David Sapsis's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Drink This or the Bees Die by Duck Foot Brewing Co.

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Drink This or the Bees Die by Duck Foot Brewing Co. was reviewed as an Alternative Sugar Beer. The beer pours brilliant clear, with a medium amber hue, color estimated at 8 SRM -- well darker than the name suggests.  An initial small cap of off-white foam dissipates in about 15 seconds.  A medium population of outgassing strands laced up the column.  

The aroma is big, rich and lush with overripe fruit (peaches, apricots) and a distinctly wort-y note of malt sweetness. A light honey nectar angle and a very modest herbal hop note (sage) looks for a place to show itself against the big sweet and malty backdrop.  Caramel tones emerge with warmth and swirling. The beer comes off far less honey-forward than a braggot, but clearly showing some floral notes from the alternative sugar source. 

The flavor profile is big, sweet and viscous, with strong peach and honey flavors and only very modest bitterness. The mid-palate is lush and full with a faint herbal and dry-floral angle, trailing to a long, rich and semi-sec sweetness complemented by faint caramel and herbal notes. The body (medium full) and mouthfeel (distinctly thick and toothsome) lend a heft to the beer, making it something a little different than expected – more along the lines of a strong amber amber ale of off-dry balance.   

The heft seems accentuated by relatively low conditioning, and the starkly low finishing gravity (~1.005)  shows very high levels of apparent attenuation  that is usually only found with sugar-enhanced worts. While tasty and moderately fresh, its not much of a thirst-quenching beer, and more appropriate to stand up to a hot meal on a cold night given its general sweetness level and strength. For those that like malt and honey-forward beers with modest but nice elegant hop flavor and low bitterness, this might be just for you.