Sunday, May 20, 2012

VT Pub & Brewery - Summer's Alt

The Vermont Pub & Brewery Summer's Alt is stylistic of a Northern German Altbier. The brewpub describes it as a light to medium bodied copper ale with subtle maltiness and assertive bitterness with a Hallertau hop finish. This example leans towards the higher range of bitterness for the style. I was sitting next to the owner of restaurant while sipping on a pint of this favorable style of mine.

Alcohol Content: ?
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: Hallertau, ?

Price: $1/ 3oz sample; $3/ 8oz; $4/ 12oz
Medium: Pint Glass

Aroma: Soft malty/ grainy aroma with moderately low fruity esters adding an appropriate level of yeast character. No diacetyl or other major off-flavors. I get hints of deep caramel and chocolate notes but mostly softer malt sweetness. Perhaps the darker malts were used for minor color adjustments and faintly come through in the aroma. Hops are moderately spicy/ noble.
Appearance: Creamy off-white head with decent retention and bubbly lace. Deep copper to red-brown in color. Carbonation seems moderately low.
Flavor: Soft malty sweetness starts out and rounds off cleanly in the finish. Bitterness is pleasant and somewhat spicy. The hops have an unusually thick, resiny bite in the finish and aftertaste. Very faint roasted grain and deep caramel notes - again probably used for coloring. Alcohol is well hidden by the malts and hops. After taking a few sips my interests turned to its water profile, which I believe to have added a slightly sulfury note in both the flavor and aroma.
Mouthfeel: Like some of the brewpub's other beers, I immediately noted the slightly warmer temperature than you would find at most bars or restaurants. It was also in the lower range for carbonation which may contribute to its smoothness. I found it to be a little watery or thin but maintains enough body for the style. Moderately low amount of drying in the aftertaste of which increases with subsequent sips. I walked away with a lingering dryness but generally pleasant mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: Generally balanced between malts and hops but I was very surprised to find a unique sour character thrown in the mix - not typical for the style. The sourness and bitterness may add to its slight puckering quality, making me want to roll my tongue over my teeth. Overall an easy-drinking beer and still one of my favorite styles.

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