Ahh, the lager. The “scourge” of American craft beer.
Except for when it’s done well. And actually tastes good. And is pleasantly refreshing.
If anything, the lager’s profile is simplistic. Subtly is the name of the game. That’s how Cigar City’s Hotter than Helles Lager plays it, with light aromas of Pilsner malt, freshly ground corn and low-bitter hops like Hallertau or Spalt that gave such a touch of cut grass.
The brew’s flavor was light and crisp, but with a fluffy mouthfeel that cascaded across my palate. Sweet grains mix with barely a hint of hops, leaving a refreshing leafy aftertaste that washes away quickly. That’s a big difference between Hotter than Helles and any mass produced American lager, which lingers with its stale flavor. Cigar City hit a home run on this one.
For as basic as this brew was, there’s no denying that tons of attention and detail went into it to get all these aspects just so. Cheers to Cigar City for doing it right … and well.