Glassware: Brown Ales unlock their true potential as they warm slowly. Glassware that will allow the beer to warm at a slower pace and capture the aroma is best for Hazelnut Brown Nectar. A stemmed porter glass, snifter or nonic pint glass are the best choices of glassware to have the best experience with this world class beer.
Description: Hazelnut Brown Nectar pours a deep amber hue with off white frothy head that leaves traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with sweet hazelnuts and roasted malts with backing notes of earthy hops. The taste follows the nose with hazelnut and roasted malts being the dominate flavors backed by a cascade of earthy hops to keep the beer in check and prevent it from becoming overly sweet. The medium-light body and moderate carbonation help showcase the beer’s smooth mouthfeel and aid in its sheer drinkability. While many brown ales can become dull and boring, Rogue has brewed a brown ale that is exciting and proof that any style of beer can be great when brewed by skilled brewers.
Food pairing: The sweetness in the beer along with the touches of roasted malts makes this the perfect beer to have with many meat dishes. Try pairing with a ribeye steak and don’t be afraid of adding spices or sauces, the beer can handle it. The natural sweetness and caramelization of the meat will match perfectly with the beer while the earthy hops will keep the sweetness in check and the carbonation will scrub the palate clean every time. Hazelnut Brown Nectar goes perfectly with many pork dishes but is especially delicious with barbecue ribs. The sauce and meat will be a dream when paired with this beer and the hazelnuts will coat the sauce and meat to add an extra flavor dimension to an already delicious pairing. The sweetness of the beer lends it to being great with a variety of desserts but in this instance keeping it simple is best, try pairing with vanilla bean ice cream, cheesecake or a decadent pecan pie.
The Final Word: Rogue is a brewery that has long been at the forefront of the craft beer industry. They have been brewing great beers since 1988 and are still a frontrunner in the industry. Hazelnut Brown Nectar is actually based on a homebrew recipe from a friend of beloved bearded Rogue brewer John Maier. The beer was brewed in 1993 for the American Homebrewers Association convention and not long after Rogue began brewing it and it has been a hit ever since. The key with this beer is perfect balance which leads to easy drinkability. Often times Brown Ales can lean toward being either overly roasted or overly sweet, but when done right it is perfectly balanced and leaves the drinker wanting more. No matter what style of beer you are a fan of try Hazelnut Brown Nectar, it just may surprise you how much you will love it.
Remember, enjoy responsibly!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Rogue Ales
Beer: Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Style: American Brown Ale
Weekender Rating: WWWWV