Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trapp Golden Helles

After attending the Hill Farmstead's brewery anniversary, I decided to stop by the Trapp on the way home. While sampling a flight of all of their beers on tap (4) for just $7, I was visited by a few other friendly faces from the Hill Farmstead. The first one I sampled was of course the lightest, a Golden (Munich) Helles. This one lends an easy drinking, crisp character suitable for any occasion.

Alcohol Content: 4.8%
Malts: Pilsner, ?
Hops: ?

Price: $7/ Flight of four
Medium: 4oz samplers/ small juice glass

Aroma: Dominated by its grainy pilsner malt presence that comes across as a pleasant malt sweetness. My first whiff encountered DMS notes but I quickly lost this scent with subsequent whiffs. Very clean fermentation character as shown by its lack of esters or diacetyl. The grains are favored over the faint noble hop character. Its like holding your head in a bin full of pilsner malt.
Appearance: A light haze is present - perhaps not as clear as a Helles should be but I didn't have another one to compare it to right then. Color is pale gold, changing to a straw yellow towards the bottom (appeared less dense). It was poured in a way that created a thin film of white foam only around the edges - probably to maximize the sample but I prefer a little more head formation to show off the beer's character. It therefore lacked an otherwise typical creamy head.
Flavor: On the sweeter, more grainy pils malt side for a Helles. Its bitterness creeps up slowly and plays more of a minor/ supporting role. Hop flavor is light and spicy/ noble. Grains come back around in the finish and easily overtake the hop flavors/ bitterness. Finish is only moderately crisp with the aftertaste remaining malty and sweet. Some DMS flavors reminiscent of creamed corn. No Diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: A moderately light body pairs with a moderately high carbonation to lend its drinkability. No astringency. Everything feels very clean with no trace of alcohol presence. Malty but feels well attenuated, adding to its lighter mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: As expected of the style, the Golden Helles emphasizes its malt character with a light hop addition to balance the pilsner malt sweetness. Its malty sweet finish is stylistically accurate but I would have liked to see this toned down a little. It comes across as a bit too grainy. Pair with soft or mild cheese or lighter foods like salads, seafood, and pork. Its lighter than the Vienna Lager (next on the flight), but also not as light as an American lager. I overheard a man with a thick Austrian accent try to order it with sprite. Although the brewery didn't have sprite at the bar, I was informed this is a great mixed drink.

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