Thanks to Joe Weitlispach for giving me this beer last week. Ironically I was able to first to try this in Brooklyn this past weekend during the Pre-reception gathering of the wedding of my cousin Erin and her fiance Daniel. Nevertheless I felt I was due to review it as the can has been sitting in the fridge.
Appearance: Rustic amber with a persistently rising carbonation from the base of the glass. The head is extremely well sustained and off white in color. I leaves behind a dry lacing. Relatively clear.
Aroma: Initial impression is immediately oxidation - wet cardboard. There is for sure a bit of a phenolic undertone as well, reminiscent of electrical tape. However, underneath there are notes of caramel and a balance of leafy hops.
Taste: The flavor definitely leaves the off-flavors to a lesser degree on the palate, but I do notice a bit of an underattenuated dough-ball flavor right in the foretaste of the malt. The finish does leave somewhat of the phenolic bandage flavor, but also in conjunction with a leafy dry hop bitterness (though somewhat stale).. For sure on the sweet side of the lager category. Especially as the beer dries, the caramel bill begins to be more exposed. The hops remain the same. Neutral in the form of crisp leafy bitterness. A bit acidic in the stomach.
Mouthfeel: Even from the color, initial perception lead me to think heavier than the normal light American lager. The carbonation did nothing to help, though as it was on the lower side, perhaps giving more room for the hops to be more pronounced. Finish is dry and aftertaste is prolonged.
Overall Impression: Not really my cup-O-beer, but aside from the potential off flavors, the beer does have a good balance to it, and surely more flavor than Miller/Coors. Interestingly, many of these flavors were absent from the beer I tried in Brooklyn. It may go to show, if the beer can't handle the trip, maybe it's meant to stay local...
You are better off trying beer on their stellar end: Black Chocolate Stout