12 oz bottle, completely new and different beer from the old, Czech/Bohemian Pils affair.
As is sometimes the case, an interesting turn of events lead me to pick this beer up for the first time; I grab one in a mixed sixer at Mac’s and then head downtown to meet Wes at Cypress for a quick lunchtime pint. Low and behold, ABC’s Chris is at the bar and he pulls a couple for me – thanks Chris, you’re very kind.
The story behind the new beer is that it was born out of a combo/blend that some guys have been doing at the brewery called a “dirty blond(e)”, where they have been mixing the brown and the blonde for sometime. The Vortex guys thought this was a good concept to re-launch the Laughing Skull beer under, and so the completely new beer was born under the old name. From what Chris was telling me, essentially we get the brown malt base and then the beer is created from that point.
Pour is a mid-orange body with excellent clarity. Head is not huge but it does leave some lace and some spotty retention on the surface of the brew.
Nose is a very, very distinct soapy affair with the hops being a little medicinal. The soap aspect was quite strong for me.
Tastes are sweet from the initial malt base but are backed up quickly with a very clean, crisp almost “lager-like” finish. In that respect, it’s somewhat unusual for an amber ale in as much as the beer feels dry in the second half in a way that a typical amber ale may not. The aftertastes have some biscuity, English malts and the beer is without question pretty clean. It feels “sessionable” in terms of its drinkability, but without knowing the precise ABV it’s obviously impossible to specifically categorize it that way.
It’s tasty and I enjoyed it, but obviously this is NOT ground-breaking in any way, however it does show that ABC is really beginning to think about what they are doing and is making a really conscience effort to step up and make stuff happen. In that respect I applaud their efforts.