Hazelnut Brown Nectar 6% ABV
Now coming to the plate for team Rogue Ales is Hazelnut Brown Nectar. There has been a lot of strong praise surrounding this player. The team is down 0-1 with Dead Guy Ale being a disappointment1. Dead Guy Ale hit a long fly ball to center which was easily caught for an out. Dead Guy Ale was aiming for the upper decks and fell way short. While a flashy batting stance and swing can work at times, it’s generally best to keep it simple and just try to put the ball in play.
Hazelnut Brown Nectar steps into the batter’s box without pompous display. The first pitch comes, a strike right down the middle. Hazelnut didn’t move at all, not even a twitch as he took that first strike, using it to get a sense of the pitcher. Taking the second pitch looking also, this one a ball just off the outside of the plate, Hazelnut is now ready. The next pitch comes and Hazelnut Brown Nectar makes solid contact with the ball, smacking it with the sweet spot of the bat. Hazelnut wasn’t trying to make SportsCenter with a highlight bomb, he was simply trying to get on base. The ball is a line drive jumping off the bat. At first it looks like the ball might be caught by the right fielder, but it keeps going, further and further finally cresting 4-5 feet over the top of the wall for a home run. After rounding the bases Hazelnut Brown Nectar has tied the game 1-1 and given me a reason to stay tuned and see what else team Rogue Ales has to offer.
My first experience with a Rogue beer was the Rogue Dead Guy Ale. I was out at a bar and had been hearing a lot of positive talk about this beer. I saw that it was available on tap, so gave it a try. I was very underwhelmed. It wasn’t a bad beer, but wasn’t up to the standard of the praise given it and price charged for it. Due to this encounter, I was put off from trying out any other Rogue beers for quite awhile, 5-6 months or so. Granted this was early on in my craft beer learning curve.
I spoke with some beer connoisseurs who shared my view on the Rogue Dead Guy Ale. While they weren’t exactly fans of the Dead Guy Ale, they did enjoy the Hazelnut Brown Nectar. I was intrigued but was not going to spend $11.99 for a 6 pack with the risk that I would feel the same for it as I did for the Dead Guy Ale.
One night I was at a restaurant and noticed that they had the Hazelnut Brown Nectar on tap. I figured I’d give it a try, worst case I’d only be out for one glass. I drank that single draught of Hazelnut Brown Nectar and my view of Rogue change forever.
Within the week I bought a 6 pack of the brew with the intent of reviewing it. I made my way through the 6 pack quickly, telling myself with each successive beer that I would sit down and write up a review with the next bottle. Before I knew it there was only one bottle left. I drank it while telling myself I now had a good excuse to buy another 6 pack. This was a mistake; as the lure of sampling new beers always took precedent over purchasing a 6 pack of beer I had already tried, no matter how fantastic it was.
Here I am 5 months later finally getting around to reviewing this beer. The conundrum of buying a 6 pack was resolved when my local beer emporium started carrying 22oz bottles of the Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Now I had no excuses, as I could buy a bottle for $6.99 and finally review this beloved beer that I had intended on praising so many moons ago.
Though I thought I might have overblown and embellished the memory of this beer, it has more than satisfied my appetite. It starts off with a gentle hazelnut aroma. The taste is simple yet great. It has a hearty nutty flavor with a wonderful clean malty finish. The flavor doesn’t diminish as you drink the beer, every sip is consistently great. It’s not a complex beer. It provides a straightforward “home run” of a beer drinking experience. Every tasting of the brew reminds me of the high quality of beer that Rogue Ales produces.
Time and time again, I come back to the fact that I should not give up on a brewery based upon a single beer sampling. Some styles may not suit my palate, but that doesn’t mean that the brewery doesn’t make good beers. It may be that particular style, that particular batch or hell, just that my taste buds were off on that particular night of partaking.
Though it took me longer than it should, I’m now a huge fan of Rogue Ales and intend on trying out many of their beers, whether straight forward brews or adventurous ones. Their Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta being prime examples of each.