Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #5

Austrian beer... Yep. That's good stuff. In fact, there's this alpine variety of beer that I once tried, with some spices and herbs added to it during the brewing process. I've got to say, it's quite an interesting concept. Almost like a gruit beer. Except with hops.

Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier
330mL bottle at 5.0% ABV
Appearance: 6/10 (C-)
As a light beer, a pale color is expected, and it delivers. However, it's a tad cloudy, perhaps for style or to show the herbs used in flavoring. Of course, the main downfall is the weakness of the golden color.
Aroma/Nose: 6.5/10 (C)
Lightly pungent with the smell of a few herbs I barely recognize, this beer could smell a little more pleasant. It's not too bad, though, with soft undertones of malt.
Mouthfeel: 8/10 (B)
A very rich feeling, smooth and somehow prickly and sharp at the same time. Despite the fizziness, however, this beer doesn't hurt the tongue like some do.
Flavor: 7.5/10 (B-)
With an intense sweetness not usually associated with beers, and a faint flavor of hops and a flowery tail, this beer delivers unexpectedly. The herbs are a good addition.
Overview: 7/10 (C+)
Though it delivers in flavor and texture, this beer is lacking in other aesthetics. A good casual beer, but not something I'd drink to be fancy.

For those of those who don't know what gruit is... Well, it's essentially what humanity used to preserve their beer before the discovery of hops. Generally a mixture of herbs and spices to give flavor or ward off unwanted bacterial and fungal growth. And bugs.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #4

So, there's a local British shop around here. They sell British stuff... Not like I needed to say that. But at any rate, while looking around for unusual imported or 'traditional' goods, such as black pudding, mushy peas, or whatever, I came across this unusually marked brew. Fascinating, really. I have had beers brewed with fruit, but those were Belgian, and very unlike this here product. It even has a little blurb written on it, describing it's aspiration to be liquid bread; liquid banana bread, in fact.

Heck, the label itself was enough to make me go bananas for it. Pun most definitely intended. (Don't hit me!)

Wells' Banana Bread Beer
500mL bottle at 5.2% ABV
Appearance: 7/10 (C+)
A strong toffee color beer with a good clarity. Unfortunately, the head doesn't last, nor does it look good, and there's no lacing to speak of without shaking the bottle excessively.
Aroma/Nose: 5/10 (D)
Ugh. I hate it when beers turn skunky. People should really learn to put anything with hops in it into brown or red bottles. Ignoring that, there's a sweet caramel-banana flavor hidden underneath the typical malt of the beer. I'd give it 8/10 (B) if it wasn't for the skunk.
Mouthfeel: 6.5/10 (C)
Though at first thin and with the fizziness too coarse to be truly pleasant, this beer has an unusual slickness to it and seems thicker than it first did. Not bad.
Flavor: 9/10 (A-)
This one is sure a surprise. Even considering the slight skunk the beer currently has, both the overtones and undertones of this beer are delightfully rich in flavor, with a banana flavor that hits the spot perfectly - Nothing artificial tasting there. The hint of bitterness left over by the hops makes it seem much like a rye bread, too.
Overview: 7/10 (C+)
For such a light colored beer, this brew actually surprised me in pretty much qualifying for the term 'liquid bread'. Even if it's not your kind of brew, worth it simply for the great flavor and novelty. If it hadn't been a bit skunked, this beer would've scored 7.5/10 (B-). If I can get my hands on a fresh bottle, I'd probably do the review again and re-rate it. Unfortunately, this particular bottle was imported from the UK to the southern hemisphere, and has sat in less-than-ideal conditions for an extended period of time.

On another note, this beer actually lists the ingredients (Probably because a lot of people are allergic to bananas.). I wonder if there's any beers out there that list the nutritional information too? (Light beers don't count!)