lavender HoneyLavender Honey poured a light copper, burnt golden colour, with a loose fluffy white head. The head dropped to a covering fairly quickly. I didn’t get much on the nose, just a general fresh feeling.

It initially felt quite full bodied in the mouth, but as it washed down the throat, it felt a touch light. The honey flavour was pretty subdued and subtle, it was there, but you really needed to concentrate, especially to pick up any of the lavender. The generally honey flavour and sweetness built with each mouthful and whatever lavender quality was there, was more detectable in the aftertaste. It wasn’t particularly bitter, at least it didn’t feel that way, as what bitterness there was, wasn’t quite enough to counteract the honey flavours and sweetness.

It was quite a nice, light and refreshing beer, although I thought it could do with a touch more body and a touch less sweetness.

I’ve not had any beers from the Gower Brewery before, so I Wasn’t sure what to expect. Given the wording on the label, I was quite intrigued to see if it lived up to them. Gower Gold poured a slightly hazy light coppery amber colour, with a thick white head. It was slightly hazy, as it had thrown some sediment and I hadn’t noticed, so tipped it all into the glass. The head didn’t last and dropped pretty quickly to a patchy covering.

Gower Brewery Gower GoldAs the back label claimed that the beer had the lovely aroma of Cascade hops, I was expecting something with a pretty powerful bouquet. It didn’t really deliver, as you had to cup your hands over the glass and inhale a lungful to get any real idea of what the aroma actually was.

It felt pretty nice in the mouth, just on the lighter side of full bodied, so it was nice and juicy and refreshing. While it wasn’t overly bitter, it was balanced more toward the bitter side of things than the malt side of things. The bitterness was quite flavourful though, with subtle floral citric flavours, to complement the slightly sweet maltiness.

It was quite a nice beer, just balanced the way I prefer, with more flavour from the hops, than from the malt. While it’s more solid than stellar, it’s certainly one to try if you haven’t already.

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