Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale

To celebrate the first day of Summer, I figured that I review a seasonal summer beer. One of the favorite beers in the Reno area is Blue Moon Belgian White, a brew of the Molson Coors Brewing Company. When I was last in Booze Brothers, I noticed that Molson Coors released a summer ale in the Blue Moon line, called Honey Moon Summer Ale. I picked up a bottle and drank it tonight.

The interesting thing about this beer is that I could not find much information on it. Since I didn't pick up a 6-pack, I don't know nutritional information. No ABV information is on the bottle. There's not even a mention of the Honey Moon Summer Ale on the Coors website. However, there is an 800 number on the side, so I'll call that later. I do know that this is the first release year was in 2006, where it picked up the Gold at the Great American Beer Festival in that year's Specialty Honey Lager or Ale category.

Here are the stats:

Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale
BREWERY: Blue Moon Brewing Company, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CALORIES/SERVING: 157 per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 5.2%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY (inferred): 11.69° Plato (1047.28)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY (given): 2.285° Plato (1008.90)
MALTS: Unknown
HOPS: Domestic from Golden, CO and imported from the United Kingdom (that's all I could get; the rest is proprietary)
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Presumably, summer foods
AWARDS: 2006 GABF Gold Medal Award Winner (Specialty Honey Lager or Ale category)

This information came from a phone call I placed to Coors at 7:30 AM PDT on June 22nd, and a phone call I received from Coors at 8:15 AM PDT that same day. Thank you Coors representative (I think her name is Christie) for the information on this beer — it is greatly appreciated.

Now, the brewery situation is interesting, because on the label, it says that it was brewed at Blue Moon Brewing Company in Toronto, but Molson Coors has dual headquarters in Golden, CO and Montreal. I go by what the label says, technically making this a Canadian beer. That is what I will label it as.

This beer, once opened, had a nice aroma, not too strong and overpowering. It had a nice head that quickly dissipated. Contrary to Blue Moon custom, I did not drink it with an orange slice, as I wanted to gauge the taste of the beer on its own. The beer had a nice light taste that had a hint of sweetness (probably coming from the honey and orange peel that it was brewed with). There was no lingering aftertaste, which was nice, although I tend to like the grainy aftertaste on beers.

One thing I did not like about this beer was the tendency for the alcohol to settle at the bottom. I drank this beer over the course of about 10-15 minutes, due to a phone call from my parents. In between that time, some of the alcohol fell to the bottom, which I definitely could taste and did not like; I felt it clashed with the beer's flavor and sure turned me off to the finish. Then again, this scenario probably isn't likely for most beer drinkers, so feel free to ignore this.

The bottom line is: Blue Moon Honey Moon is a nice refreshing summer ale with a touch of sweet. Just don't leave it out for too long.


UPDATE: I called the phone number (1-800-253-6666 if you're interested), and it bounced me around to different menus, only giving me (limited) information on Belgian White. It told me to call again between 8 AM and 5 PM Mountain Daylight Time, which I did. The results are above.

No comments: