John C. Tull's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Low & Slow Helles by Westbrook Brewing Co.

August, 2020
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
33 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Low & Slow Helles by Westbrook Brewing Co. was judged as a Munich Helles (4A). The aroma has the grainy-sweet quality desired in a Heller lager with just a hint of noble hop herbal character. The appearance is bright pale-gold with a light, persistent off-white head. The hop flavor asserts itself much like a German Pils rather than a Munich Helles. The water seems minerally with high sulfates, also more like a German Pilsner than a Helles. The malt grain finishes crisp with a bite from hops bitterness and carbonic acid from carbonation; a Munich Helles should be more malt-centric and rounder in the finish. The body is medium with fairly aggressive carbonation. This is a great lager and a very enjoyable beer, but it also exemplifies the challenge of judging beer when you have to assign a style based on the marketing and naming of a beer. If the beer were labeled a German Pils, the score would be 8-10 points higher. Consider that as you ponder trying this beer, which I recommend you do if you are a fan of European lagers as this is a really well-made lager.