Thursday, March 5, 2009

Buckbean Black Noddy Lager review

Buckbean Black Noddy LagerLong live dark beers! I have been a fan of the "dark side" for quite a while now and tonight I had a chance to try out a new German-style Schwarzbier (black beer) from the Buckbean Brewing Company of Nevada. It's been a very long time since I've had a lager like this and I couldn't wait to open up the Buckbean Black Noddy Lager. This was the second of two beer samples sent by the brewery for me to try.

The Black Noddy is another 16oz beer that comes in an aluminum can. I'm sold on enjoying craft beer in a can. My own home state brewery, Oskar Blues, does the same with all it's store sold brew. It certainly makes a 6-pack much lighter in weight than a glass bottle 6'er.

The Black Noddy Lager poured nearly black with a slight mahogany edging in the glass. This beer was served very cold and when poured into a pint glass it left just a small 1 finger high tan head. The head disappeared quickly and left just a trace of lacing on the glass. I knew I'd have to let this beer warm up quite a bit to do it justice. Dark beers need to be served at warmer temperatures than lighter beers, else you'll mask a lot of the flavor of the dark malts.

Aroma: The aroma reminded me immediately of a stout with a roasted coffee and chocolate malt smell. It has just a hint of hops but I think the coldness of the beer was still masking some of that. It gave a hint of some sweeter caramel malt underneath.

Mouthfeel: This beer was moderately carbonated, more so than a porter or stout. The first taste coated my tongue with a moderate bodied brew that slightly coated the tongue. It was dry but a bit less than a typical stout or porter. Very smooth and left a noticeable bitter taste.

Taste: This beer is loaded with dark malts. It had an unmistakable taste of sharp dark roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate. While similar to a stout it was a bit milder in bitterness and yet blended well with the malts. It was an easy drinking dark beer that could very well be a sessionable brew.

The Black Noddy won a Bronze medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival in the German-style Schwarzbier category and I can see why. If you like a good roasty beer then this lager is for you.

I wondered where the name came from. It has a black bird on the can and indeed the Black Noddy is a form of tern (bird) that is typically found near the sea in most cases.

This beer paired very nicely with a chocolate brownie that I was eating. The chocolate in the brownie brought out more of the chocolate malt flavor in the brew. I bet this beer would also go well with smoked meats and sharp cheeses.

Overall, I was very impressed with this lager. I would certainly buy this beer again if I saw it in my store. I've yet to see this beer in Colorado but seeing how Nevada is practically next door, I believe it would soon be sold here. A big Thumbs Up on this brew. Buckbean knows how to brew a good Schwarzbier.

And for those of you who will be in the Vegas area next week, Buckbean is co-sponsoring a Nevada Beer Fest on Saturday March 14th from 3pm to 7pm at the MonteLago Village Resort just outside of Vegas. Read the details on the Buckbean Brewing web site.

Update Feb. 10, 2012: Reports are circulating that Buckbean Brewing Company is closing down due to "sluggish economy and higher-than-projected costs". If you like this beer, grab it on the shelves while you can. No more beer will be produced.

Related articles:
- Buckbean Original Orange Blossom Ale review.
- Brewers needed for Las Vegas beer fest.
- Kidd Lager - Fort Collins Brewery tasting room.

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