After a few weeks of themed releases, we’re going back to One Drop basics with a trio of incredibly disparate beer styles. One German classic, one collaboration IPA, and an amazingly viscous fruited sour. It’s a proverbial whiplash of extremes and that’s just the way we like it.
Vienna Lager. No silly names, no fluorescent can art, no special hopping regimes, no adjuncts. Just a pure as the driven snow lager beer. And what a bloody beer it is too. Honestly, it’s hard to image a beer that could possible look better in a glass than this one. It’s almost a shame to have to drink such a beauteous sight. It’s a dazzlingly clean and clear light copper with a fluffy off-white head that clings to the glass.
Hopped with the closely related noble hops Saaz and Tettnang, the aroma is heavy on the spice and light on the floral with toasty malts shining through. There’s a lovely coterie of malt flavours at the base with honey biscuits and lightly toasted bread playing off against a hefty bitterness that finishes crisp and dry. Superb gear.
Yet another collaboration IPA, this time with Serbia’s Dogma Brewery. High Grade is a proper collaboration with both breweries developing the recipe together and then brewing the beer at their respective breweries at the same time. For many, this will be the first taste of the Styrian Wolf hop variety, one of a new generation of fruit-forward European hops. Together with the Slovenian Wolf, we’ve got Aussie Vic Secret and Nelson Sauvin direct from Aoteroa. This results in a tropical fruit punch of passionfruit, mango, pulpy orange juice and elderflower cordial. The very light colour on the beer is indicative of a malt body that exists purely to serve the hops. It’s smooth and fulsome with a sticky bitterness and a lengthy finish. High Grade is a thoroughly balanced and delicious example of a modern IPA.
Finally, we have one of the most unlikely entries into the GABS Hottest 100 of 2022, We Jammin’. This beer has been a big hit at One Drop HQ so they’ve rebrewed it for all your smoothie heads out there. At only 6.2 percent ABV, this is at the lighter end of most of One Drop’s big fruity boys, but that’s just about the only thing that’s light about it.
It’s been a few months since the last time I’ve had a smoothie sour and I feel like I’m never quite prepared for just how thick these things are. They don’t pour as much as thud into the glass. No doubt kilos upon kilos of mango, guava and banana purée have turned this kettle sour into a breakfast juice smoothie. Added vanilla, lactose and oats bring a cake batter character and a mouth-coating pulpiness. I don’t know what could possibly be the cause but the sourness appears as a sort of mouth-tingling acidity that’s held at bay by a sort of superficial sweetness that quickly evaporates. When you’re good, you’re good. And One Drop are very good.
Published May 8, 2023 2023-05-08 00:00:00