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Sean Coughlin's picture

Judge's Review: 97 Rating - Mexican Empire by Arches Brewing

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Mexican Empire by Arches Brewing is a Vienna Lager (2015 BJCP Category 7A) and is being evaluated as such according to the 2015 BJCP style guidelines. 

The initial aroma of this beer is all malt – toasted bread and bread crust are prominent. The malt aroma is straightforward and does a great job of displaying a rich breadiness/nuttiness without adding anything superficial. There are no hops or other aromatics present and the fermentation profile is exceptionally clean without any hint of sulfur or fruitiness.

The beer is an attractive amber with a strong, tightly packed light-khaki head. The clarity on this beer is exceptional and highlights an appearance that truly whets the appetite. The flavor follows the aroma with a rich, bread crust-laden malt showcase that appropriately lacks any caramel character. The bitterness is moderately low but balances the malt well. There is a light floral/herbal hop flavor that is pleasant and adds just a little touch of something special to this offering to makes it flawlessly well-rounded. The beer is moderately dry with a lingering aftertaste of rich malt. The mouthfeel consists of a medium-low body, moderate carbonation and a light creaminess that makes it even easier to drink. 

A truly remarkable example of the style that showcases high-quality malt and doesn’t seem to sacrifice flavor by using adjuncts like many modern interpretations. If European Lager styles are truly making a comeback, this beer should stand out as one of the reasons why. A world-class Vienna Lager that should be sought out wherever possible.