Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA
Pours almost completely black but when held to the light does present a dark brown with a flash of crimson hue. That underscores the idea of clarity in this beer. I tried to capture in photographs that when held to the light the beer seems to shine inexplicably. The head fell reasonably fast and left a bit of lace and a thin ring.
The nose is malty and bread-y. A sweet caramel and no fruit.
Taste is clean and clear, crisp yet creamy. Some lovely malty sweetness that has soft breadth in the glass. It has caramel but that is not over the top of the original malty sweetness from the roast. It has a thinnish body so it drinks easily and although the carbonation is ample it does not bite. Drinks clearly and decisively. Soft dark bread with a bit of crust but nothing burnt. No char or ash. A becoming sweetness and a smooth body. The hops are quiet and serene. This dries out slowly with a touch of the roast and bread to linger amidst a subtle and gentle bitter. It is as though those hops are merely breath on the beer.
Excellent and drinks without too much sweetness. A good black lager.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.