Remember the public outcry for the release of the White House's secret beer recipe? It eventually led to the release of two beer recipes, White House Honey Ale and Honey Porter, in September. Now, after about a month of boiling, cooling, fermenting and settling— the verdict is in: It's delicious! Cue New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov for a review of the Honey Ale:
The aromas were floral with a touch of orange and a metallic note that I sometimes find in honey. On the palate, it was breezy, fresh, tangy and lightly bitter, not bone dry but not at all sweet. I could sense the honey in the round, rich texture of the beer: thickness without weight, like a chenin blanc wine. The soft carbonation enhanced the texture. It didn’t have the insistent rush of bubbles that you would find in a mass-produced beer, or the snappy twang of a pilsner, but rather the soft fizz of a British hand-cranked cask ale ... The verdict: It was good. Very good.
Now that's some pretty fancy verbiage, but fear not: The 4.89 percent alcohol drink will please a wide-range of drinkers "from novices to aficionados," says Asimov. The Times didn't waste much time in getting its hands on the beer. Last month, it tapped Brooklyn Brewery's brewmaster Garret Oliver to get things going (full disclosure: my brother works there) after the release of the recipe.
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Nationwide, this has been an exercise in delayed gratification as the White House stonewalled on the recipe initially and then buckled to the pleas of popular demand. At the moment, there's no word yet on the quality of the White House Honey Porter (the review didn't include that), but homebrewing clubs across the country are no doubt wrapping up their batches as we speak.
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At present, what we've got in the ale sounds like a flavorful beer that will avoid partisan rancor without boring the masses. “It has character, but it’s also crowd-pleasing,” said Oliver. “It’s a politically friendly beer in that regard, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for?” Read the whole review here.