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Dan Martich's picture

Judge’s Review: 90 Rating –20th Anniversary Raven Special Lager Premium Edition by RavenBeer

August, 2018
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

20th Anniversary Raven Special Lager Premium Edition by RavenBeer is being evaluated as a Vienna Lager  (Category 7A) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

This beer poured a rich gold color with a tight foamy white head that persisted a rather long time. The clarity was brilliantly clear allowing you to see its high effervescent quality.

Moderate malt richness awakens the olfactory system with notes of toasted sourdough and biscotti sweetness. No hop aromas were detected, but very low fruity esters were found in the second pour. It seems interesting for a lager to portray esters given the nature of the yeast and fermentation temperature.  There’s a light citrus lime note as it warms, and some sulfur way out in the distance.  

Flavored in the way of rich maltiness, toasted bread as perceived in the aroma and biscuits that follow into a sweet finish. The aftertaste is perfumy as if floral hops were used, instead of the spicy Saaz type the guidelines mention. The balance is tilted a little hard toward the malt side, with very little bitterness.  This may be a modern day example of the style, given the sweeter malt characteristics.   

With a medium-light body and medium carbonation this beer appears lightly smooth with no puckery astringency. Yet I can see the mouthfeel becoming cloying at times.

The rich malt character makes this a delicious-tasting beer and one to have during the fall weather while doing some outdoor activities. The malt sweetness can become a bit overwhelming for some palates; and may resemble the modern-day Marzen style. The soft maltiness and moderate bitterness hallmark of the Vienna style is not as apparent. Otherwise, it's a very good and drinkable beer to be paired with contrasting foods like the ones found at a fall festival near you.