“Düsseldorf Altbier style. ‘Alt’ means ‘old’ in German but in this case does not refer to an aged beer, it simply reflects that in Germany, ale brewing is considered the old way of fermenting as opposed to lager beers which are (relatively) newer. Big on flavour yet retaining the drinkability of a session ale as it the way of the brewpubs and beer taverns in Duesseldorf.Like it’s ‘hybrid’ cousin the Koelschbier (German Ale), the extra fruitiness created by the use of warmer temperatures during primary fermentation customary for an ale is smoothed out an extended cold conditioning similar to a lager.”
Glassware: English Pint.
Appearance: Deep amber with candy red highlights. Only manages a short head which quickly peels back to the rim. Laced reasonably well considering the lack of retention.
Aroma: Very traditional Amber Ale here – kinda earthy, gritty and a little yeasty but still dominated by the gorgeous toffee, burnt caramel, fig, mixed nuts, toasty malt and baker’s chocolate. Some tart dark berries and fruits i.e cherry and plum also coming through. Subtle straw and wheat grains as well. Good depth and complexity.
Flavour: Nice transition from the nose. That same gritty earthy-ness offsets all the sweet malt characters perfectly. Some classic German yeast esters peeking through with the doughy/toasty malts coming out the other side and delivering a slightly dry and earthy finish with delicate dark fruits on the rear.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and a little creamy. Nice frothy Co2, medium body. 4.7% ABV spot on for the style.
Overall: It’s always good to break the cycle of edgy new world beers with a traditional old favourite. If there’s any Aussie brewery (apart from Jindy Brewing) that can brew a German beer as good as the Germans it’s Zierholz. Solid.