Tag Archives: saaz

Extra Blond Vedett

Another eight months goes by without a single beer tasting post. How does this happen? And in these eight months Myanmar has received its first craft brewery, to boot. I need to lift my game it would seem. Unfortunately I missed out on sitting down and thinking hard about the many beers I had last week in Denmark (mostly from Mikkeller and Carlsberg) but I am on point this week here in the Netherlands. So, without further ado.

The Vedett range of beers is brewed by Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat, i.e. Duvel, and seems to be their attempt at trendiness, although as I understand it the Vedett name is quite old and they took it over through acquisition.

The beer is a “premium lager” and weighs in at 5.2%. It certainly is pale, one of the palest lagers I’ve had in a while, especially after all the dark lagers I had in Denmark through Carlsberg. It looks great in the glass, a flowing, democratic head, super effervescent, big, brash bubbles and that scintillating paleness. Perfectly clear. The aroma is spicy hops, saaz for sure, with subtle lemon and what seem to be zesty phenolics, kinda strange for a lager.

It has a thin mouthfeel and a tight aftertaste, a little harsher than I was expecting. It fades the more you drink, but certainly this is not a typically balanced beer. It would go very nicely if today were less overcast and I were seated on the grass by the canal lapping at the backyard. As it is I sit inside typing. After warming the aroma becomes soapier, an unusual addition to an already weird smell.

The lager profile keeps things fairly underwhelming but on the whole this is an odd beer – its dryness, bitterness and peculiar aroma throwing me off with every sip. Vedett claims the beer has “smooth, malty character with subtly balanced hops … lingering fruitiness with subtle notes of vanilla”. Not getting it.

I bought a bottle of this beer at an unnamed supermarket in Utrecht, the Netherlands and drank it in a home nearby. What a beautiful city.

Case Swap: New Brown

This post is part of a series of twenty-three discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club for their 2015 case swap celebration.

This is a sour beer by one of the club’s aficionados. The label states that it is a 5.6% ABV fresh tart brown ale with French oak and Pinot noir, brewed from 2-row, Caramunich, Special B, Wheat, Saaz and fermented with Lactobacillus Plantarum and WLP575. Then additions of medium toast French oak and 2014 Dead Mouse Pinot Noir. Sounds interesting!

The beer slid into the glass hesitantly with delicate carbonation and a muted red EBC. No head was present at all, nor any hops on the nose. The aroma was vinegar and lumber, with a bit of cherry or something behind the wood. Slightly citrusy flavours and generic malt tried to make themselves known on drinking, but to my palate these notes were hammered into submission by an aggressive sourness that was definitely to the detriment of the beer.

I am not a huge sour beer drinker but I know the ones I’ve loved – for instance all Russian River and Berlinner Weisses. I struggled with this particular beer – I think it’s the vinegar, which reminds me too much of pediococcus infections I’ve had in the past when brewing.

Panhead Port Road Pilsner

Panhead Custom Ales are a kiwi collective exporting ales and a single lager over the ditch to Australia. They’re based near Wellington and are pretty well-regarded in their home country, recently placing second in the NZ Society of Beer Awards. I would love to get my hands on their Vandal NZ IPA, but I haven’t seen it around here.

In the meantime I had to settle for their Port Road Pilsner. Right off the bat, this wasn’t a terribly enjoyable beer. It looks the goods, a nice clear pale straw colour and fine white bubs. A New World hop aroma was present, backed up by robust saaz-y spice. It smelled a little alluring, nontraditional hoppiness, but still clean. Mouthfeel was spot on for a pilsner; no complaints there. Unfortunately the flavour threw me right off. The lager was unbalanced, acrid and firmly bitter. It reminded me of a muted pale ale I brewed last year – in a bad way.

A nice lemony smoothness rode along with the bitterness, giving the drinker something else to chew on if so inclined. European Pilsners were hopped much higher in the past and I think that’s where the Port Road Pils is trying to fit in, but overall it was far too dry and caustic for me. So alas, on the whole a little unsatisfying, but I’m still keen on that Vandal NZ IPA … if I can ever get my hands on it.

I drank this beer at the Terminus, Fitzroy North.