Saturday, March 12, 2011

462. Christian Moerlein Emancipator

Our first beer from Christian Moerlein, and now that they are coming back to Cincinnati for real and cutting out the contract brewing thing, we hope to sample many many more of their beers in the upcoming future. I scored this as one of the sweet sweet rewards for judging beer at Bockfest. That’s right—free beer.

Emancipator pours a crystal clear copper with plenty of orange to it; the garnet highlights are bright and clear in the light that comes though the glass. The thin eggshell head is pretty minimal; it reduces to a slight ring almost immediately, and attempt to rouse it failed pretty miserably. In the nose, there is an interesting mix of dark fruit—grape, raisin, and fig—combined with a slight biscuit and grainy caramel candy sweetness that creates a rich and complex malt aroma. Flavors are initially dry and fruity before blossoming into sweet maltiness; the middle showcases fruit flavors with the same grape, raisin, and fig from the nose, plus some dried cherries and dark stone fruit flavors. The end has a slight spike of candy sweetness that borders on being Belgian, and some smooth lingering alcohol flavors—the finish is clean, but a bit sweet, without any discernable hops across the profile. The rich malt mouthfeel has a fair share of candy and fruit; the melanoidin characteristics, if they are there, are lost amongst fruit and sweetness. Smooth and rich but with a bit of residual sticky sweetness. There is a bit of chewy malt breadiness that develops in the mouthfeel as the beer warms. As doppelbocks go, Emancipator is good, but not outstanding—it needs a cleaner finish, and more of a German malt flavor profile. At the same time, this is a rather enjoyable beer.

From the bottle: “You’ve discovered Moerlein Emancipator—a robust Doppelbock brewed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Six varieties of uniquely blended malts create a smooth toasted character with a deep brown color and complex hints of caramel and toffee. Celebrate the emancipation of America’s honorable brewing tradition this season by rolling out the barrels of Moerlein Emancipator Doppelbock.”

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 27


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