My friendly neighborhood Sprecher supplier wants me to review some beers given to me, so I am finally obliging. First up is their Special Amber Lager.
I first let it warm a bit from the fridge for about 10 minutes (ok, I had to get the kids in bed). It pours well with a nice white head. The beer is a bit of an orangy-gold color. On the nose are hints of malt and hops (my first guess being Hallertau). Already it is an interesting blend. Almost an Oktoberfest without the spiciness. The tip of the tongue delivers hops and mid mouth it gets sweet. An Oktoberfest with a hint of Vienna? Or is it the other way round? The finish is midly hop bitter.
As it warms some more, the hops become more pronounced on the nose and finish. It moves me to think of a hoppy Vienna style lager, but with lower alcohol. The blend of Cascade and Mount Hood hops is interesting. The latter showing its Hallertau roots, while the former pushes the idea of a lager around toward ales. I am not sure, but it seems the Cascade offer a bit more of the bitterness while the Mount Hood fill the nose and mouth.
A bit warmer still and the malt sweetness comes up more on the nose. Finish is now hoppier and more bitter. With IBU of only 22, it will not get too bitter and the Cascade has become more noticeable. All round, a well done lager that would go as well with corned beef and cabbage as it would a Rot Wurst mit Sauerkraut und Pomme Frits; perhaps a Goulash Suppe as well.