Every December 26th for the past several years, our good friends Mike and Linda, along with their son Eddie, have dropped by our home for a post Christmas lunch on the way back to their home in Connecticut. During this past visit, Mike gave me four very different bottles of beer as a Christmas present: Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom, Stillwater Artisinal As Follows, Anchorage Brewing Company Love Buzz Saison, and the Mikkeller Draft Bear which is the subject of today’s review.
A Danish pilsner is typically characterized by an alcohol content of 4,6% vol., piss-yellow colour and a sexless, slightly bitter taste. But it doesn’t have to be like this…! Draft Bear is Mikkeller’s interpretation of a ’pilsner’, heavyweight-style. With its powerful hop notes, high alcohol content and lovely golden appearance, the only reference to the pilsner style is the clean taste of the lager yeast.
When Limpd dropped by one night to pick up a whisky sample, he graciously offered to help me evaluate this beer, so today’s review will feature tasting notes from the both of us.
Let’s get on with our review…
G-LO’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Pale orange color. Slightly hazy. Oodles of fast rising foam that eventually settles down to a quarter inch. Lots of lacing clings to the insides of the glass as you drink it down.
- Aroma: Honey. Citrusy hops, i.e. grapefruit and tangerine. A smattering of funk way off in the distance.
- Taste: Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Much sweeter than I expected given all the citrus in the nose. Much more mellow on the hoppiness front too. Very smooth and easy drinking with a dry and somewhat astringent finish.
- ABV: 8%
Conclusion: I know Mikkeller is calling their Draft Bear a heavyweight Pilsner, but while I was drinking it, many different beers came to mind. Cigar City Jai Alai, Maine Beer Company Peeper, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, and even the Dogfish Head My Antonia came to mind while I was drinking this beer. Mikkeller can call this beer a heavyweight Pilsner if they like, but I say, why try to pigeonhole it? YOU can call it what you want. I’ll simply call it delicious!
Limpd’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Hazy orange with a lot of long-lasting, white foam and great lacing.
- Aroma: In a word…fantastic! Hops, sweet caramel and a little yeast.
- Taste: Mild carbonation, a little chewy with a blast of sweetness followed by a little citrus and then a mild, hoppy, drying finish
Conclusion: Flavorful, refreshing and well-balanced, this was just a fantastic beer. I’m with G-LO. I don’t know what you call it, but call me when you pour it!