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Jason Johnson's picture

Unchained #20 Sticke Alt

November, 2015
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Altbiers are generally fermented with ale yeast at cooler temperatures, giving you a cleaner fermentation than most ales require. The stronger version of the altbier style pours a clear, deep, nearly brown amber. The cream-colored, long-lasting head is well formed, with tight compact bubbles. The aroma is mostly deep, complex, toasty melanoidin malt with some reserved chocolate and a little toffee in the background. The hop presence is a decidedly spicy noble hop varietal. The aroma is clean, with just the faintest hint of alcohol.

The flavor matches closely with the aroma, with some nice, slightly sweet and rich malt flavors. A little nutty, a bit of toast, and some chocolate is apparent. While it starts out sweet, the finish is a bit dry, with help from the moderate hop bitterness. The moderately spicy hop flavor comes through nicely, and the balance is perfect for the style: It’s well-balanced with a minor bias towards the malt. The body is medium, with a higher than normal carbonation character. The alcohol presence is not hot or boozy in the least, but there is a slight alcohol warming sensation, especially as the beer itself warms up.

All in all, this was a great example of a higher-strength Altbier; if you’re looking for a great altbier in the states, this is the beer you'll want to find.