|Highest Rated||Eva (72 / 100)
||Average score||59 / 100 (Decent)|
|Lowest Rated||Czech Pilsener (44 / 100)
44 / 100
Tried at Kumo Izakaya in Melbourne during Good Beer Week, at the Herkimer / Kumo Beer and Sake dinner. This (rather surprisingly) was the final beer they served, after some much bigger, darker and more interesting brews. I guess it was a cleanser, but it was pretty well railroaded by the beers we had before it.
Pours a deep golden colour. Perhaps a little dark, but otherwise it looks great. Head is a gorgeous mess of big frothy white that manages to stay fine and intricate at the same time. The lacing is superb. Carbonation is remarkably low, but apart from that it looks fantastic.
It's all a little downhill from here, unfortunately. Some honey characters on the nose accentuate the malt a little too much and give much too much sweetness. There's a clear grainy character trying to pull it back, but very little influence from the hops. Overall, it ends up being pretty flat and a little bland.
Taste is clean and dry, pleasant enough until the honey character comes back: it just doesn't work in this beer. Light, muted crispness towards the back, with some flavour-stops along the way: grain bag, cut grass some flour. But these are side-notes, and quite faint compared to the overwhelming banality.
Feel is light and pleasant. It would do well in a beer with more flavour.
Overall, this is at best a generic pils, and probably worse than that. I love a nice crisp pils, and while this has potential, there are things that just put me off about this one. I bet it's better right next to where it's brewed.
61 / 100
Tried at Kumo Izakaya during GBW2013, during the Herkimer/Kumo beer and sake dinner.
Pours a deep, dark brown thick in the body, but still fluid. Head is gorgeous: silky and full, and leaving fine speckled lace as it goes down. Pretty much, it does everything you want from a milk stout.
Nose is a little bit subdued: smooth but light. Very light, in fact. Some berry characters, a suggestion of cherry, along with a dusty, earthy character and some faint, dry desiccated cocoa.
There's definitely cherry characters on the palate as well. Clean and smooth through the front to mid palate with a touch of bite on the back. Some ephemeral characters of grape juice come through as well. It's tasty enough, but still very light.
The feel is probably the aspect which suffers most from the lightness. While it's smooth, it's also quite thin: more body would really help.
Overall, it's decent enough but it didn't win me over completely. It's a shame, because it looked so good and had plenty of promise.
72 / 100
Tried at Kumo Izakaya in Melbourne during GBW2013 as part of the Herkimer/Kumo Beer and Sake evening. This beer is a "Cöttbusser", an old German style brewed with oats and honey, and fermented with Belgian Saison yeast (although I assume traditionally it was not brewed this way).
Pours a very clear golden colour with a very fine white head. Some streaking lace gives it an undoubtedly German appearance. Fine carbonation. Overall, it looks pretty good.
Nose is disappointingly mild. A bit of grain and some faint, slightly carbonic acid to it: direct and sharp. There's a slightly briny suggestion of seafood and some apple characters as well. But these are looking for ripples in a pretty banal surface. Mostly, it's just clean and flat.
Taste is much better, though. There's a faint prickle of acidity to kick things off before some robust German grain notes give some body and power to the mid-palate. Crisp and bright towards the finish and a little bit fuller towards the back than I expected. I like it: you can almost taste the booze and it makes it feel like a broader, more expressive beer as a result.
Feel is very clean and pleasant. Nice stuff.
Overall, I really like it. It's clean and well made, with German influences but a rugged individualism.