Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spoetzl Brewery: Shiner Old-Time Alt

During my various trips to Texas I've enjoyed Shiner Bock and 101 many times. Now that I live in the biggest red state on the map I've found that Shiner has quickly become my go to session beer. I've always been one for buying local and Spoetzl is about a heck of a lot closer than a lot of other breweries so I'm considering it local. Their beers are always of consistent quality and very reasonably priced. Last evening I picked up a mixed case of Shiner entitled the Shiner Family Reunion. The case includes six different styles: Blonde, Bock, Hefeweizen, Kosmos (Dry hopped Lager), Black Lager, and Old-Time alt (Dusseldorf Altbier).

It's been quite some time since I've written any reviews. This seems like a good place to start. I'm going to review each of the six beers included in the Family reunion starting with Shiner Old-Time Alt.

Instead of rambling on about my thoughts as I have done in the past I'm implementing a standard by which I will review beers. I've decided to use four categories. Appearance, Aroma, Flavor, and Mouth feel. Each category will be scored on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 - Terrible, 2 - Poor, 3 - Average, 4 - Good, 5 - Excellent) for a total of 20.The score will be totaled and averaged against the total of 20. Anything that scores below 60% is something that I would not consume again. Each beer will be compared to the standard of its respective style. This should make it much easier for the reader to follow. So, onto the first one.

Shiner Old-Time Alt.

Style: Amber Hybrid beer - Dusseldorf Alt

Vessel: Nonic (poured from 12oz bottle)

Appearance: Crystal clear copper color that appears to be about 17 SRM. Does not hold a head like a Dusseldorf Alt should. In fact the head was almost nonexistent, it collapsed entirely in a matter of seconds. (2/5)

Aroma: Clean with a rich aroma of malt. Low peppery hop aroma. (2/5)

Flavor: Bitter hop flavor balanced by a moderate crisp malt character. Bitter dry finish. No alcohol flavor present. (3/5)

Mouth Feel: Medium bodied. Not warming or astringent. (4/5)

Overall: This particular brew reminded me more of an overly malty Special Bitter than a Dusseldorf Alt. I did enjoy it but it doesn't quite hold up to the standards of its style. I was especially disappointed in the weak head because Dusseldorf Alts are known for a rich creamy long lasting head. I would not seek this out for a second session. (11/20) 55%

 - Jay

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