Monday, 4 April 2016

#313: Lervig

Speaking of Lervig, this bunch of bottles forms most of their available range in Ireland and, after the lacklustre showing from Lucky Jack and Hoppy Joe, they represent a marked improvement of fortunes.

We start with the Rye IPA, as I did, jumping right into the middle of the ABV spectrum on these bottles at 8.5%. It looks orange, it smells like orange skins, and it even tastes like orange; all pithy, bittersweet, pithy and juicy marmalade. In the background there;s flecks of lemongrass and, believe it or not, cumin, just hinting at an underlying spiciness, though I'm known to be suggested by the presence of rye in a beer like this. What I can say is that it's delicious, juicy, sharp, zesty stuff that doesn't show much of its 8.5%.

The White IPA came next, a style I have renewed faith in thanks to Rascal's wonderful Yankee. Where Yankee offers a bit more hoppy attack to a vaguely wit-like body, Lervig go all out with coriander and orange peel. There's a full, fluffy body with plenty of that coriander on show, with flecks of pepper and a crunchy bitterness. On top of this, the beer is incredibly fizzy, and this gets in the way of proper enjoyment. Otherwise, there's no real show of the hop profile that would contribute the IPA-ness to this beer. Ultimately, it's a big burp waiting to happen, and leaves me thirsty for Yankee.

A beer for a different occasion altogether is Konrad's Stout. The nose gets memories of Brooklyn's Black Chocolate, with rich dark chocolate mousse and crème de cassis joined by a bit of phenolic heat. Superbly rich it is in the mouth; thick slabs of malted biscuit, dark chocolate and raisiny, sugary sweetness. It's bitter in balance too, but, interestingly, there's no real roastiness to speak of - this certainly leans more comfortably toward the confected, malty sweet side of big stouts, but without falling over the edge into the sugary swamp-wastes of Dragon Stout Spitfire. Good stuff, this, and an excellent dark companion to the Rye IPA.

The bum note of the piece is the single hop showcase, Galaxy IPA - no prizes for guessing the star of the show here. Only, galaxy isn't the star of the show; the aroma immediately tells you this isn't clean and clear, but fusty and gristy. You can kid yourself that the waves of considerable bitterness are evidence of some enjoyable hop expression but that's simply not the case. This is an under-performing beer that fails to showcase much of anything, least of all its single hop.

So, there's some seriously good stuff to be found in the Lervig line-up, if you're willing to wade through some problem areas.

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