This week's beer is Jacobsen Dark Lager, brewed by Carlsberg.
It wasn't as dark as I assumed. That shows my foolishness by thinking it would be something of a black beer, just because it was labeled dark. Now I feel like a beer amateur. In truth, it was burnt orange to light brown in color. As I read about it, that made sense. This style is a Munich dunkel, as opposed to a helles - which is a golden colored lager. So, a brown lager would be dark. Duh.
It had a very thin head that dissipated quickly, like a thin layer of fog whisked away by a quiet breeze. It was white and populated with small bubbles while it lasted.
Take a deep breath as it fills your glass. What will you smell? A bready, biscuity malt aroma. My first thoughts were of pilsner malts. Indeed, that is part of the grist bill. Also in the aroma is the spectre of caramel and nuts. I only perceived the hops towards the end of the beer, after it had warmed up. Then the noble Hersbrucker aroma peeked out.
The malt aroma is mirrored in the flavor. It's a malty sweet beer - not so sweet that it's candy, of course. Just a well-balanced, malt heavy, medium bodied beer. It fills the mouth, lingering just long enough to make an impression. Again there is the hint of caramel and some raisin.
According to the style guidelines of both the Brewer's Association and the Beer Judge Certification Program, all of this is appropriate for this style. The cool thing is, I picked it all out before reading the style guidelines! I rock - for the moment.
This Dark Lager is a terrific beer. It's 5.8% abv, mildly sweet and is a clean, crisp drink. If you're sick of the hop bombs that are so prominent in the beer world today, you'll relish the maltiness of the Munich dunkel style.
Be sure to check out the Jacobsen website. Not only does it discuss the philosophy behind the beers but it also offers some toothsome dining recipes. The pairing of veal and dark lager sounds wonderful. If you try it out before I do, please leave some comments about it.