The beer arrives from the tap with a lightly hazy, full gold colored beer. The head is a wispy, pale, off-white colored head. The aroma has a malt dominated aroma to it at first with notes of cracker-like grain, fresh crushed malt, and a sweet hearty grain character. There is a nice spiciness to this beer from the hops to round the nose out.
The taste is lightly sweet with complex pale malt flavors; notes of bread, whole grain cracker notes, some toffee touches and maybe even a touch of butterscotch at times (though this is not diacetyl driven). This has a viscous mouthfeel to it, with a definite heft, though it is not cloying (it is just about right for a bock); this is chewy enough, but still quite drinkable. This has a biting bitter finish to it that seems more apparent than the listed 20 IBU would suggest (which is actually quite nice as it balances the malt quite well, though it is perhaps a touch more than traditional). The hop character provides flavors of minty-herbal notes as well as a touch of lemon zest. Toasty malt flavors get accented a bit more when this is paired with food, this also boosts the spicy notes (it even gets a bit peppery) that come from both the hops and the carbonation.
This beer turned out quite well; it is malt forward, but it has a solid hop presence that makes things quite a bit more interesting.
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