Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Tasting : The Sound of Zombies (Vienna Lager)

Ok, continuing on with the tasting notes. I brewed a lot of hoppy beers in 2013, and naturally, these are the beers I got to first when it came to posting my thoughts on the results. Not that I got to most of them quickly enough, but I got there. There's still a bunch of beers I've brewed over the last year (or more) that I HAVEN'T posted on yet, but these are beers that aren't in danger of fading as quickly as the APAs and IPAs that were big on hops.

First off is my first attempt at a Vienna Lager, one of the two lagers I brewed earlier this year using one of Wyeast's private collection yeasts, the 2352 Munich Lager II. I brewed the beer in March, began lagering it in early May, and bottled it in July. I've been drinking it since the summer, with more emphasis in the fall thanks to the style's close similarity to an Oktoberfest.

I think the beer came out pretty well. Vienna Lager is one of those styles that isn't going to jump out and smack you in the face, like a really good IPA, DIPA, or sour beer. But if you pay attention to what you're drinking, you can easily appreciate a well-brewed one, with its malt complexity and balancing bitterness.

The Vienna and Munich malts are definitely present, here... the beer is quite malty, but it doesn't finish really sweet - I'd say it's fairly balanced, maybe tilting a bit towards the sweet side, but luckily it's not cloying at all. For some reason the carbonation is a bit higher than I had aimed for, but it's not a big problem. All-in-all it's a decent Vienna Lager recipe, and the yeast seemed to work well for the style, too... but I think if you wanted to brew it now, using another one of the Lager yeast strains would give you just as good of an end-result.

Appearance: Pours with a moderate-large, white head that shows great retention, finally fading to a full-finger. The body is dark amber, leaning into red-colored, with excellent clarity.

Aroma: Strong bready malt, a touch of sweetness of the caramel variety. No hop aroma. Pretty clean.

Taste: Again, mostly a bready-malt flavor. Maybe just a touch of spiciness from the later hop addition, but it's pretty minimal. Finishes with a moderate-low bitterness, and enough dryness to make the beer feel pretty balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, with medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Pretty decent. I like the character from the Munich and Vienna; I think for what the style is supposed to be, that this came out well enough. I'd like to decrease the carbonation and bump up the body a bit.

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