Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mill Street Brewery - Seasonal Double Shot - Extra Special Bitter & Franconian Bock

Extra Special Bitter
ABV 4.6% (Bottled in Mill Street Seasonal Six pack)

From the Bottle


"Our multiple award winning ESB is a traditional British pub ale brewed with English floor-malted pale ale malt and hops. The resulting copper-hued beauty is a beguiling balance of flavours that make it as classic fire-side pint."


Now you know

"Bitter" is an English term for pale ale. Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume. Where "bitter" is used it indicates a pale ale of lower alcohol content brewed in a less hop-focused style than typical American pale ales.


The Pour

Crisp, clean with a light maple syrup colour that is almost orange. There is no head at all but some refreshing looking carbonation.


Aroma

Wonderful light, sweet, malty nose. Very English as promised.


Taste

Smooth, medium bodied mouth feel. Quite pleasant and refreshing carbonation for an ale. It's very light on taste though, which isn't surprising considering the light beer ABV. A light refresher of an ale, but some more hops or malt flavours would be welcome. That being said, you can tell it's brewed with pale ale hops and malts. It has an unmistakable pale ale feel with bitterness and brightness in the mouth that a usual pub ale wouldn't, just not a lot of it.


Overall Impressions

I would say this is what it says it is, a "traditional British pub ale". Although I think it has a bit more life to it because of it's pale ale roots. Still, it wasn't very memorable. C+.


Franconian Bock

ABV 7% (Bottled in Mill Street Seasonal Six pack)

From the Bottle

"Our uber-traditional strong lager beer is made exclusively from malt imported from Franconia in north Bavaria. These richly flavoured malts produce a warming caramel palate that when combined with German hops from the Hallertau produce a deeply decadent winter beer style that's born in the heart of Germany and brewed fresh here by Mill Street. Prost!"


Now you know

The Hallertau or Holledau is an area in Bavaria, Germany. At 178 km², it is listed as the largest continuous hop-planting area in the world. According to the International Hop Growing Convention, Germany produces roughly one third of the world's hops (used as flavoring and stabilizers during beer brewing), over 80% of which are grown in the Hallertau.


The Pour


Nice amber colour, no head. Well carbonated.


Aroma


Sweet malt with the bite of heavier hops. I detected a bit of cinnamon under the malty sweetness which was a nice surprise.


Taste

Smooth, medium/full bodied, balanced mouth feel. It has some nice kick and a bit of warmth in the chest. It starts to develop rather nicely throughout the bottle, showing some roast and almost dessert like spicy flavours that really helped me taste the 'winter beer' styling.

Overall Impressions

A tasty lager with a nice warm bite. I'd call it a sup'd up version of the ESB on a scale of body and flavour and ABV. This is no where near the dark, spicy, warmth and complexity of the Garrison spiced holiday ale I had last week, but it is definitely a nice beer that's just different enough to keep your attention even if you may not find the "deeply decadent" layers promised. B-.


Overall Overall - These are two brews that show what Mill Street does best, make light flavoured beers that may not always be challenging, but always deliver on taste and drinkability. I'll never pass up trying a new Mill Street. These two are nice special additions to their seasonal winter six pack, and show what they can brew outside of their usual brands.

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