YellowBelly Brewery Labrador Lager – Maibock at 6.5% ABV | 30 IBU

YellowBelly Brewery Labrador Lager Maibock (Helles Bock) at 6.5% ABV | 30 IBU (C$9.34 at NLC Howley Estates, 1 l, best before 29-Dec-2017, acquired 19-Nov-2016, reviewed 25-Nov-2016)

Appearance: clear deep gold with a short, short-lived white head, poor retention and no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lightly toasted malt, earthy and grassy, light spice. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light spice. (8/10) Medium body, moderate-soft carbonation, short duration bitter and lightly spicy finish. (4/5)

To be utterly blunt, I wasn’t expecting much – whenever a beer has “lager” in the name, I’m generally disappointed. This, however, is decent. (And no, not “decent for a lager”: just plain decent.) It’s a bit unfortunate that they decided to incorporate “lager” into the name, actually, because at 6.5% ABV, 6 or 7 SRM, and 30 IBU, this bears about as much resemblance to North American pale adjunct lagers as chalk does to cheese. The label calls it a Helles Bock, and I’m inclined to agree with that style designation. I’ve lumped it in with Maibock because BJCP does so, and though it’s a tad light for a Maibock, it’s not completely out-of-spec. It’s certainly a whole bunch deeper in flavour and colour than a standard Helles Lager, so classifying that way would be misleading. It has clean, lightly toasted malt leading the way, with earthy and grassy noble hops in the background, and a lightly spicy finish. Quite pleasant, actually, and good enough that I wouldn’t mind picking up another. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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