This beer seems to have an identity crisis: You’ll notice that the label says that it’s a lager, but also says that it’s an ale in Texas. I don’t understand that at all. Does the brewery supply a different beer (an ale) to Texas than it does to all other states? Or does Texas have a different standard for what constitutes a lager? I dunno. But I’m pretty sure that what I drank was a lager.
At any rate, I’ve put off writing this one for about a month because I couldn’t make up my mind about this beer. But tonight I finished my last bottle so I guess it’s time.
You need a Pilsner glass to drink this beer. No other vessel will liberate the hop aromas quite as nicely. It does make a noticeable difference in taste. It pours light golden from the bottle, building a medium white head that dissipates quickly but is refreshed with every sip. The aroma is spectacular: The unmistakable floral quality of true noble hops in abundance. It perfumes the entire meal.
You’d think that with that huge hop infusion, you’d have a very bitter brew. But remember that this isn’t a Pale Ale: It’s only bitter enough to be crisp and refreshing. The first sip is a burst of citrus not unlike limeade. The mid taste is of good crystal malt and the five noble hops singing to your tongue. The rear taste is a touch of refreshing hop bitterness. The aftertaste is of crisp, clean hops.
Throughout the glass, you should have a few little fountains of bubbles streaming steadily from the bottom of the glass. This is characteristic of the Pilsner – the minor variations in the texture of the glass provide nucleation sites for the carbon dioxide that wants to come out of solution. Each bubble that forms has a skin of hop oils, which it carries to the surface. When these bubbles burst, they fling tiny droplets of hop oils into the air. That’s what makes this beer so wonderfully aromatic.
This beer appeals mainly to fans of Pale Ales and Pilsners. In other words, people who already like beer. If you’d like a lesson in hop respect, then I highly recommend this beer. It’s VERY drinkable and you will learn volumes about the five noble hops that give our beers that wondrous aroma.