375ml can purchased for me by Sam. Freshness date of March 2019
Pours a clear golden orange colour, with a very thin ring of white forming a head. Little streaks of lace. Body has a bit more heft than a standard pale ale, but it still looks supple and light—around about what a 6% ABV beer should look like. Carbonation is fine, and moderated. Looks decent.
Nose is pleasantly bright and hoppy, but backed with a fairly well made malt structure that gives it a little more volume and depth. The hops are the main event though, with a slightly sharper than the average tone to them. They're mostly based around citrus, but with a slight tweak towards pine.
Taste is definitely a little more malt-focused than I perhaps expected. There's a savoury character from the malt that takes in the grain notes, but almost feels toasty or slightly salty—odd in a beer like this. The hops do provide flavour though, with more sweet citrus on the front. But they also don't provide a lot of bitterness, which leaves the malt doing the heavy lifting on the back palate.
Feel is fine in the moth, with a firm frothy character from the carbonation.
It's a fine beer—solid and just a little bit uninteresting, which seems to be Balter's MO. You can always rely on a consistent, dependable beer from them (and some fine, stark branding). I'll be ready when they really decide to push the envelope.
62 / 100
Day 7 of my 2017 #fletchmas Advent Calendar, reviewed blind.
Pours a shiny red vinous colour, like a nice pinot noir. Head was decent when poured, off-white, but no real retention. Just a ring of lacing that's nice and sticky. Bit of haze; pretty good.
Smells quite malty. An altbiery German kind of aroma, with rich earthy, slightly toasty grain malt, some light fruity characters bouncing around the edges; insubstantial wafts of fragrance, really. Hint of coconut on there as well. Pretty nice; maybe a touch sweet but lots of complex promise.
Taste is a little disappointing. Just doesn't have the richness or the depth that I'd hoped. Malt-driven, with some earthy grain, slightly burnt toffee, touch of toastiness towards the back. Some subtle hopping is largely there to clean up, maybe with some mild phenolic and woody character late. Ultimately has the same character as the nose but just the simplest form of it. Nice but not exciting.
Decent body upfront but it thins out a bit in the middle and allows a bit of fizz through and that feels a bit rough. Yeah a bit thin for the body.
Drinks fine, but it's a bit full-flavoured for a nice quaffer, and otherwise a bit thin and short-palated to be interesting as a sipper, so in the end it's just middling.
Can given to me by Jez, enjoyed by myself.
Pours a pale, clear gold. Nice head on pouring; white and whispy and retains a good half a finger with some clumpy lacing left behind. Pretty darn good pils.
Smells clean, crisp. Some grainy cereal sweetness, touch of lemon zest and some light dry grassy hop notes. Unexciting but very pure and enticing nonetheless.
Taste is a bit disappointing; the cereal grain sweetness is still there and to its credit it tastes like pearl barley and a touch of oat and honey (rather than adjuncty), but the hops are neither as prominent nor as active, with the sweetness lingering for most of the palate. Touch of lucerne and maybe some mild floral character late-mid but it doesn't last long and doesn't clean all of it up, as the sweetness remains towards the back just as a linger. Nice grainy pils but just not as clean as it should be.
Touch of carbonation is probably the cleanest thing here, the body is a little sticky for the style otherwise.
Nice and drinkable, but just neither as nice nor as drinkable as it could have been. Disappointing a little but not bad, as it's just that it doesn't fulfill its own potential; potential that it set up itself to disappoint me.
Pours a very clear golden colour, with a fuzzy head of white that fizzles out to a thin ring, leaving little lace. Body is light and crisp, holding some fine carbonation. Looks pretty good for the style.
Nose is pretty dead. There's a mild light cereal crispness to it, along with a very faint metallic character. As it warms, there's more of the cereal character, and maybe a hint of something vaguely earthy or herbal. It's a bit underwhelming, to be honest.
Taste is similar. It's fairly clean on the front, with a crisp cereal character, and enough bitterness to keep it honest. But on the back, it gets a bit earthy. Initially, it had a slight yeasty flavour, but this cleans up, leaving the back with that bright, metallic bitterness. Hmm. It's still not great though.
Feel is light and crisp, which works well.
Overall, it's drinkable, and it's a decently made pilsener, but it's almost as though they've done exactly the baseline for the style, and have not done anything to make it anything other than A Pilsener.It's a shame, because with just a little refinement or a touch more interest, this can be a really wonderful style of beer.