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Beer Review #319 Cultivator Helles Bock

03-17-02Even though there is another snowstorm smacking parts of the Mid-Atlantic today spring is right around the corner. Spring means that it is helles bock season! One of the newest helles bock beers, or simply helles for short, is Cultivator Helles Bock by Troegs Brewing Company.  I was at their brewery in Hershey about a month ago and I had no idea they were going to be releasing a new beer.

Cultivator pours a nice yellow orange and has a thin white head that fades to just a covering. The nose has a slight bit of sulfur along with the typical “lager smell.” It also has a great honey-like sweetness along with a crisp biscuit. I really like the combination of odors going on in this beer. I didn’t get any hops as expected.

On the first taste I did notice the flavor at first, instead I noticed how nicely this beer drank. The flavors are wonderful, but this beer took me back to my trip to Germany. It’s darn authentic and lovely. Past the nostalgia, Cultivator is big everything a helles should be. It starts with a nice light sweetness that is intertwined with biscuit and wonderfulness.  The hops come in an provide a nice bit of balancing but still leave it a bit more on the sweet end of the scale. The hops taste fresh and floral.

I could seriously drink this beer all day. It’s wonderful and makes me want to sit down with some German meatloaf, potatoes, and a fried egg. Yup, it really did take me back to Germany. I will be purchasing more of this beer shortly. (more…)

Beer Review #144 Erdinger Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest officially ends on Monday, but here in the states it seems like we take the name to heart. In the past week or so I have seen more Oktoberfest beers hit the shelves than when the festival officially started. My first Oktoberfest beer review of the year comes from Erdinger Weissbrau of, appropriately enough, Germany!

This one was a bit of a surprise coming out of the glass. You generally expect an amber colored beer with a slightly off-white head, but Erdiger Oktoberfest pours an “orange” straw color. It had a slight haze to it and a really, really fluffy head if you couldn’t tell from the pictures. The nose was exceptionally grainy. It is nice and malty, with the sweetness that you would expect from a German lager.

The beer tastes pretty close to what the nose promises. The malt is grainy and raw tasting. There is a slight fruit presence, almost estery. There were no hops in the nose, but there are some hops on the end. They really help to balance out this beer.

This beer is not what comes to mind when you hear Oktoberfest, but it is damn tasty. There is a nice balance and the unexpected fruity flavors in the background really added a lot to the beer. It comes in at 5.7% so bottoms up!


Hofbräu Dunkel Beer Review

09-05-02I had a great Dunkel at a bar a few weeks ago and that motivated my purchase of Hofbräu Dunkel. It is a Dunkel all the way from Germany. I’m surprised Lubbock had beers to offer from outside the U.S. but I digress. Hofbräu Dunkel comes in green bottles with a blue cap. It was nice looking but I am always leery of beers that come from far away with non-brown bottles.

09-05-04It pours a nice brown with maybe some ruby in there. I always have trouble describing the color of beer, but this one was not a true brown, there was some red in there. I am also color blind (red/green) so that doesn’t help. But I saw what I saw. Anyway, it was perfectly clear when you held it up to the light.

The nose of the beer was distinctly Euro skunky, with bis of malt sweetness, and a toasty/biscuit smell. When I saw Euro skunky I am referring to the skunked smell that I find only comes from European beers. I know it is from the transport of these things, but it just ruins it. I be if I had this beer in Germany this review would be a lot different.


The taste was Euro skunky, with a slightly roast flavor. There was some biscuit and very slight hop bitterness in there was well. Nothing overly noticeable compared to the skunk on it. It was nicely carbonated however and had a medium mouthfeel. My six pack of this beer was close to undrinkable from the skunk. I just did not enjoy it and I can’t say I would recommend it to anyone. (more…)