Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Brewery: Rogue (Chatoe line of brews)
Beer: Dirtoir Black Lager
Brewed in: United States
You guessed it – the beer poured a dark and solid black. The head was a few fingers thick and brown – similar to chocolate milk though not as smooth. Head retention was impressively long and ample lacing was deposited in icicles around the glass.
The aroma is of roasted malts up front with a sweetness in the finish. There are notes of chocolate, coffee and molasses in the nose.
The taste elaborates on the the aroma with a good and strong dark roasted malt flavor with some hints of burnt – but not in a bad way. This would be from the black malts which are used as coloring more than strictly flavor. In the middle of the taste you get some coffee, chocolate, and molasses as well. The beer finishes bitter with a wave of hops that balances the beer out beautifully and clears your palate for the next sip. There is a lingering finish that seems to be split between the bitter hops and roasted malts.
Dirtoir is medium to full bodied and the carbonation is moderate. It drinks very smooth and doesn’t taste like an ABV of 6.2%.
I was extremely impressed with this beer because it delivered on the flavors I love in dark beer but kept the overall impression “light”. This was not a “meal in a glass” as some would say but a light and refreshing black beer.
This has put schwarzbier on the map for me – in a big way.
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
Brewery: Sleeman (Sapporo owned)
Beer: Honey Brown Lager
Category: Dark American Lager
Brewed in: Canada (Guelph, ON)
I had this beer on tap at Devaney’s Irish Pub in Edmonton. A friend and I split a pitcher. The beer is a clear light golden brown and head pours a thick and creamy white – about two fingers. Retention and lacing are both surprisingly good.
The aroma is very faint and I am hard pressed to detect much of anything. I can smell some sweet malt. Despite how much I try I can not pick up on any honey.
The beer tastes very sweet and malty. I still don’t pick up on any honey although that might be what is causing the sweetness. I also taste no hops.
The beer is lightly carbonated with a light body. It is quite smooth.
There was nothing disgusting about this beer but there was also nothing stellar. I wouldn’t ever intentionally seek this beer out. When you are going to be drinking a couple pints and your other options end in “Light” or “Lite” or advertise their drinkability – this is a good choice.