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Posts Tagged ‘vienna lager’

Lemke Original

May 1, 2017 3 comments

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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Dorada Especial Roja

February 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.45

Labelled as a limited release and what will be my second beer from the Cervecera De Canarias brewery in Tenerife, this one has been available since late 2015 and follows on from the bottle of Tropical Bandido Cerveza Con Tequila that I reviewed here previously. Like that offering, this one is another that was given to me as a gift from family members returning from Lanzarote recently and prior to trying either beers was the one I held out the most hopes for; hopefully it doesn’t let me down and proves to be a good one. The beer itself is a Vienna lager that comes in slightly stronger than average for the style, sitting at 6.%% abv. in the bottle and will be the first Vienna lager I’ll have tried since the bottle of Trouble’s Kill Lager that I sampled just after New Year. The beer will also be my twenty-fourth Spanish offering but I’ll likely pick up at least a few more when I visit the country again later this year.

dorada-especial-roja

Appearance (3/5): A red tinged caramel amber colour that has quite a clear body and is topped with a decent looking, creamy white head that starts just over a centimetre tall. There is a few bubbles through the head of the beer as well and is slowly loses a bit of its height, ending up about half a centimetre tall after thirty seconds or so but it’s a better than expected looking offering without looking great.
Aroma (4/10): Definitely not as malty or sweet a nose as I’d anticipated in the early going, the aroma is a basic one with some corn adjuncts and a few lighter, almost fruity notes that are reminiscent of most pale lager without being skunky. Touches of citrus come through with a bit of hay and earthy hops in there too but after that I struggled to detect much of anything really. Towards the end the beer was quite a clean, bland one on the nose and it’s not like any Vienna type lager I’ve tried previously; pretty poor stuff really.
Taste (5/10): Thankfully the beer is slightly more to style with the taste and opens with some sweetness that comes from a combination of toffee malts and touches of caramel, t’s not an overly sweet beer but at least some was showing. This was quickly followed by citrus and lemon flavours alongside some corn adjuncts from the nose and a little hay; a few grassy hops featured as well. Some subtle background fruits and a light bitterness came through as things drew nearer to the end and I got an earthy, almost toasted malt taste right at the end too.
Palate (3/5): Quite a clean, crisp beer that was a little too bland at times as well as coming through a little lighter than I’d have liked; it was somewhere between a light and light-medium beer but it definitely seemed a touch thin at times sadly. There wasn’t anything offensive about the beer though and it was fairly easy to drink but it was miles away from the Vienna style of lagers at times and far to basic into the bargain.

Overall (11/20): This turned out to be a bit of a strange one considering it was labelled as a Vienna style lager but then failed to deliver on the sweetness or malty flavours for the most part, it also opened with a tonne of skunk on the nose that I really wasn’t expecting. The beer improved a little after being given some time to open up and allow the skunk to subside a little but there wasn’t enough from the caramel or toffee malts to make it a great one. It wasn’t really an offensive offering and the light body coupled with the crisp, clean palate made it an easy one to drink but it’s unlikely I’ll have it again.

Brewed In: Tenerife, Spain
Brewery: Compañía Cervecera De Canarias
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Vienna Lager
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Lanzorote, Spain
Price: Gift

Kill Lager

February 1, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

My first review of a beer from Trouble Brewing based in County Kildaire now although I have tried one of their beers on a previous trip to Ireland without actually reviewing it; I’m not sure exactly which of theirs I have already tried but their Graffiti session IPA seems to spring to mind. This one is another that picked up in Ireland whilst visiting over the holidays and I cracked the beer open in early January thinking it was about time I tried something from this brewery with the eye-catching labels. Being the only offering from the brewery available in the bottle shop I visited and given the cashier had recommended it, I grabbed this bottle thinking it was going to be a fairly standard pale lager offering but was pleasantly surprised upon opening it to find out it was a darker Vienna lager loaded with sweetness; here’s what I thought of it.

kill-lager

Appearance (3/5): Light copper in colour and fairly clear bodied, this one was still but topped with what was quite a disappointing looking, half centimetre tall head that was patchy and only covered about half of the surface.
Aroma (7/10): Opening quite sweet with some caramel and toffee notes before some bread and biscuit malts featured alongside some basic sugars. It was quite a predictable nose to the beer with some subtle earthy hops coming through with some floral backing before touches of toasted malts appeared. Towards the end there was a little freshness and some spice but it was generally quite a decent and balanced aroma.
Taste (7/10): Sweet to begin and coming through with a good mix of toffee and caramel flavours before the sugars started to appear. The biscuit malts from the nose featured and the floral touches seemed a little stronger here too, some grassy hops backing them up. Nearer the end there was again some toasted malts and faint citrus that gave the beer quite a nice, unexpected finish that was a slight improvement on the nose.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and a touch sweeter than I’d expected going in without being overpowering, there was a nice balance to the beer. I found this one quite crisp with a semi-dry feel to it and the odd touch of hop bitterness, particularly around the middle of the taste before the more earthy, toasted malts came through and changed this. It was a little stronger than anticipated too but carbonation levels were moderate and the beer seemed quite fresh and drinkable too.

Overall (16/20): This was a really nice beer and one that was a lot better than expected, probably helped by the fact that I’d barely read the label when I picked this one up and was anticipating a fairly standard pale lager before opening it. There was a lot of sweetness to the beer that was helped along by some caramel, toffee and biscuit flavours plus the balance wasn’t too bad either. It was moderately carbonated and quite easy to drink with some sugars and bread malts coming through and being balanced out by the odd toasted malt and floral flavour. Nice stuff from Trouble and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a few more of their beers this year.

Brewed In: Kill, County Kildare, Ireland
Brewery: Trouble Brewing
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Vienna Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.59

Plaza Vieja Obscura

January 13, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.45

Another interesting Cuban offering now, this one will be my second beer from the Taberna de la Muralla brewery in Havana as well as being my penultimate review of beers I tried whilst in Cuba towards the end of last year. This one follows on from the Clara offering from the brewery that I tried here previously and is beer that very little information seems to be available on; the abv. is unknown and it’s a beer that I’ll list as a Vienna style lager but I’ve also seen it listed as a dunkel and even an English pale ale. I tried this one towards the end of my trip in Cuba and although I found the beer easily enough, it proved a little more difficult to order depending on which waiter served you; the beer was occasionally known as the ‘dark’ beer of the trio with the ‘Negra’ the black beer but often when ordering the dark beer you were also given the negra. After a couple of attempts I managed to finally try this one and it wasn’t bad at all, although my opinion of it was likely influenced by the fact that it was my first non-pale lager in about two weeks so it was gonna to be good regardless. Here’s what I thought of it anyway.

plaza-vieja-obscura

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber and quite cloudy as you’d expect given the name, the beer is headed by a foamy looking head that is white in colour and leaves a nice touch of lacing around the sides whilst covering the surface of the beer well too.
Aroma (6/10): Semi-sweet on the nose, this one opens with some caramel malts and a few hints of toffee that are backed up by some sugars and quite a malty base. There was a slightly astringent smell around the middle but a few fresh bursts of sweetness soon follow at it was relatively well balanced as well.
Taste (6/10): Opening with some light toffee and a sweet caramel taste that followed on from the nose well, this one was quite a malty beer that had plenty of sugars and the odd touch of citrus in the background which was somewhat surprising. This was followed by touches of vanilla and butterscotch towards the end but otherwise it wasn’t an overly memorable offering.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and fairly sweet with lively carbonation and quite a balanced feel. There was some freshness to the beer with a slight citrus tang too but it wasn’t overly complex despite it going down easily enough.

Overall (13/20): Quite an interesting one this and a nice beer in general, mainly because it was the first non-pale lager that I managed to try after almost two weeks in Cuba; it probably went down a lot better than it might otherwise have done as a result of this. It was quite a lively and fairly sweet offerings that featured a nice combination of toffee and caramel alongside the usual sugars and vanilla flavours, it also went down easily enough but I had been looking for something a touch more complex or memorable if I’m honest; still, this is definitely one to seek out if you find yourself in Havana.

Brewed In: Havana, Cuba
Brewery: Taberna de la Muralla
Full Name: Taberna de la Muralla Obscura
Also Known As: Factoria Plaza Vieja Obscura
Type: Vienna Lager
Abv: circa 4.2%
Serving: Draught (500ml)
Purchased: Factoria Plaza Vieja, Havana, Cuba
Price: 2 CUC (approx. £1.56)

Pistonhead Full Amber

November 10, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

Only my second ever Spendrups Bryggeri beer now, this is one that found its way into my fridge after a having visitors round but it is one that I’ve been meaning to pick up for some time now, basically since I noticed that most Morrison’s and Tesco supermarkets started selling it in the last year or so. The beer is a Vienna style lager from the Swedish brewery and follows on from their flagship Kustom Lager that I tried while in London back in September 2013; a beer that I found fairly enjoyable at the time. This one will br my fifth Swedish beer in total, the other three all being offerings from The Nils Oscar Company that coincidentally were all reviewed back in 2013; amazingly this is my first new beer from the country in three years so hopefully it’s one to remember.

pistonhead-full-amber

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a lot darker than expected and settling as quite a deep, caramel amber that definitely lived up to the name. The beer was topped with a nice, finger-sized head that was a foamy white colour and left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. After about a minute or so it had lost about half its initial height but still looking quite good before eventually turning slightly patch in the centre.
Aroma (6/10): This one opens with quite a sweet nose in the early going, there was plenty of caramel to begin with and a few toffee notes too. I got a sticky sweet aroma initially before some toasted malts and earth smells started to come through alongside some sugars and bread malts. The nose was quite a standard one for the style with some faint hops and grassy notes towards the end but none of the citra or cascade hops mentioned on the can made themselves known at this point sadly.
Taste (7/10): As previously mentioned, the beer is a sweet one with a combination of caramel and toffee malts kicking things off alongside the promised citra hops that added a nice tang to proceedings. There was some bread malts and a touch of rye in there too with an earthy bitterness and some sugars not far behind. Again it was quite a standard beer with some lager type hops coming through and bit of sweetness appearing to go along with the caramel at the end; it’s pretty good I guess.
Palate (4/5): Quite a sharp beer on the palate, this one was slightly dry and came through with a medium body that featured a slight tang from the citrus in the hops. There was a decent kick towards the end of the beer thanks to the alcohol and carbonation wise the beer felt about average for a Vienna lager. It was definitely a sweet offering with the caramel seeming strongest throughout but a few sugars also featured and the hop bitterness done its best to level things out.

Overall (15/20): Not a bad beer at all this one, it’s certainly a lot nice than I’d expected given that it falls somewhere in between a craft and a macro beer in my opinion and it is available in most supermarkets now but it was still an enjoyable offering. It opened up quite sweet with a lot of caramel and the citra hops promised in the can really only appeared come the taste but it still came through as a decent beer thanks to the toasted malts and earthy bitterness alongside some of the more basic Vienna lager type flavours. Nice stuff and well worth picking up if you stumble across it but it isn’t one to go searching for really; I still liked it but there Kustom Lager still came out very slightly better.

Brewed In: Grängesberg, Sweden
Brewery: Spendrups Bryggeri
Type: Vienna Lager
ABV: 6.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Tesco (Glasgow)
Price: Gift

Książęce Burgundowe Trzy Słody

August 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.5

A beer that I didn’t even try to pronounce the name of when I received this as a gift from someone returning from Kraków now, and most surprisingly the beer is only the sixth from Poland that I’ve managed to review on this blog. Despite the number of Polish shops in my local area, it appears that the only beers from the country to regularly appear in bars and supermarkets are the usual Lech, Tyskie & Żywiec offerings but beyond that it’s unusual to see many others. This particular beer was one that was picked up at the airport in Kraków and is unlikely to be one that’s made it to the UK in any great numbers before. I struggled to find much information on the beer before opening it but I had expected it to be another Polish style pale lager, instead I found it to be much darker and it fell somewhere between a Vienna lager and a winter warmer style offering which I was quite pleased about.

Ksiazece Burgundowe Trzy Slody

Appearance (4/5): Pours a slightly copper tinged amber colour that is semi-clear and topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that’s a foamy texture and slightly off-white. Retention is okay, with it eventually halving in size around about a minute but still covering the surface fairly well; there’s a touch of lacing on the sides too.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a sweet and very malty nose initially, there was a lot of caramel coming through in the early going with some earthy notes featuring too. I’d opened this expecting a pale lager but it was anything but, there was some nice sugars and a few background fruits coming through alongside hints of toffee and a faint alcohol aroma. A very pleasant beer on the nose, this one was well-balanced but the caramel sweetness was definitely what struck you first; good stuff so far.
Taste (6/10): Opening with some sweet malts and caramel much like the nose suggested, the taste wasn’t quite as strong as the smell but it was far for weak either. There was a sticky sweetness to proceedings and I got a lighter toffee flavour around the middle before some earthy malts and the odd background fruit came through further down the line. Some bread malts and a couple of sugars appeared nearer the end and there was touches of hay alongside some faint grassy flavours to round things off but it wasn’t quite as good as the nose sadly.
Palate (3/5): This one was a surprisingly light beer on the palate, it was thinner than I expected and almost seemed watery straight off the bat. There was a solid sweetness coming through from the start though with some sticky touches and a few sugars as well. Carbonation wise the beer was quite light as well but it didn’t seem flat at any point thankfully and it was still easy to drink, this despite the fact that it had faded slightly from the nose.

Overall (14/20): This one started as an excellent beer thanks to the smell that came through very strong and sweet with plenty of caramel and quite a few sugars too, all of this proved quite appealing given I cracked the bottle open expecting a run-of-the-mill Euro pale lager. Things faded slightly come the taste though, the beer wasn’t quite as pronounced with the sweet malts and caramel coming through slightly weaker than before and the body of the beer proving to be a lot lighter than I’d anticipated. There was still enough to keep me interested though thanks to the background fruits, sticky sweetness and earthy malts that featured throughout. Overall the beer was a good one but I couldn’t help wondering what might have been had it not faded to dramatically come the taste; it was still a decent beer though.

Brewed In: Tychy, Poland
Brewery: Kompania Piwowarska
First Brewed: circa. 2013
Type: Vienna Lager/Winter Warmer
Abv: 5.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Kraków
Price: Gift

Semper Ardens Wiener

April 7, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.05

Another Carlsberg brewed offering that I picked up and sampled while on holiday in Copenhagen last month, this one being a Vienna lager offering introduced in 2013 as part of their Semper Arden line of beers. Translated from Latin, Sempers Arden means ‘always burning’ and was apparently a motto of Carl Jacobsen, son of the brewery’s founder. The beer is one that I picked up in a Netto supermarket in the city soon after arriving and it’s not one that I was aware they brewed as almost nothing from the brewery except their pale lager and Elephant Beer offerings seem to make it to the UK in any great quantity. I initially grabbed this bottle thinking it was a hefeweizen at first glance, having not realised the it said ‘Wiener’ on the bottle for Vienna and assuming it read ‘Weizen’ so I was a little surprised when I first opened it but either way it’s a new beer that I was happy to try. This offering from Carlsberg will be the third from the brewery that I sampled in Denmark and follows on from the very disappoint King Pilsner and the very average bottle of Tuborg Classic that I reviewed here not too long ago; thankfully this one didn’t prove to be as bad as either of those though.

Semper Ardens Wiener

Appearance (3/5): A light copper coloured beer with amber tinges and a relatively clear body. This one is topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that is a slightly off-white colour that is almost cream with a foamy texture to it. The head starts to turn a little patchy soon after pouring but some touches of lacing manage to hold on, sticking to the edges of the glass as it fades a little.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a malty nose to this one with some fairly sweet aromas coming through in the early going as well, most notably some caramel and the odd touch of toffee. There was some bread malts and doughy notes around the middle with some background fruits and citrus making an appearance too. Towards the end the nose was slightly floral and further sweetness came through thanks to a light butterscotch aroma.
Taste (6/10): The taste seemed to be a continuation of the nose with some bread malts and caramel to open things up then a little sweetness and toffee featured soon after that. Towards the middle the floral touches from the nose came through alongside some citrus which seemed slightly more pronounced this time around. There was some sugars and hints of vanilla in there was well as we got closer to the finish but nothing really stuck out with this one in truth.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied and quite tangy thanks to the citrus coming through a little stronger with the taste. This one was moderately carbonated with a semi-sweet taste, although there wasn’t much bitterness to speak of and towards the end it was quite a crisp, dry beer on the palate.

Overall (13/20): This one was a fairly average beer on the whole, maybe slightly above average if I’m honest but pretty good when you consider it’s a Carlsberg brewed offering and for the most part I’ve found their beers to be pretty poor in the past. The beer came through with a pleasantly sweet taste and some nice malts that were backed up by touches of caramel and toffee as well. Nothing in particularly really stood out about the beer but it was relatively easy to drink and had a decent enough balance without ever really exciting.

Brewed In: Copenhagen, Denmark
Brewery: Carlsberg Brewery
First Brewed: 2013
Full Name: Carlsberg Semper Ardens Wiener
Type: Vienna Lager
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Netto Supermarker (Copenhagen)
Price: 12 Danish Krone (approx. £1.32)