Friday, October 25, 2013

Norwich Inn Porch Rocker Red

The second beer out of five samples at the Norwich Inn is a Vienna-style lager. This style is not typically found around Burlington with the exception of Trapp Lager so I was excited to see how it matched up. I find it to be a very approachable style of beer for almost any occasion and would like to see more craft versions of this in the future.

They have a variety of sized glasses and prices ranging from $3/ half up to $6 for any premium beverage. Small samples are available for individual purchase or a flight of 5.

Aroma: Malty, possibly even a touch of roasted barley but this is not typical of the style. Nonetheless I get a strange sense of roast. Also comes across as a mild chocolate malt character and is very rich and smooth. Maltiness can be described as a deep melanoidin character, clearly dominating the hops - little or no hop aromas as far as I can tell. Fermentation character is clean/ esters are restrained and appropriate to style.
Appearance: Dirty glass as shown by bubbles clinging all around the inside walls, making it difficult to even see through the beer. When they finally dissipated the beer showcased a deep amber red or light brown with great clarity.
Flavor: Malt notes of Vienna and Munich gives a deeper, rich, grainy blend of sweetness. Dried fruit notes of cherry are possibly a result of the malts. Finish is semi-dry, with malts lending a degree of bitterness from darker grains. I found this to be very odd as it crosses over into the Irish red style. Hop flavors are very minimal, with just enough bitterness to help lift some of the malt sweetness. Take this next sentence with a grain of salt: roasted finish reminds me of a bitter herb with notes of mint or menthol.
Mouthfeel: Moderate body with high carbonation. I'm still working on picking out sulfur notes in lager yeast but I'll mention it in this one for future reference. Alcohol is restrained. Serving temperature is great. A light astringency from the grains. Melanoidins give a relatively more viscous mouthfeel for me, or in other words harder to put down the hatch.
Overall Impression: I found it to be too dark for the style with too much malty sweetness lingering into the aftertaste. Strange notes of roasted grain is inappropriate in this beer. This should be a very approachable lager. I give the point to Trapp's Vienna lager over this example but I like to say that beer choice is always a personal preference based on individual differences in perceptions.

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