Thanks to imperialking for this beer in our recent trade.
Pours a slightly darkened gold color with a frothy finger thick foam. The head displays some good retention with some soapy lacing on the glass.
Decoction indeed. Very deep layer of malt on the nose, incredibly malty, sweet caramel, toffee, sweet toast, very German-like malt intensity, and a floral and slightly spicy hop aroma. I get a slightly heavy and syrupy feeling from this beer just with the smell. The malt seems to create a low ester profile with hints of candied fruits, apples and pears. As it warms up there is a sort of a buttery sweetness or powdered sugar aroma, more like a slight piloncillo and honey note.
Again, very malty and complex malt flavors but with a nice dryness and carbonation level to balance out the sweetness. A bit of floral hop flavor in the finish. Light notes of caramel, sweet apple, bread crust but not really toasted, slightly dough-like bread flavor, lightly toasted malt. Low bitterness near the end and back of the palate but just enough to create some balance, good hop flavor though. Somewhat earthy, floral, and increasingly spicy hop flavor with each sip. Sometimes I get a drier and spicier/floral finish and in some sips I get a cleaner finish with a trace of malt sweetness in the end and some floral notes. Lovely.
Moderate carbonation with a very creamy and smooth finish. Drinkability? I need to slow down drinking this so I can finish this review...I knew one bottle wouldn't be enough! I wish there were more well made lagers like this available. New Glarus has a masterpiece with this one.
I'm almost sure if this one was a bit fresher on the hop profile that it would have score a tad higher.