Posts Tagged ‘Premium Lager’

Łomża Export (346 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

My third review of a beer from the 1001 beers list in a row now, this one being another Polish offering that I managed to get hold of when visiting Warsaw last month but it’s taking me some time to get round to adding it here. This one was the third of four new Polish beers from the list that I managed to try on my visit to the country and follows on from the recent reviews of Żywiec Porter and Perła Chmielowa on this blog. This particular offering is another I picked up on my last afternoon in Warsaw after stopping off at several convenience stores hunting for this or one of the other beers to feature on the 1001 beers list from Poland. The beer is brewed in the town of Łomża, located roughly ninety miles from Warsaw but even then it wasn’t the easy of bottles to get hold of despite it being one of the most popular beers in the northeast of the country. It is a beer that has managed to win a few awards over the years too, including a bronze at the Australian International Beer Awards in 2009 and a gold medal at the Monde Selection in Belgium the same year; not bad for a brewery only founded in 1968 as a government-run enterprise.

Appearance (3/5): Quite a light and clear bodied beer that was amber coloured and had a lot of larger bubbles rising to the surface in the early going. The head was quite a thin and disappointing one, starting about a centimetre tall as a bubbly white one before fading to a fraction of its original size and turning patchy around the edges.
Aroma (5/10): Fairly light on the nose with some early skunky notes and a faint grassy hops making an appearance alongside some hay and basic adjuncts. There wasn’t really much coming through but I could detect some bread malts and a basic sweetness with subtle citrus notes seeing things out.
Taste (5/10): Similar to the nose, the taste kicks off with some basic adjuncts and a couple of bread malts that carry on from the nose, there was a little sweetness in there too though. This was followed nearer the middle by some grassy flavours and hay as well as a slightly sticky tasting biscuit flavours. Towards the end the adjuncts and hay start to become more pronounced on what was already quite a basic offering but it certainly wasn’t the worst tasting beer out there.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied and fairly basic throughout, there was some subtle grassy hops and a slight bit of fizz on top of quite a sweet base to the beer. Sticky patches from the sweet malts featured at times but on the whole it was quite a bland and unexciting beer that wasn’t very complex either sadly.

Overall (11/20): A better beer than I’d been expecting going in, but in truth that is only half the story since I definitely wasn’t expecting much from this one and the fact it came in a 660ml bottle didn’t help matters. Appearance wise the beer got off to a poor start but things picked up a little with the nose and taste at least without really excelling. It remained quite an easy one to drink with a nice balance that made it better than quite a few other Polish beers I’ve tried but I’m still not sure I’d put it in the 1001 beers book to be honest with you.

Brewed In: Łomża, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
Brewery: Browar Łomża
First Brewed: 1968
Type: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Abv: 5.7%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Żabka Supermarket (Warsaw)
Price: 3.49PLN (approx. £0.70)

The Grunter

January 17, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

A first beer from Grunting Growler for me now, a local bottle shop based in Glasgow, Scotland and one that has recently started brewing a couple of their own beer. This is a beer that I was given as part of a gift set as a Secret Santa gift at work recently and I opted not to wait until Christmas before cracking the bottle open; a review the other beer in the pack, The Growler, will follow at some point in the near future. This particular bottle, a lager brewed with orange and ginger, is one that instantly appealed to me when I opened the box and I’m interested to see how it rates. Sadly I don’t really know too much about the set-up of this brewery really, other than that they make use of the facilities at Drygate Brewing across the city to make their beers; their website doesn’t really provide much details either.


Appearance (4/5): Qutie a light, almost watered down amber that is semi-clear looking but is topped with a pretty nice looking, foamy white head that sits about a centimetre tall and leaves plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass. There isn’t much head movement in the early going, it just sits there for the opening minute or so before fading ever so slightly nearer the centre of the surface but maintaining good height around the sides.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh on the nose in the early going, there is definitely some of the orange mentioned on the label with some nice citrus notes in there backing them up. I got a nice touch of the ginger too and thankfully it wasn’t as strong or overpowering as expected, hopefully that is something that continues onto the taste. There was a little bit of spice coming through nearer the middle and some earthy malts before a couple of subtle hops featured. Throughout there was some subtle hops and grassy flavours making the odd appearance and overall the balance seemed good, although the ginger was still probably the strongest smell in there.
Taste (8/10): Opening up in a similar fashion to the nose, the first thing that hits you is the orange flavours with a little bit of citrus and maybe even some pine backing it up here. The ginger from the nose wasn’t far behind and same through a touch stronger without overpowering, a pleasant surprise. There was a little more sweetness coming through this time too, I got some decent sugars and strawberries with a few other nondescript fruits pushing forward to give the beer nice complexity. It was certainly an interesting one and unlike anything I’ve had before which is always nice.
Palate (4/5): Quite balanced throughout which I wasn’t expected, the ginger and spice was definitely the most noticeable but neither overpowered at any stage as I’d expected them to. There was some nice sweetness with the taste and the beer was well carbonated too, coming through with a decent tang from the citrus and plenty of fizz. It was an easy one to drink and came through surprisingly complex with some nice variety to it as well.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a surprising beer and one that went down a lot better than I’d expected, I was anticipating an interesting beer given it boasted both ginger and orange on the label but I was impressed with how well-balanced both flavours were. There was a good complexity to this one with some nice hops and even some strawberries coming through nearer the end, plus the beer seemed quite fresh and lively throughout; an excellent beer and one I’d happily go back to again.

Brewed In: Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: Grunting Growler (Brewed at Drygate Brewery)
First Brewed: 2016
Full Name: The Grunter Orange & Ginger Lager
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Grunting Growler (Glasgow)
Price: Gift

Brewdog Kingpin

August 23, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

The first review from the latest batch of beers that I ordered from the Brewdog online shop now, this one being their latest attempt to brew a popular lager and as such it follows on from the likes of their 77 Lager, Vagabond Pilsner, Fake Lager and This. Is. Lager offerings that have come and gone over the last couple of years. The beer will be the 110th from Brewdog that I will have reviewed on this blog, and roughly my 105th unique beer from the brewery given I’ve tried more than one version of the same beer a couple of times in the past. This is a beer that I tried to pick up not long after it first appeared in Brewdog bars and shops earlier this summer but it seems to have been quite a popular introduction for it and I was finding it difficult to source any initially, so hopefully that is a good sign of things to come from this one.

Brewdog Kingpin

Appearance (4/5): Quite a bright beer, this one is also pretty clear and sits a medium amber colour in the glass. It is topped with a fairly large, centimetre and a half head that’s a bubbly white once it settles a little but started as quite a foamy one. There was plenty of fine bubbles rising to the surface and the head retention is about average, initially fading to about half its original before finally settling as a fine white lacing atop the beer.
Aroma (6/10): Quite standard fair on the nose in the early going if I’m honest, there was a little grain and the usual grassy hops with a little hay and a faint touch of lemon too. The odd bread malt sneaks through as well before a couple of lager malts see things out. It’s quite a basic nose consider what I’ve come to expect from Brewdog and there wasn’t too much to it really.
Taste (7/10): Opening up with some subtly sweet malts and  a few grassy flavours, there’s thankfully a bit more to it than the nose hinted at, I got some citrus flavours and a little grain but also some background apple flavours and a biscuit taste too. A couple of Czech style hops featured around the middle and a bit of corn followed without anything being overly strong or overpowering.
Palate (4/5): A light-medium bodied beer and with softer carbonation than I’d anticipated although it definitely wasn’t flat. There was quite a sharp, crisp feel to the beer and it was easy to drink with the odd touch of sweetness coming through as well. It’s definitely not the most complex beer out there either though but it was pretty much as I expect from a craft lager I guess.

Overall (14/20): A decent lager from Brewdog and probably better than I thought it would be going in, they’ve released quite a few relatively poor lager/pilsner style beers over the last couple of years so the fact that this one good (not great, just good) is a step in the right direction. It’s probably still not quite as good as their 77 Lager and Vagabond Pilsner offerings of the past but I wouldn’t say no to a second can at least.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Price: £1.70

Nørrebro New York Lager

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.2

Another beer from my recent trip to Denmark now, this time a first beer from the Nørrebro brewery based in Copenhagen and one that I managed to try on-tap in an Italian restaurant on my penultimate night in the city last month. The beer is a premium lager brewed using North American cascade hops, apparently in the pre-prohibition style with quite a malty taste. Founded in 2003 by ex-Carlsberg brewmaster Anders Kissmeyer, this was one of the brewery’s first beers when it launched but is sadly not one of the brewery’s two beers that appear in 1001 beers list; that honour going to both their Bombay Pale Ale and Little Korkby Ale offerings.

Nørrebro New York Lager

Appearance (4/5): Light bodied and clear, this one is an amber gold colour and is topped with a quarter centimetre head that’s a foamy white and just about covers the surface, leaving a touch of lacing on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): Starting with quite a standard lager aroma, there is some solid malts and a touch of corn to open things up before some faint grain and a further malty sweetness come through. The usual grassy hops and hay were both present around the middle and a hint of citrus made an appearance towards the end as well. It wasn’t the most complex or interesting nose but on the whole it wasn’t a bad one either.
Taste (6/10): Beginning with a nice helping of pale malts and sweetness, there is a bit of citrus following on behind as well as some faint corn and a tiny bit of skunk. There’s wasn’t much overly pronounced about the taste either, save for some earthy malts around the middle and a few lager hops and grassy flavours. Some bread malts came through towards the end and I got some faint bitterness as well but again it was quite basic tasting without being disappointing.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and quite crisp, this one had a tangy feel thanks to the citrus coming through and there was a malty sweetness throughout as well. A faint touch of skunk did come through and overall the beer was quite light and basic with moderate carbonation making it a drinkable but not a very interesting beer.

Overall (12/20): Quite a basic and fairly average pale lager overall here, this one was drinkable but fairly light overall for the most part. There was some nice malts and a little sweetness in short bursts throughout but not much else grabbed my attention and it seemed too much like a regular macro lager for my liking; I can’t imagine it’s one I’ll go for again to be honest.

Brewed In: Copenhagen, Denmark
Brewery: Nørrebro Bryghus
First Brewed: 2003
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Draught (400ml)
Purchased: Mama Ludbas, Copenhagen, Denmark
Price: 44 Danish Krone (approx. £4.84)

Talisman Lager

January 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

A fifth beer from the Alechemy brewery based in Livingston now, this one is a beer from their core range that I was given as part of a box from Beer52 at Christmas and is my first new beer from the brewery since trying their Ritual Pale Ale in the summer. The beer is a premium lager from the Scottish brewery and it’s not one that I’ve seen before despite it being introduced around autumn of 2014, although to be fair I’m not a huge lager fan these days and rarely pick up that style of beer now. It’s definitely a hard style to master but I’ve tried a couple of beers from the brewery that I had enjoyed before this one so I was hopeful going in that this one would be an enjoyable lager; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Talisman Lager

Appearance (3/5): Quite a clear beer that was a pale, almost watery looking amber and was topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head of white bubbles. There was some soapy patches in the centre of the beer and a speck of lacing was left on the sides of the glass; head retention was pretty good though, especially for a lager.
Aroma (7/10): This one was a particularly strong beer on the nose but there was some faint citrus and a few fresh hops coming through early on with a subtle touch of hay not far behind. I detected some lemon along with a bit of sweetness before some corn and light malts made themselves known. The beer had a biscuit nose towards the end and it was quite pleasant but could definitely have been a touch more pronounced.
Taste (7/10): This one was definitely a fresh tasting lager with some nice pale malts and biscuit to kick things off; there was some sweetness and touches of caramel quite early on too. I got some lemon and citrus flavours alongside the hay and corn from the nose with a few background fruits, although these very faint; some cereal and further sweetness for a bit of honey finished things off.
Palate (4/5): Clean and quite crisp on the palate, this one came through with good carbonation and a nice sweetness that was pleasant but not overly strong. There was a good balance to the beer with a moderate bitterness and a slightly dry finish at the end.

Overall (16/20): This one proved to be a very nice lager from Alechemy, a beer that was perhaps a little light on the nose initially but one that came through with some nice sweetness on top of some citrus, pale malts and fresh, grassy flavours with a nice bitterness at the end too. The beer was well-balanced and sessionable, making it an easy one to drink and one that I’d look forward to having again.

Brewed In: Livingston, Scotland
Brewery: Alechemy Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 4.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Price: Gift

Appenzeller Vollmond Bier (314 of 1001)

November 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.1

A third beer from the Appenzeller brewery now with this one following from the previously reviewed bottles of Naturperle and Hanfblüte that I managed to try when in Basel recently. An unusual beer in that it is only ever brewed on the night of a full moon (coincidentally there was one here last night) and that’s what gives the beers its name, Vollmond being German for ‘full moon’. This one is another from the brewery that features on the 1001 beers list and will be my 314th from the list to have been reviewed here and my fourth Swiss beer from the list as well, Einsiedler Lager Hell been the other falling under that category not already mentioned here. This one was actually one for the first bottles I spotted in the Drinks of the World bottle shop located in Basel’s train station when visiting the city and since it appeared in the 1001 list I was quick to grab a bottle, going for the larger 500ml offering rather than one of the smaller bottles they also stocked. The beer is described as a premium lager and in truth it wasn’t on I held out much optimism for but regardless, here’s what I thought of it when I managed to give it a try.

Appenzeller Vollmond Bier

Appearance (3/5): This one pours a light and slightly hazy, golden straw colour with a thin, one-centimetre tall head on top that is white and foamy, covering the entire surface of the beer.
Aroma (6/10): This one has quite a standard pale lager aroma on the nose with some corn and light citrus notes kicking things off alongside some earthy hops and a few grassy notes. There is a relatively fresh aroma to this one with some background sweetness coming through to accompany some touches of grain and faint floral notes. It’s quite a basic beer on the nose in truth but it’s not off-putting and I couldn’t detect any skunk which is always a positive.
Taste (6/10): The nose kicks off with some grain and corn initially but there is also some grassy hops and floral flavours to back these up. I could detect some faint flavours and the citrus from the nose also made an appearance with some pale malts but again nothing really stuck out with this one and it was all a bit ordinary in truth.
Palate (3/5): Light and fluffy on the palate with some dry and crisp touches alongside average carbonation levels. This one was fairly easy to drink and the balance was okay but this was mainly down to it lacking any distinctive flavours and it did seem a touch faint in places.

Overall (14/20): Quite a fresh beer and the balance was nice enough with some good citrus and light malt flavours coming through but at the same time nothing stood out or done all that much to impress me either. It was quite a good session pale lager with a clean and crisp feel but it’s not one that I’d go out of my way for really.

Brewed In: Appenzell, Switzerland
Brewery: Locher Appenzeller
First Brewed: 1991
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Drinks of the World (Basel)
Price: 3.50 CHF (approx. £2.28)

Einsiedler Lager Hell (311 of 1001)

November 20, 2015 2 comments

Rating: 3.0

At long last I’m finally getting to review a Swiss beer from the 1001 beers list, this one will be my 311th beer from the list that I’ll have sampled and it the first of several beers from Switzerland on the list that I managed to try when I was in Basel recently. The beer is also my first in a few weeks from the 1001 beers list, the last being Nikšićko Tamno at the end of October so another is well overdue. There are twelve Swiss beers on the list in total and I managed to try just over half of them with each picked up in the ‘Drinks of the World’ based in the city’s train station. Taking influence from the German helles style, this one came in an unusually sized 580ml swing top bottle when I picked it up and considering how expensive the country is in general I didn’t find that this one broke the bank thankfully.

Einsiedler Lager Hell

Appearance (3/5): This was a very light, almost straw lemon colour with an incredibly clear body and a thin, half centimetre head on top that is bubbly and white looking, just about managing to cover all of the beers surface.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a basic aroma initially, there was some corn and faint citrus coming through before some lager malts and a hint of hay made itself known. There was some grassy hops showing as well and the beer had some background sweetness trying to break through but it was a fairly ordinary pale lager really, the main positive being there was nothing in the way of any skunk or off-flavours.
Taste (6/10): The taste was kicked off by some pale lager malts and grassy hops that came through alongside some citrus and corn plus some touches of hay. Again it was quite a basic lager with areas seeming a little light but there was some pleasant sweetness and touches of bread malts around the middle before some grain appeared right at the end.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied and perhaps a touch thin in parts, this one was a weaker than I’d have liked with some bland areas too although there was some nice citrus and bitterness coming through plus it was quite an easy, sessionable beer to drink. The finish was a clean, dry and crisp one with not much in the way of skunk and carbonation levels ever good, sitting just above average for the style.

Overall (12/20): This one seemed like quite an average pale lager to me with some standard malts and grassy hops plus the odd bit of citrus on top of a semi-sweet taste and light bitterness beer but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d describe as being a must try. It was a crisp and clean beer that was definitely easy to drink but at least part of this was down to it being so light and basic, I can only assume it gets a place on the 1001 beers list mainly for historic reasons rather than the taste of the beer itself.

Brewed In: Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Switzerland
Brewery: ŽBrauerei Rosengarten
Full Name: Rosengarten Einsiedler Lager Hell
First Brewed: circa. 1930’s/1940’s
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Bottle (580ml)
Purchased: Drinks of the World (Basel)
Price: 3.00 CHF (approx. £1.93)