Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beer Tasting: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

In the cold Winter months, many beer drinkers turn to dark, spiced ales. But if you are looking for something different during the doldrums, then never fear! Rogue, who pride themselves in going against the grain, has something to offer.

Hazelnut Brown Nectar is a Winter seasonal from Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. This brown ale holds a lot of characteristics that are common among brown ales, pouring a chestnut color with some clarity and a creamy, fluffy head. Take a good whiff and you'll immediately notice the hazelnut, smelling like both a beer and a coffee drink. At first taste it is a little bitter and rounds out with a nutty semi-sweet flavor, finishing with a little caramel and chocolate taste. This beer has a lot of sweet hazelnut flavor, definitely fitting the descriptors "Hazelnut" and "Nectar".

The first time I had Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar was from the tap, and I thought it had a great hazelnut and malt presence. Most recently, I had it from the bottle. I'm not sure if it's the bottling, the distance between Oregon and Michigan, or the time the beer set on the shelf before my purchase; but there was a distinct difference between the two. My experience tasting Hazelnut Brown Ale from the bottle was enjoyable but not as enjoyable as from the tap, as the beer had a lower Hazelnut and malt flavor and had less of a full-bodied mouth feel.

That said, I would recommend Hazelnut Brown Ale in any shape or form. I could not find the ABV of this beer on the label nor on the brewery's website, but according to BeerAdvocate.com Hazelnut Brown Ale weighs in at 6.2% ABV; which means that you can split a six-pack with a friend over the course of dinner, a movie, or while watching your favorite sports.

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