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Beer Review #273 Saint Saltan

02-26-03Disclaimer: This beer was sent to me by the brewery as a promotional sample

Magic Hat Brewing Company was nice enough to send me some samples of their spring seasonal variety pack. Included is today’s beer, a Rye IPA, and a second yearer Pistil. I’m not going to re-review Pistil as I have already done it here, but it was much more flavorful then I remember it being. I remarked last year that it would be nice on a warm day, but I had it while it was sleeting out and found it very quenching. Anyway, on to today’s beer, Saint Saltan which is a Gose that comes in at 4.6%. The brewery has the following to say about the beer:

A pious piece of a seldom-brewed German style, Saint Saltan is tart, light and crisp. Salt and coriander combine with traditional Hallertaur hops to create a holy and sessionable sipping experience.

Saint Saltan pours a nice golden color with a slight haze that clears as the beer sits. There is a thin white head that also fades as the beer is allowed to breathe a bit. The nose is nice and bready along with some honey malt odors. It is actually a little grainy and smells fresh. I didn’t get any hops or anything else to make note of. The earthy grain smell is wonderful on this one.

On my first taste I was actually surprised to taste a nice bit of salt. Usually I’m not a fan of salty beers (especially in IPAs) but this beer’s salt component is minor, but noticeable. The slight salt then fades into a mild sour note. As I continued to drink the beer the salt and sourness faded away and some really nice malt flavors came out. Nothing on this beer is super assertive in the flavor department but each piece says quiet and comes out in stages. It was really interesting to taste the flavor progression on this one. You usually don’t get sour notes that fade away, but they really do on this one.

This beer is easily drinkable and enjoyable. At 4.6% you could easily knock a few of these out in a sitting. It’s not my preferred beer style per say but I did find myself disappointing that they send a limited number of samples. If anyone from Magic Hat is reading this I would like to demand more free samples /sarcasm. This beer is pretty solid and I think that I would enjoy it while watching my Phillies fail in Spring Training. (more…)

Beer Review #137 Leipziger Gose

Ever since my trip to Belgium I have really enjoyed sour beers. I’m not sure what changed in me as I generally hate sour things. Back in October of 2009 I posted about different beer styles and how they didn’t agree with my taste buds. When  I go back and look at some of the styles on that list, I wonder what I was thinking. I’m really digging pilsner beer at the current time along with Lambics and pretty much everything else I mentioned. Part of the reason why I made this site was to document my trip through craft beer. I have really been able to see how much I have changed in a short time.

Leipziger Gose is a beer that one of my buddies bought for me awhile ago. I let it sit for awhile since you really can’t over age a Gose. I finally got around to opening it up and boy was I impressed. This beer pours a blond color and has a nice fluffy white head. The nose is pretty sour with some sweetness attached. When I say sour, think of sticking your face into a bag of Sour Patch Kids sour. The label says, “brewed with normal ingredient but also coriander and salt.” Interesting since I didn’t know they were allowed to do that with the Reinheitsgebot is still in effect to my knowledge.

On the first taste I was shocked at how much was happening in this beer. There are the clear sour notes, but behind them are some herbal and plumb flavors that are very nice. This beer comes in at only 4.6% but it is a wonderful testament that you don’t need high alcohol to get a complex beer.

This beer is also exceptionally balanced and delicate. Other than the wonderful beer itself, the name of the brewery that makes it is awesome; Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof. Say that five times fast, or try to pronoun it correctly once. Bahnhof is train station and German and the brewery is actually located inside of an old train station. Cool.

When I was in Germany I didn’t get the chance to visit Leipzig but I would love to go back and make a visit to this brewery if I ever found myself in Germany again. I HIGHLY suggest this one, even to people who don’t like sour beers. It is non-aggressive which makes it a great intro beer to the style.

On a side note does anyone have any idea what the red netting pictured above is actually for? I assume it is to keep the bottles from crashing into one another, but I honestly have no idea. (more…)