Specialty Ingredients: Organic basil and organic honey
Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
Price: $11.70 (six-pack equivalent) at bottle shop.
Description:"This Bison classic is infused with organic honey for its aroma and a hint of sweetness and fresh organic basil to lend a slight herbal note and basil aftertaste—a perfectly refreshing brew."— Bison Brewing
Random thoughts: Basil is a great herb with many varieties that add depth and flavor to a wide range of foods from Italian sauces to Thai curries. I don't know how it will taste in beer, but I was eager to give it try. This is the second of seven beers I'm profiling as part of my series on summer seasonal beers.
The tasting: Deep golden orange in color with a white head that dissipated slowly, leaving no lacing on the glass. Very nice looking! Aroma of caramel malt, honey, with some light basil. In flavor, the caramel malts are prominent and the basil makes its presence known stronger than it does in aroma. It adds a distinctive herbal character. It has a light malt sweetness and a touch of bitterness in the middle. The hops don't come through in flavor or aroma, which makes sense, since this beer is showcase for the basil. However, I didn't notice the honey in flavor, which surprised me. Honey Basil Ale is medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and finishes with lingering basil.
Rating: 3 star. Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it me. I like how Bison uses basil to add flavor instead of hops. It provides a unique spiciness. If you like basil or are looking for something with an unusual twist, give Honey Basil Ale a try. I expect it would pair especially well with Thai food, which tends to make liberal use of basil. In the end, while the basil provides a unique flavor, it's more of a novelty to me.
Have you tried Honey Basil Ale or any other Bison Brewing beers?