In “Other Brewery’s Brews” I will present tasting notes and/or thoughts about beers that creatively inspire me.
Appearance 3.5/5: Crystal clear golden yellow. Nice fluffy white head that falls quickly and leaves a creamy top and nice lace.
Aroma 3.5/5: Very clean malt aromas, toasty saltine crackers, a little sweetness, and zero diacetyl (which I was fearing with a 100% pilsner malt bill). Hop characters are all herbal and floral as expected for all German hops; chamomile and chrysanthemum tea, echoes of sage and thyme.
Taste 4/5: Old world hop bittering brought to the right level to balance the Pilsen malt sweetness and residual sugars, then leave a crisp bitter aftertaste reminiscent of wormwood. Malts are sweet/slick/rich; but cleaner than most DIPAs this big. Sweetness fades pretty fast in the finish, leaving a long herbal/floral bitterness as you might expect in a bitter carminative herb digestif.
Mouthfeel 3.5/5:Medium body, slightly slick with an astringency in the finish that slowly develops as the residual sugars drop off.
Overall Impression 4.5/5: Yes I do love American craft beer, but I cut my “craft” teeth over 20 years ago before Stone existed. I had to go to specialty liquor stores and buy the best stuff being imported from Germany, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and so forth. I even begged a business associate going to Belgium to close a deal, to bring me back a true Lambic – which he appropriately stuffed in multiple socks (clean or dirty I don’t know) to bring back in his luggage.
German hops, yes. I mean yes like “YES!”. Over the top carminative herbal and field flower floral aromas and bitterness. Perhaps the cleanest all pilsner malt fermentation I’ve tasted at this ABV level (no diacetyl is not easy to achieve all pilsner at this gravity).
Seriously good – and seriously impressive. And if you don’t get it, you need to immerse yourself in some of the best beers from the Old World for a while.