Posts tagged ‘Lager’

Homebrew Adventure, Day #17 – Mikkeller’s Yeast Series Study

Ok- so, this is actually getting posted a bit out of sequence, but I did sample and review these 5 samples from Mikkeller Yeast Series on Day #17 of my homebrew adventure.

I think what Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is doing for the beer community is unparalleled right now in educational value.  Having these “Single Hop“, “Yeast” and even the Black Hole “Barrel” series have been essential to my education as a beer drinker and will give me a leg up for home brewing.

Here are my reviews of five of the yeast series beers, brewed with the same base single malt, single hop beer.



1. American-Style:

Nose: Slight pepper

Taste: Dirty grapefruity citrus and a bitter after taste show that this yeast compliments the hop and definitely allows more of the hop flavor through.

2. Lager


Blogger’s Note: Honestly- I had nothing here on the nose.  It was a void to me.

Taste: More of a lean towards a malty flavor than the American-Style, this beer has a sweet start and a roasted finish.  It is refreshing and not overpowering.

3. Hefeweizen

Nose: Sweet corn, slight mesquite

Taste: In one word, it is Summer- light just like a witbier with the tang of natural orange cleaner.

4. Brettanomyces

Nose: Cherry Twizzlers, Red licorice shoe-strings

Taste: “FUNK-AY”  This beer is a very drinkable sour with fruity tones.  I called it fermented cranberry apple goodness, as well as my favorite of the bunch.

5. Belgian-Ale

Nose: Banana undertones, spice

Taste: Sweet and spicy deliciously ride on a wave of thick banana funk, proving that yeast really can make a all the difference.


Honestly, the difference between all of these brews was astonishing to me.  I assumed there would be slight differences, as I know that each style has different characteristics.  But the blatant, screaming differences created a shock and awe campaign upon my tongue- rendering my palate sated but tired.

If you are new to the brewing (or even tasting) scene, I strongly suggest that you invest in this journey as I did.  The rewards are well worth it (as are the bragging rights!)

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Buckbean Brewery Tule Duck Red Ale, Orange Blossom Ale, and Black Noddy Lager

Tule Duck Red Ale, Orange Blossom Ale, Black Noddy Lager

This series of canned brews comes out of Buckbean Brewing Co, a fairly new (circa 2008) brewery out of Reno, Nevada.  The current offerings from Buckbean, each of these three beers has a uniqueness from each other as well as much of the rest of the beer world.  Buckbean prides themselves on using local ingredients and creating beers for both men and women.

Black Noddy Lager: At 5.2% ABV, this almost session brew is classified as a Bavarian Schwarzbier.  A dark chocolate pour with a milk chocolate colored head, the aroma is that of roasted chocolate and weedy onion grass.  An odd dichotomy of dry but watery to the mouth, the first taste that comes to mind is dirty lettuce and onions.  It is salty and bitter with a hint of beach rocks.  A good summary of this brew would be this- it is like licking a burnt log after a long summer rain.

Original Orange Blossom Ale: Made for the Orange Blossom festival in Nevada, this brew is reminiscent of orange soda, but with an ABV of 5.8%.  Smelling of orange, asparagus and dandelions, the aroma is that of the medicinal persuasion- something of doctor’s office plus orange cleaner plus old people farts.  The sip is crisp and herbaceous with a nod towards Metamucil or vitamin supplement drinks.  The taste, while an odd mixture of sweet orange and vegetative herbs, is not as bad as the smell- which definitely ruins this brew for me.  Perhaps it is a regional thing, but being the New York City girl as I am, I did not understand this beer.

Tule Duck Red Ale: Pouring a beautiful cherry wood color with respectable lacing, this 6.2% ABV Red Ale gave me hope of salvation for Buckbean.  One whiff of this brew and I was transported back into my high school wood shop class- all wood shavings and sawdust and wood varnish and lacquer.  Fruity with a slight roasty caramel edge, this ale is refreshing yet bland.  The sweet, un-hoppy taste of Tule Duck makes it to be a nice everyday drink- something that would be great with a burger or a nice hidden compliment to strong savory tastes.

Buckbean Brewing Co. has a style all to their own with these three offerings, and I admire that greatly, although the only brew I might drink again would be the Tule Duck Red Ale.  For a newer startup brewery, these drinks (the Orange Blossom Ale especially) push the limits of the American craft beer market- where strong extreme tasting beers are taking the reigns.  Although the Orange Blossom Ale and Black Noddy Lager did not exactly sit well with my palate, I strongly suggest trying these beers if you have the chance- if only to try something new and different and work on expanding your palate.

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Chatoe Rogue First Growth Dirtoir Black Lager

With a pour just like that of the Brooklyn Black Ops (thick and black with a huge dark chocolate head), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Dirtoir, although I get the classy play on words in the title (dirt noir= black dirt.)  The beauty behind this limited release series (Dirtoir is the second, after the Wet Hops) is the “grow your own” organic theme laced with the fact that the brew contains no chemicals, additives or preservatives.  So it’s pretty much as pure as you can get.

Rogue Ales, based out of Newport, Oregon, created this brew by growing their own hops and barley.  With an IBU rating of 35, the Dirtoir was much smoother than I imagined it would be.  This brew also boasts a whopping 15° Plato rating and an admirable 75 AA.  It tastes pretty damn freaking good, too.

The good thing about Dirtoir is that is smells exactly the way it tastes- like wood smoked Mesquite BBQ.  My first sip actually brought me back to my days as a youngin’ at my grandpappy’s swimming hole, where I’d take a break from swimming to take in some Mequite BBQ tater chips.  There is also a creamy nuttiness about Dirtoir that rounds out the taste along with the common chocolate tastes associated with darker brews.

The only part about tasting this beer that I didn’t like was that it was the last of the night.  Although there are definitely chocolate undertones, the savoryness of this brew definitely cuts it out from the “dessert beer” catergory.  I’d suggest Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir to go with a nice hunk of beef or something with a spicy kick.

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Cheers, frienditos!