20 September 2008

Schwelmer Alt (GER)

My first Altbier. It pours a clear chestnut color. It's quite light in body with soft carbonation. Goes down really smooth (just over 4% ABV). Yet, this isn't a watery tasting beer. It's described as a "unique, hoppy altbier" on the label, but this is an old school, European definition of hoppy. Instead, the beer is more malty, slightly toasted and very slightly raisiny. The hops kick in near the end, but they only bite so much. The aftertaste has a lot going on, but what came through most to me was unsweetend cola. This wasn't particularly attractive, but I think I may have been drinking it too warm.

I've liked what I've tried from this brewery in the past, the Pils and the Weizen. I'm less convinced by the Alt, but I'm still getting to know the style. It certainly is different. It turns out that some American beers I've seen around with are attempts at altbiers (Otter Creek Copper Ale, Long Trail Ale, Southampton Secret Ale).

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