Friday, January 30, 2009

Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown

My neighbor dropped off some Leinenkugels for me the other day. He knows I'm a writer, has the PA Breweries book, and we exchange stuff over the back fence: beers both ways, vegetables, some really good home-made horseradish from roots he grew in the garden, some sausage I picked up, and one day, when a big chunk of the back fence blew over in a serious windstorm, we inadvertantly exchanged dogs.

Anyway, a friend gave him a Leinie sampler 12-pack, and he wanted to share the wealth. I thanked him, and left the four beers in the garage to chill. Last night I pulled out the Fireside Nut Brown and popped it. Whoa! Now I know what the "Natural flavor added" bit on the label means: they put hazelnut essence in here. That's going to make it hard for me to like this one, I just don't like hazelnuts, except for out of hand eating and in pastries. Not in coffee, not in beer. Not this one, not Rogue, not whatever. I liked the pecans in the Shiner Holiday Cheer, but hazelnut...yeesh.

If you like hazelnut? Well, I'm still kind of iffy on this one. It's kind of thin and sweet, and the hazelnut's pretty up-front, on the verge of being over-powering. You'll probably want to try it for yourself.

9 comments:

Tim said...

Too many Leinie beers are thin and sweet (Honey Weiss, I'm looking at you). But their lager is great for sipping on a hot Wisconsin summer day.

Rustmeister said...

Yeah, after a while, the taste was a bit much. If they dialed down the hazlenut a little (ok, a lot), it would be a nice beer.

Ted said...

I've not tried their Nut Brown, but "thin" is my main complaint with Leine's overall--the main exception being their straight-up lager, which I enjoy quite a bit. They seem to impersonate rather than embody the style they're shooting for. On the other hand, they're good beers for craft newbies, especially their Red.

Lew Bryson said...

I should have mentioned: I think the Leinie Creamy Dark is the pick of the litter, and I will down a glass of it any old time I see one. Nice stuff. But these flavored ones...not my cuppa.

Scott said...

It's funny you mentioned Rogue. I assume you're referring to their Hazelnut Rum. I've really gotten in to rums in the past few years, and was excited to find their rum at Canal's in NJ the other day. I grabbed it without really noticing the "hazelnut" part. I too really hate hazelnut. I've heard it's almost an allergy for some people. The aroma from hazelnut coffee, beer, and now rum, kind of chokes me or takes my breath away. It's a weird feeling. There are not many foods or drinks in this world that I can't handle, but this is one of them. This is one rum that will remain in my bar for a long time. And I'll keep my distance from Leinie's Nut Brown!

Lew Bryson said...

Negative, Scott: Rogue's Hazelnut Nectar, a brown ale with hazelnut. I don't have an allergic reaction, I just really don't like it! Bummer about the rum.

The American Don said...

Liney's has not been bringing it with their beers. I had all their seasonals and just tried the 1888 bock last night. None of their lineup is doing anything for me. The 1888 bock was just like the Fireside with hazelnut extract.

How Liney's are so everywhere and you have to give sexual favors to find Russian River is beyond me.

sam k said...

The Leinie line is now also among the most overpriced underwhelming beers you can find. Micro pricing for a micro wanna-be that ain't even close.

Lew Bryson said...

Oh, I remember the Big Butt doublebock: that was good. But yeah, things have slipped. Kind of funny: Miller was the macrobrewer back in the 1990s who ran the ads about "frou-frou microbrews." Now they own Leinenkugel and the poor Wisconsonites are stuck making berry/hazelnut/honey beers. Go figure.