Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Atlantic Brewing Company – Brother Adam’s Bragget Honey Ale

If you’ve been reading the blog at all, you know I get a little excited when there are local ingredients afoot. So when I saw “brewed with Maine honey” on the label of this brew, I smiled a gleeful little grin. The Atlantic Brewing Company may be remembered for such brews as their Ginger beer and their blueberry beer (both pretty darn good!) and for being located in Bar Harbor, a beautiful part of Maine.

I read the label further and found out that a Bragget is a traditional English barleywine that was brewed “with equal portions of barley and honey.” It is usually brewed in the fall and is quite sweet, so I waited to have this until after dinner. The label also retold the story of Brother Adam, a monk who dedicated his life to breeding honeybees, and is responsible for most of the commercial honeybees we see today.
It is a dark maple syrup color of amber/red, and smells very malty. I don’t smell a whole lot of honey, though I can guess that it is there by the sweet smell that is emanating from the glass.
The taste is malty, smooth and kinda sweet. I was surprised not to get a powerful hit of honey that appears in a lot of meads and in things like Midas Touch. For something professing to be half honey, this lacked that tinny taste that comes with too much honey. I surmised that I should be happy that it isn’t, and moved on to enjoy its delightful sweetness and depth.
The bottle says this could be aged, and I’m not sure if I’d like it if it were any different than it is today. Its a great barleywine that doesn’t go too far into any one direction. There is a hint of bitterness that comes out in the end as it warms – most likley the alcohol. But none the less, as it gets warm it gets succulent and beautiful, and I’d drink this one again, for sure.
It is labeled as a dessert beer, and I’d almost argue with that. I could see this going with a fall roast dinner or even something flavored with ginger or honey. I don’t think it has the overwhelming sweetness to be categorized as only a dessert beer. This also doesn’t have an ABV on its label, but a little research showed it coming in at about 11%.
Since I’ve never had this style before it is difficult to compare to anything, but it is low in carbonation like most barleywines, reminds you of hot summer nights, and leaves a residue of sticky sweetness on your tongue. And that’s enough for me.


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1 Comment

  1. Edwin

    I just recieved a bottle of this as a gift today. Can’t wait to try it

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