06 July 2008

Chemical beer review: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Last Thursday evening, with the AMS meeting and the field trip behind us, the number of attendees still hanging around in Carbondale had dwindled down to a mere 10. We all got together and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant. When the dinner was over it wasn't even 9 o'clock yet, but the majority, pretending to be tired or resorting to the lame excuse "I have to get up early in the morning", returned to their dorm rooms, while we, the 3 indefatigable ones, headed for the "best" bar in town, Mélange, recommended to us by a local friend*.

Mélange indeed turned out to be nicely suited for long after-dinner chats about snails while sipping "exotic" drinks. I tried a big bottle of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar.


This was a dark brown ale. It had no bitterness but had a nice nutty aroma. It may have been slightly cloudy, but I couldn't be sure in the dimly lit interior of the bar. Overall, it was an enjoyable beer that would taste best when drunk ice cold.


The label declared that Hazelnut Brown Nectar had "No chemicals"—a stupid claim repeated on Rogue's web page. Come on people, you make good beer, but don't make foolish claims; without chemicals there wouldn't be beer. Water is a chemical, alcohol is a chemical; hazelnut oil—which presumably makes up a sizable fraction of "hazelnut nectar"—contains fatty acids, triacylglycerides, waxes, sterols, methyl-sterols, terpenic and aliphatic alcohols, tocopherols, tocotrienols and hydrocarbons (composition here). Those are all chemicals and imagine how many more come from malt, hops and the brewer's yeast.

Isn't it about time we moved beyond this "no chemicals" nonsense?

And all the while, a certain other member of our small group, wisely ignoring my ranting about the label of Hazelnut Brown Nectar, was enjoying her chocolate martini.


*Thanks again for the recommendation, Marla. We had a good time.

1 comment:

Darla said...

Sounds like a good time. My man brews beer just about every other weekend...he rarely uses malt extract, but grinds his own blend of grains depending on the style he is doing. It is soooooo good, he really makes a quality product. As far as chemicals, even without the fact that you are spot on about what a chemical is, but they can't rule out the chemicals that are in the water, wheat, etc. I'll never get him to make a hazelnut brew though, he won't get off of the traditional German purity laws, and will only add flavors after the brew is in the glass for drinking as per the drinkers taste. Ah well, I'm not complaining.