Profiled by Maria Devan
I was reading our threads bright and early this New Beer Sunday! Cheers to BA =)
In the old guidelines amber was used for the oktoberfest and the Vienna lager. I think I am not the only one who is comparing the new and old guidelines. The idea is that darker malt changes things.
@marquis from the thread –
“That’s what comes of having too many styles by far and as a consequence trying to divide the beer spectrum into neat compartments which are wholly contrived.A modest variation in the speciality malts and the hopping rate doesn’t create a new style. Why not have just a handful of loose categories and judge them in strength bands?”
Let’s make it at least a Two Beer Sunday. Happy New Caramel Changes Everything Sunday
The new guidelines allow for some caramel where the old do not. That is a “significant” style change. The new guidelines say that “significant” caramel is inappropriate so that implies that some is ok. The old guidelines say no caramel no roasted scents or flavors. Basically I think the idea is that the color of the beer is where things can change.
The pour is hazy not clear. Off white head that is perfect and uniform . Lasts well. It is neither soapy nor creamy. Never fades completely to a thin layer on top. Slightly toasty. The brewer says ” unique hop.” It is . It is cool and melon like. Delectable and even a bit fruity but not so prominent that I would say it over shadows the malt. No freshness date, 5.9%.
First taste is caramel. Enough so that it is the first thing you taste. Enough hoppy mouthfeel to know they are there. Warms a bit. Earthy, breaddy and complexity from the malt. Carbonation is perfect. Soft generous bubbles. Not to sweet in the finish & the hops offer a generous bitterness. Not quite to style but enjoyable. Balanced but a bit bigger if you know what I mean. I am talking about how the caramel affects the mouthfeel and the finish. I wonder what the hop is? IMO they should put it in an IPA or a saison too. It’s enticing but not too exotic. It smells like new grass and a succulent coolness.
The caramel makes the mouthfeel heavier. Caramel can be so light as to smell yellow and bright or pale in color. This caramel smells a bit toastier and nutty. It also can be a bit sweet and get sweeter the more prominent it is. It keeps the mouthfeel from finishing dry but the hop bitter dries it enough so that it drinks well. I have even seen Vienna lagers that finished sweeter than this and were much paler like El Sully. Negra Modelo is no longer the model in the new style guidelines because it is too dark. The brewers notes for this beer were spot on and frankly I would have six more of these. 14 on the srm and finishes just sweet. I find the moniker amber to be a catch all word but I think this beer just crosses a line. It does fit the new style guidelines but not the old.
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.”