Home > Vienna Lager > Lemke Original

Lemke Original

Rating: 3.75

The second of five Lemke beers that I tried in Berlin now, this one follows on from their quite enjoyable Hopfen Weisse weizenbock that I reviewed here last and is one that I managed to try a bottle of after picking up a few beers on my way out of one of their brewpubs on my first night in Berlin. The beer is one of the first the brewery introduced when they were founded back in 1999 and is a Vienna style lager that comes in at 5.4% and was also available on keg the night I visited the brewpub. I would have preferred to sample this one on-tap in the bar but given it was getting late, I opted for the next best things and picked this one up alongside their Imperial Stout and their 030 Pale Ale, review of which will follow soon after this one.

Appearance (4/5): Dark amber to copper coloured with a somewhat murky looking body that is cloudy as well. There is a three-quarters of a centimetre tall head on top of the beer that is bubbly white looking and manages to hold relatively well, leaving a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (7/10): Sweet caramel notes and a few semi-dark malts kick off the nose with this one, there is a lot more sweetness and floral than I’d anticipated when opening the bottle. The beer seemed quite fresh and lively on the nose with a nice combination of subtle hops and spice coming through towards the middle. Later on I managed to detect a few touches of chocolate, although those were quite faint and a subtle burst of summer fruits and the odd hint of cherry showed towards the end; a decent but unexpected start to the beer.
Taste (7/10): Fresh tasting but not quite as sweet or as lively as the nose was, the beer opened with a combination of caramel and bread malts before some biscuit flavours started to come through nearer the middle. There was some background fruits providing a nice base for things and I detected some vanilla and spice towards the end too. It wasn’t quite as complex a beer with the taste as it was with the nose but it was still a nice offering with good variety in the taste.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a medium body and an almost creamy feel to proceedings in the early going, the beer was light-medium in the carbonation department as well. It came through as quite a sweet beer, particularly on the nose with a nice balance and only a hint of bitterness towards the end.

Overall (15/20): Definitely a sweeter beer than expected without being sickening, the beer was also more fruity and floral than anticipated but the balance was good and prevented any one flavour overpowering. I particularly enjoyed the berries and lighter summer fruits that came through in the early going which were unexpected but seemed to work well with the darker malts and caramel. It was quite an easy-going and drinkable beer with enough difference between it and a standard Vienna lager to keep things interesting throughout, as well as making it one that I wouldn’t mind having again.

Brewed In: Berlin, Germany
Brewery: Brauerei Lemke
First Brewed: 1999
Type: Vienna Lager
ABV: 5.4%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brauhaus Lemke am Alex (Berlin)
Price: €2.18 (£1.85 approx.)

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