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Judge's Review: 87 Rating - Gratzer by Seedstock Brewery

July, 2020

Gratzer

Judges Rating: 
87
Aroma: 
23 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Gratzer by Seedstock Brewery falls under the #27 of the Historical Beer category of the 2015 BJCP as a Piwo Grodziskie. This is typically a Polish beer utilizing smoked wheat malt that makes it unique. This beer is different from a German Rauchbier in these certain areas. The smoked aroma/flavor profile is lighter and can be quite subtle. Also, the color is straw-colored and light. Whereas, the Rauchbier is much smokier in aroma and flavor. The color profile can vary from anywhere from brown/dark brown to black.

The pour for this beer revealed a surprisingly clear (almost transparent!). If anything, it had a very, very light-yellow hue. The carbonation was there. It had a nice head with small, tiny bubbles and good head retention. Again, because of its light color and tremendous carbonation it reminded me of champagne in appearance. The pour also revealed light smokiness that wasn't necessarily overpowering, but you knew it was there – with nothing else (no hop notes). The flavor of this beer reflected the aroma. I was expecting a much smokier taste in the profile if judging by the aroma of the beer, but it was very subtle. Yes, the smoky charcoal flavor was there, but it wasn't overwhelming (and it shouldn't be). This Polish beer should have a light smoke flavor and they got it just right. Also, this beer should have a somewhat moderate hop bitterness, but this was lacking somewhat. A touch more hops would have made this beer a bit more flavorful. This is a low-gravity, low-alcohol beer and it hits the mark with a 3.2 percent ABV. Light malt flavor and low ABV make this beer's body and mouthfeel very light. The carbonation again is impressive and sparkling in the palate. A very-light, easy-drinking ale with a subtle hint of smokiness in the flavor. Very good reflection as a historical beer, but it needs just a bit more hops for bitterness would improve it.

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