Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Berkshire Mountain Brewers Not Your Father's Dortmunder

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (891) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 28, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Its "enjoy by" date was notched at August. It cost $4 ($0.18 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark gold hue, almost completely clear but slightly cloudy. Plenty of spastic carbonation visible. Forms an average sized, white, soapy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Similar to that of a typical pale lager, but with more grass or hay.

Taste: You don’t see too many American breweries putting out a Dortmunder these days. Probably because it’s a very specific, niche style of lager. In fact, I can’t really say how well "Not Your Father’s Dortmunder" conforms to the style, but as a craft lager it’s pretty good. It has a little more character than most beers of the ballpark, with significant hop and malt presence.

I usually drink lagers like this for their performance value, but this time I actually enjoyed the taste. There’s a strong presence of Noble hops, hay or straw, and some cracker or biscuit character throughout the palette. Slightly dry bitterness right away with a subtle lemony flavor throughout the first half. Bitterness increases at the apex with some starchy notes and a hint of black pepper. The finish has a trace of garlic or onion, which is a taste I’m more used to finding in an IPA than in a lager. While not absolutely delicious, I find this beer to be anything but boring and an interesting brew for sure.

Drinkability: While "Not Your Father’s Dortmunder" has more flavor than your typical fizzy yellow lager, it still has the same easy drinkability you expect of the genre. The mouthfeel is on the lighter, thinner side. Plenty of noticeable carbonation, but still easy to drink in large quantities quickly. It finishes clean, though I would not consider this to be refreshing per se. I could see it pairing nicely with a meal, though. I’m not sure of the alcohol content as it’s not listed on bottle or the brewery’s website, but I’d estimate it’s around 5-5.5% ABV (UPDATE: 5/31/13 the brewery reports it's actually 4.8% ABV). A tad big to session, though drinking an entire bomber solo is no challenge at all. 
Grade: 7/10