Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager Beer

I've never had a British lager before (none that I can recall, that is). So what better brewery to try a beer of that style than Samuel Smith's? This brewery really opened my eyes as to what great, non-imperial beers can be. But the majority of their lineup is traditional pub-style ales - can they make a lager of the same caliber as well?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 15, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Banana-skin yellow/light gold color; mostly clear but slight cloudiness with small, slowly-moving carbonation bubbles visible. Forms an average-sized, white, soapy head which retains and laces surprisingly well.

Smell: Very typical lager aroma but cleaner and a little sweeter. No adjunct funk, and it even has subtle fruity notes often found in British pub ales even though this is a lager.

Taste: While not the most complex or robust beer in the world, Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer is probably the perfect gateway beer for fizzy yellow macro adjunct swillers to get introduced to better beer. It’s immediately from the first sip that this is indeed a lager. Slightly sweet, but most neutral-tasting palate with a hint of tanginess. It gives way to a slight apple juice-like taste and finishes with just a hint of dry bitterness. As it warms a touch of citrus begins to emerge, but this is definitely not a West Coast IPA (you really have to pay attention to find it, but it’s there). The aftertaste is clean, and the beer is refreshing while in the mouth. My only beef is that it’s nothing special, and has only minor delectable notes. Perhaps I’m grading on a curve, but for a lager its appeal comes in the fact there’s nothing overtly off-putting about it.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than your average lager, but not quite thick per se. Soft, comfortable, cold, wet texture and mostly clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: If you absolutely had to session a lager, Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer would be it. The clean palate and comfortable body along with a smooth finish makes it highly drinkable. A lager drinker would probably be more inclined to drink this in bigger qualities, and at only 5% ABV it’s not much bigger than most macro adjunct lagers and green bottle pilsners (plus, there’s not skunky smell).

Grade: 7/10

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