Pandan Brown AleJuly 1, 2008 Seattle, WA
Laughing Buddha Brewing Co.
Pandan Brown ale is brewed with pandan leaves and palm sugar, two ingredients used traditionally in Southeast Asian desserts. Pandan provides a nutty, hazelnut/vanilla-like aroma. Palm sugar, which resembles maple sugar but comes from a palm tree, is used throughout Asia.
Original gravity: 1064
An intriguing beer. Light in body, but with plenty of character. Chestnut color. Soft sweetness on the nose and palate. Silky too, with graham cracker, toffee-coated hazelnut, butterscotch, malted milk balls and honey. There’s an occasional peculiar suggestion of buttered popcorn. A bit too sweet to drink a lot on its own, but a great beer with spicy foods, like curry.
- John Hansell
I admit it, I had to look up “pandan leaf” to find out more about the curious namesake flavoring in this beer, which turns to be an ingredient common to some Asian cuisines. In this deep brown ale, it — or something — yields a peculiar aroma that sits somewhere between the smell of spent grain and that of marshlands, although not entirely unpleasantly so, and a flavor that is sweet with brown sugar notes up front and faintly vegetal taste with a light toastiness on the back end. Paired with a fiery Thai curry, its sweetness might be tamed, but I find it a little too much on its own.
- Stephen Beaumont
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher & editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
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