Brooklyn: Silver Anniversary Lager (USA: Dopplebock: 8.6% ABV)
Visual: Clear reddened gold. Large mounded yellowed head. Good level of carbonation.
Nose: Raspberry pavlova. Banana. Light yeastiness. Custard cream biscuits. White grapes. Apricot. Caramel.
Body: Spiced fruit. Bitter hops and malt drinks. Dry. Choc orange note. Raisins. Shortbread. Pavlova sweetness.
Finish: Dry bitterness and malt drinks. Nutmeg. Meringue. Alcohol air. Mixed spices.
Conclusion: I…erm…I know this meant to be a brewed up version of Brooklyn Lager. It it really weird that I find it more like Samuel Adams lager than Brooklyn lager? Even more embarrassing, I kind of prefer the Sam Adams to this. A bit embarrassing for a big celebration beer.
Now that definitely needs some context. This thing is interesting, very interesting, and definitely has more going on than the aforementioned Sam Adams. However I can’t find a point where this would be the beer I choose to be drinking, and I can with SA.
Hmm, needs more explaining I feel. Let’s run from the start, and see where that gets us. The popped cork first impressions were great, as is the aroma. A great discreet but present yeast character, big pavlova sweetness and a fruit element. It is smooth, very different to a lot of dopplebocks and this all bodes well.
The body opens up on a completely different front, spiced but backed by light sweetness and fruit. Initially appatising, if the beer is held for a while it develops a less pleasant gin like air.
The finish.. ah well this is the first sign something is wrong. Dry, with a gin like air and heavy malt drinks. The finish just doesn’t work, especially not in conjunction with the rest of the beer. Worse than that, it brings into relief the flaws of the body that could previously have been overlooked. The gin air becomes heavier on second sip, and having been made very obvious in the finish the dry maltiness seems intrusive now in the body. It is a kind of malt heaviness that needs a good hop opposition rather than the light fruit you find here.
The beer is still interesting, and it is a nicely different take on the dopplebock, but the elements wander a path from aroma greatness to the let down of the finish and leaves you disappointed. Worse still it a journey you take again and again over the lifetime of the beer.
So, that is why I prefer basic Sam Adams, not as complex a beer, but one you can happily drink easily, it has its time and place This doesn’t have one for me.
An interesting beer, and not without elements that charm but…no, not a beer I would recommend.
Background: I mainly picked this up because of the odd art on the front of the bottle. Yes I am easily influenced. This was found at the always excellent Independent Spirit This is apparently a brewed up version of Brooklyn lager, and was done for their 25th anniversary. So, happy birthday Brooklyn Brewing. Drunk while listening to a bit of Anti Nowhere League who I’m hoping to see lie later this year.