Thursday, 27 November 2014

Beer # 162 Alexander Keith's Saphir Hop

Alexander Keith's Saphir Hop Ale

Alexander Keith's Brewing Company
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Owned by Labatt Brewing Company a Subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev LTD
Pale Ale 5.5 % ABV Aluminum Can 473 ml
$2.65 (Canadian) At LCBO 

Twitter: @alexanderkeiths

A while back I did the Alexander Keith's "Threefer," When I got their mixed pack of beers made with single hop varieties (Galaxy, Hallertau, and Cascade). Just recently they have released the fourth variety in the series: the Saphir. Saphir is German for sapphire and is one of the newest hop varieties to be developed in Germany. Saphir has one of the lowest alpha acid contents of all the world's hops and is one of the highest in beta acids. Fairly similar to Hallertau Mittlefrueh it now replaces that hop in many German brews. 

Let's see how it does when it meets one of Canada's most famous (sort of) IPAs.

Onto the tasting...

Pours a light amber with a very light tan head made up of tiny bubbles. Aroma is very grassy and spicy with some light malt aromas. The hop really seems to accentuate the malt in this beer. The flavour is

bolder and deeper. Malt sugars are present and rich. Herbal grassy spice reigns through the middle some light citrus, a little limp and flat. Aeration gives us damp grain, hay and mown grass. Finish is the astringent aftertaste of poorly made tea. The can states that there should be hints of tangerine also, but I find  muted citrus at best is present in the background with a slight tinniness.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 

Cost: 5/6 PASS
Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 2/6 SO-SO
Re-Order:  0/6 FAIL
Experience:  1/6 FAIL

Final Thoughts:

If you buy those poorly made German import beers that sell dirt cheap in the liquor store... this may be the beer for you. Astringent, bitter, and malty without real character, this is sadly another step down for what used to be a decent beer. This can go on the avoid pile, It is merely over commercialised beer trying to be fobbed off as "craft."



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