My latest Vienna lager ran out just a few days ago, but not before I worked in a beer tasting as well as a submission to a local beer competition. This batch earned an honorable mention (i.e., 4th out of 15 entries) in a combined Amber and Dark Euro Beers table at the 2017 Romancing the Beer competition. Tasting notes below were completed before competition results were announced, and I have not yet been able to compare my impressions with those of the judges.
- The Basics
- O.g. = 1.052; f.g. = 1.013; 5.1% abv; 12 SRM; 25 estimated IBU
- Deep amber, brilliantly clear beer, with a persistent ivory head.
- Slightly toasty, with a spicy and mildly floral hop note.
- Toasty maltiness, with the slightest hint of a caramel note at the very end of the finish. Hoppiness is subdued but noticeable.
- Slightly dry, medium-light body.
- Would I brew this again?
- This is a good Vienna lager, but not a great Vienna lager (in my opinion). The slight touch of caramel on the taste throws it a bit out of style for me, and also isn’t quite what I wanted in the beer. The color is apparently within the bounds of the BJCP style guidelines, but darker than I really desire for this kind of beer. I suppose it falls within the realm of “North American Craft Vienna Lager.” For the next time around, I would reduce the melanoidin and Carafa II malts to lighten the beer and reduce any caramel notes. All that said, if I set aside stylistic preferences this is an exceptionally drinkable brew, and it was quite popular at a recent get-together.
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