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Session Black Lager

23 September, 2009 5 comments

“I myself am often surprised by life’s little quirks” – Westley, The Princess Bride

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Quirks are unusual occurrences, and along with Westley, I am continually surprised by them. Having just written about session drinking I was delighted to come across a beer that is (in taste) the very essence of a session beer. I was offered this little brew at a friend’s house, and despite my not generally considering myself a lager drinker, I nonetheless accepted the offer. I have to be honest here and say that had it not been a black beer I may have declined.

Black lagers are outside my ken, so this was a first for me. I have to say that I was quite delighted by this brew, from the first pour to the last drop, and I dare say that I could have enjoyed another one or two of them on the night. Of course it pours a dark brown-black, with a feathery head, and a malty nose is apparent almost immediately. When I stuck my nose in the glass I was delighted to get a sweet and faintly chocolate-and-toffee whiff, reminiscent of the bonfire toffee of my youth.

Session Black Lager

Session Black Lager

The flavour is mild, the body understandably light and refreshing, but there’s a slight fruitiness that again came as something of a surprise. I really wanted to quaff it and go back for a second helping, but I failed in that regard, although I see a future in which a few of these will sit in the fridge for those easy session-beer evenings with a few friends.

At 5.8% ABV it’s stronger than I’d drink in a serious evening session, but it really is an easy beer to drink, neither challenging or complex, yet yummy enough that I would stock up a little so that I can have a cold one or three when I fancy it. Unusually, it comes in an 11-ounce bottle, slightly smaller than “regulation” beer size, and that may account for New Sail calling it “Session” – you’d possibly still drink the same number of bottles in an evening, without all that tedious getting plastered.

I’d be curious what would happen if I let it warm up a little as it was served at fridge temperature. Next time I’ll pour a pint so I can see what happens as the chill slips away. Maybe one of these evenings I will do just that, and I’ll be sure to let you know my findings. Meantime, if you come across this one, do give it a whirl and prepare to be as surprised as I was.

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