I haven't posted in a while, thanks to a rather dry spell brought on by a finally successful job hunt. This is also the reason why I sadly didn't get to attend the Franciscan Well's Winter and Cask Ales Festival over the weekend, but at least this way I can save more ducats for the Easter festival (and possibly a trip to Dublin for some well-needed beer exploration). Either way, the gap left in this blog by missing that festival needs to be filled, and I may just about manage to do so by scraping together some notes from the recent past.
Excuse their disjointed-ness.
I got in the mood for summer with Sierra Nevada's Summerfest, their seasonal pilsener lager. It looks and smells pretty much like a conventional, perhaps even tame European pilsener. The taste however, is really something. It's light with lemon notes interspersed with the potent hop character that leans towards the usual Sierra Nevada peel and pine sort of thing. Underneath all of that there's a good biscuit and grainy quality that really comes into play in the finish, with floral hops lingering. As a lager, it's very interesting, and offers an experience more appropriately, well, summery than a Sam Adams or Brooklyn.
A good beer to have two or three in the sun I'd reckon.
In the same warm-weather category is Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, this time appearing from the can, a novelty I just couldn't pass up. It really is very similar to the bottled version. That is, a reliable hefeweizen that won't inspire or delight the palate, but will satisfy a thirst admirably, much in the same vein as Franziskaner, although that particular beer is much more affordable and therefore more appropriate for the purpose.
Staying with Paulaner, I opted to re-evaluate their Salvator, which came off as far too harsh with it's ice-cold serving in the Porterhouse a while back. This time around, it's altogether more controlled, while still releasing some seriously deep toffee malt notes on the aroma, with curious hints of green apple and a touch of booze. Strange, and not at all unpleasant. The taste opens a bit like a Dubbel, with red berries and dark fruit appearing in muted form before being smothered by the powerful and sticky malt that characterises the beer. It's a veritable malt bomb, with a touch of booze at the end reminding you of the 7.9% ABV.