Friday, March 26, 2010

269. Lupulus Iberian Ale

All the way from Spain, Lupulus Iberian Ale is brought to us by Companyia Cervesa del Montseny in Seva, Spain. Described as a hoppy Iberian ale on the label, Lupulus pours a soft but clear straw color with bubbly and lively carbonation, creating a firm white head. The nose is sweet but dry—there is a flat even quality to it that is reminiscent of Belgian ales. Starting candy sweet before dropping into a dryer and bitter middle, Lupulus also contains some musty and slight barnyard characteristics that lead into a grassy and tart finish. With a light body and bright, effervescent carbonation, Lupulus has a dry and tart profile balanced out with hop bitterness, although no real hop flavor or aroma. The overall profile reminds us of Belgian and French saisons. We like the beer, but would be more inclined to drink it if it was made closer to home and not clocking in at $5.99 for an 11.2 oz. bottle; the flavors are interesting, but not enough to push it up into the Belgian specialty market that is still worth the price. Nonetheless, we are happy to see Spain entering the craft brewery game, and look forward to seeing more from them and from Cervesa del Montseny.

From the bottle: “Iberian Ale – The hop plant: in Latin, humulus lupulus. Lovely, aromatic hops are what this aromatic ale from Spain’s first craft brewery is all about.”

From the Montseny website: “Beer style: IBER ALE – top-fermented lager style of our country. With this top-fermented beer we rediscover the traditional beers of our Iberian ancestors (Archaeological sites: The village of Geno (Lleida) dates to 1,000 BC Bronze Age; Can Sadurni Begues (Barcelona) dates to 3000 BC Neolithic Age). The recipe includes malts and hops used in current high-consumption domestic beers of the Pilsen style (bottom-fermented) or Lager family. Tasting notes: All the intensity of hops in combination with Pilsen malt, to quench the thirst. Ingredients: Malt: Pilsen, Wheat and Caramel; Hops: Cascade, Fuggles, Nugget, Target and Styrian Golding. Yeast. Serving temperature: Between 6 and 12º C. At low temperature we have the flavour and bitterness of hops clearly defined to freshen our palates as in a Lager style beer. However, the optimal tasting is obtained above 9º C, at which point the textures and flavours produced by the Ale yeast and body or sweetness of the malt emerge, balancing their taste with the bitterness of the hops.”

ABV: 5.4%


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