Today I have the 2nd beer in Serria Nevada’s 30th Anniversary line of beers. This time around we have an Imperial Helles Bock. This lager was brewed in conjunction with and to honor two influential homebrewers and authors who have contributed a great deal to the community; Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhardt. While not my favorite style, andÂ definitelyÂ not a common one I think it is an appropriate approach toÂ appreciateÂ two veryÂ knowledgeableÂ men who have motivated so many to to experience the joy of homebrewing.
Pours a very light translucent copper hue. A massive three plus finger head is easily created and consists of a bouquet of tight white bubbles that quickly dissapate leaving only a few bubbles around the rim after about three minutes. Smells somewhat sharply of lager yeast, gentle alcohol, soft lemon and orange . Tastes of lager yeast, smooth malty sweetness, hints of caramel, gentle citrus and very soft bitterness. Clean simple hop notes contrast well with the sweet malt base and allow the yeasts gentle herbal characters to shine through brilliantly. Other than gentle notes on the noes one will be hard pressed to realize this lager is 8.3% ABV until you’ve consumed most of the bottle. As it warms a few astringent flavors show their face but over all the flavors of this beer are relatively clean and enjoyable. While not a style of brew I regularly compliment this lager was well thought out and well crafted. Those who enjoy the rare Helles as large as this will be glad they opted to try it. As will those who enjoy clean, reasonably crisp, full flavored light lager. If you’re still able to find a bottle, give it a shot and ride your bike.