adventures in craft beer and real food

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tasting Notes: Capital Maibock

How time flies! I know that I've been somewhat negligent in keeping with my promise to review a maibock every week of May.

Well... maybe I'll still get around to reviewing four of them.

Our next stop on the Maibock tour bus takes us to Middleton, Wisconsin, home of Capital Brewery, which is one of the finest lager breweries I know.

The beer pours a beauiful light copper color that demonstrates extraordinary clarity. There was moderate carbonation that somehow managed to raise a monster head that lasted about three minutes in my pint glass. After that, a spotty, white film was all that was left of the head. No lacing was evident, as is consistent with the style of the beer.

The aroma consists of strong malt flavor, freshly baked sourdough, and steel. Surprisingly, no ethanol scent was observed.

But the real brilliance of the beer is exhibited in its flavor.

The taste seems like a kaleidoscope of flavors where as soon as you think you've pinned one of them down, it's turned imperceptably into something else. The first is a heavy hand of malt, which fades gracefully into sourdough bread, then before you know it is tangerine, and finally orange. Flavor hits the palate decisively and remains for a while before receding fairly quickly. The beer is slightly more viscous than I was expecting, which could contribute to the impression of completeness of flavor experience. Despite having light to moderate hopping, it was surprisingly easy to drink. Unlike the Sprecher Mai Bock, which I reviewed previously, this beer is not dry hopped. The Capital beer also differs from the Sprecher one in that this beer has no obvious yeast flavor.

There's definitely a big beer flavor to this beer, but I couldn't taste any ethanol. And that's despite the fact that I could sense the effects of the alcohol by the time I was half way through the glass. The alcohol by volume isn't reported on the bottle or online.

The taste of the beer is extremely elegant and focused, making the Capital Maibock a very refined beer indeed.

No comments: