Sunday, September 22, 2013

VT Pub & Brewery Vienna Rye

The Vienna Rye is a pub version of an amber Vienna-style lager with a twist of rye. The rye grain will provide a spicy, grainy finish while the rest of the beer should closely resemble a soft, elegant maltiness and noble hop character.

Alcohol Content: ?
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: $4/ Pint
Medium: American Shaker Pint Glass

Aroma: I had a particularly hard time distinguishing aromas due to its light body or delicacy - almost lacking any character. Hops were faint and fermentation character was subdued, appropriate for a lager. Only a touch of spice from the rye malt, otherwise a soft malt profile as expected. No fruity esters nor caramel malt, also appropriate.
Appearance: Great lacing. More bubbly than the other typical pub-style brews served from the VPB. Most look very still or low in carbonation. Low white head pour lingers for quite some time. Good clarity and copper or light amber in color.
Flavor: Soft maltiness upfront reminiscent of bread crust or toast. It was like chewing on mashed grains without all of the sweetness from unfermented wort. The aromatic maltiness fades into a bitterness I found to be more assertive for the style. It should be slightly more malt balanced but I found the bitterness to be in favor. Nonetheless, the bittering properties felt very clean. Same goes for the clean maltiness. Finish is just a touch of spicy yet pleasant grain. I found little to no hop flavors, perhaps masked by the rye.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with a creamy texture due to the nature of the VPB serving style (mixed nitrogen gas). Not exactly what I would expect or want from a lager. Light carbonation (also perceived from the nitrogen gas dispense). What I do like is the slightly warmer serving temperature, which may not be appropriate for the lager style. No alcohol warmth. Some slickness. It did not have a crisp finish as I anticipated. Instead, the bitterness and spicy rye grain create the opposite.
Overall Impression: I'm not sure but I noted melanoidin sweetness, or a deeper sweetness with a more malty mouthfeel typical of rich, dark beers like Bock. My feeling on this interpretation is that the rye character was a little too much for the soft maltiness that makes the Vienna lager such a unique, historical style. I'm gaining more appreciation for lagers and malt accentuated beers and would have liked to see a beer to compete with Trapp's Vienna Lager, the only other Vienna around as far as I know.

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