Altbier • 5.2 % ABV • Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Time for another beer following the theme of candy.
My next beer comes from craft beer pros, Brewdog and comes in the form of an altbier – A style of beer traditionally brewed in and around the German city of Düsseldorf.
“Alt” literally translates to “Old” in German and “Bier” translates to Beer”.
Generally, altbiers are top fermented like standard ales, at temperature that allows the fruity esters to come through. They are then conditioned at cooler temperatures for long periods to help produce a cleaner, crisper taste.
The term “Old” is said to come from one of these two brewing methods. The first being the method of top fermenting (Ales) which was an older method in terms of German brewing than bottom fermenting (Lagers).
The second being the length of time to beer spends cool conditioning, which is longer than more traditional ales.
Brewdog have allowed the malts to do all the talking in Candy Kaiser by reducing the dry-hopping to zero but notching up the quantities of malts used to create toasty, toffee and floral notes.
Let’s see what Brewdog’s Altbier is all about.
Kandy Kaiser is medium amber in colour and produces a massive, off white head which really lasts. Cloudy as you like, this altbier looks rich and full.
The aroma is really malt forward, offering a grainy malt character with crusty bread elements. Beyond the malts sits the hops which offer a little peppery spiciness. The overall aroma is not too complex and pretty subtle.
Where the aroma was subtly, the flavour is far bigger. Big malty kick of sweet caramel, toasted bread and a lager graininess starts things off. The malt complexity blends with the Magnum & Hersbrucker hops which give spice and pepper to offer a long-lasting bitterness. The spiciness of the seems to become more prominent the more you drink but the malts manage to fight their way through.
Kandy Kaiser is a medium\full bodied altbier with a medium/high level of carbonation. It’s not a heavy beer despite the ingredients and is actually an easy drinker.
A good example of an altbier though not crystal clear as per the BJCP guidelines would have us believe. Whilst the aroma isn’t as complex as described, the flavour certainly is and packs a punch.
If you have had an opportunity to try a bottle then visit @biertaster and let me know what you thought of Brewdog’s Candy Kaiser.