Monday, January 7, 2013

Hangar 24 Alt-Bier

The "alt bier" style is a rare commodity these days, even among the American craft beer scene. I think because it tends to be a rather boring style so it’s difficult to make a brew that really stands out from the pack. But Hangar 24 has apparently figured out the formula with their Alt-Bier as it has a unique palate and high drinkability.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (784) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 7, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beautiful reddish/burnt umber hue; very hazy. Forms an average size, beige, soapy head which mostly dissipates but still laces the glass pretty well.

Smell: Surprisingly mild nose with a vague malty aroma with a hint of fruit.

Taste: It’s extremely rare that the description on the bottle or the brewer’s website is 100% accurate to how I perceive the taste, but in the case of Hangar 24 Alt-Bier it’s exactly dead-on:

"Caramel, Toasty, and Clean. This red ale is our unique version of a northern German Alt-Bier. Enjoy silky caramel smoothness, followed by toasty, bready flavors and finished with a hint of chocolate roast. These flavors all come through in the aroma and combine in a truly unique, very clean, complex, Alt-Bier.... We decided to add the chocolate malt to add a little more complexity to the beer and for a perceived dryness that helps to balance the caramel malty flavor. "

I agree with that both objectively and subjectively. The individual flavors are familiar, but the combination and arrangement here is totally unique. The use of the chocolate malt combined with the hops make for a good balance and overall taste. I even detect some citrus in the classic West Coast style.

Drinkability: While not a refreshing beer per se, Hangar 24 Alt-Bier is a quaffable one for sure. The mouthfeel is on the fuller side, with a smooth texture but retains a crisp, well-carbonated body and smooth finish. The aftertaste is fairly clean, if not a little sweet. At 6% ABV it’s right on the money as far as where it should be in terms of weight and efficiency. I drank mine a little too quickly.
 Grade: 8/10

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