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Judge's Review: 84 Rating - Honeybird by Sketchbook Brewing Co.

June, 2019
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Honeybird by Sketchbook Brewing Co. is a Pale Ale featuring additions of honey & basil. Due to the specialty ingredients it technically falls under BJCP 2015 category 34B Mixed-Style Beer (combination of 31B alternative sugar and 30A spice, herb, vegetable) with 18B American Pale Ale as the base. However, the specialty additions are so mild it would be best to just consider as the base style. Honey is an odd ingredient to consider as an alternative sugar as once fermented at a relatively normal level (<10% of total additions) it generally does not add a discernable enough level of flavor to distinguish it from the malt.

This beer pours a very deep golden into light amber, with an orange hue that looks more like honey than it tastes. It has good clarity with a subtle haze (OK for style) with an ivory head that hangs around and clings to the glass. The aroma is moderately-low and malt forward with a grainy richness that is reminiscent of toasted Portuguese sweet bread. There is no basil, but a subtle minty-like herbal character. The hops are also low with subtle orange & grass notes and the yeast is clean with low levels of stone fruit. The flavor is also grain forward (toasty, sweet cereal reminiscent of honey smacks), but there is enough bitterness from the hops to keep it from being too sweet and one-sided. Despite missing the note on the additives, this is still quite an enjoyable pale ale that is very refreshing.