Monday, August 20, 2012

Simpler Times Lager

Another Trader Joe's brand lager brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (711) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 18, 2012
I poured a 12oz can into a lager glass.

Appearance: Pure gold hue, crystal clear, highly bubbly at first but calms down quickly. Forms a large, white, soapy head which fizzles away quickly and almost completely and leaves bare minimum lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very typical lager. No foul scents or adjunct aromas. Generic.

Taste: Simpler Times Lager is another Trader Joe’s brand beer contract brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery out of Monroe, Wisconsin. I previously enjoyed their "Name Tag Lager" and one sip into this and I was convinced it is an almost identical recipe but just a stronger brew overall. Very sweet for a lager, almost a sugar-water flavor to it, but not quite as sweet as Name Tag was. This has more of a macro, almost malt liquor taste to it, although it’s still a clean palate overall that’s free from adjuncts.

I don’t know why it’s slightly grainy-tasting and has a touch of a metallic flavor to it. I do get a little bit of a lemony flavor right as it finishes, but there’s a certain oily taste through the middle which was not present in the Name Tag Lager. It’s not a bad beer at all, but it’s only as good as a Schlitz or PBR. Cleaner tasting than your typical macro adjunct lager or malt liquor, but lacking genuine flavor and delectability of a true craft beer.

Drinkability: I don’t know what accounts for the higher alcohol content of 6.2% ABV to Simpler Times Lager. It’s not any more of a robust or sweeter palate than Name Tag Lager (which is only 5% ABV) - are they throwing sugar or honey in the fermenters to increase it? Whatever the case may be I can say this beer does the job it’s supposed to do - a clean, mild, crisp palate that drinks like a standard lager without any surprises. It goes down smooth and even has a slightly sweet aftertaste for a moment or two. Still, there isn’t any real advantage to the bigger body so I’d stick with Name Tag Lager instead. 
Grade: 5/10

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