Kroenenbourg 1664: Pours with about a 1″ head, clear gold, a little bit of lacing as the level comes down. The head dissipates quickly. It has a lagerish nose with an earthy note. There’s a nice little hint of citrus on the palette, and moderate maltiness. I almost said “not much flavor” but that’s not really true, it’s a subtle malty flavor, pleasant for sipping. Then the aroma changes slowly and I caught something almost like distant fireworks. If there’s any sulfur, it works here. The gentle finish continues that moderate maltiness.
Kroenenbourg 1664 Blanc: This pours with a generous 1-2″ head and a hazy straw color. Drinking it leaves ample lacing on the glass. The nose is yeasty while the head lasts, then citrus-spicy. Very crisp and flavorful with a hint of candied orange peel on a malty lagerish base. Very refreshing with a long gentle malty finish. Some months ago, someone asked me what my “go-to”
Fresh Cut: a moderately hopped pilsner from Peak Organic Brewing Company. 4.6% ABV, 38 IBUs, so on the “sessionable” side. The nice 1″ head dissipates fairly quickly. I sense herbal hops on the nose, as pleasant as fresh-mown grass but definitely herbal rather than grassy. Nice malt quality with a bit of yeast. This is one of a number of lagers that could fool me into thinking “ale.” As I said, the hops are moderate, but they persist on the finish. This is rich for a pilsner.
Mazel Hops! Imperial IPA from the Schmaltz Brewing Company, produced in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. (I guess that constitutes a plug.) This is intensely hopped, in fact I was surprised that it was “only” 81 IBUs. The hops seem concentrated in the nose, with pine and metal and herbs. On the palette there’s an almost a meaty sensation resolving into pine, more hoppy than some that claim over 100 IBUs, if values above that mean anything.
Something interesting: the label copy says “Drink this now no seriously…right now. Enjoy all these delicious hops, freshy fresh. Do not cellar.” So this is heavily hopped, and hops are a preservative. I’ve also read and heard that high alcohol acts as a preservative. At 8.9% ABV. this seems to have a lot going for it as a beer that would hold up for a long time . . . but does that mean that it’s as good as it is when it’s new? This seems like a topic to explore in the future. I’m afraid I can’t do a test, I drank it all. Oh, well.