Heller Hound

Heller Hound MaibockThis is the second free beer from the PR package I received from Flying Dog (the first I reviewed already). Heller Hound is a Maibock, a spring beer that is traditionally brewed for consumption in the month of May. Also known as a Helles Bock (literally, "Bright Bock"), the style, according to BeerAdvocate, "tends to be lighter in color than other Bock beers and often has a significant hop character with a noticeable alcohol around the same as a traditional Bock."

I found this to be a pretty drinkable beer at 6.2% alcohol by volume.

Appearance: Very clear golden orange—the color of honey. Head is just off-white and crisp.

Smell: Rich and malty—caramel and toffee-sweet. Some spiciness (from the hops, I think).

Taste: Sweet malt and slightly bitter with the abrupt edge of a clean lager. Steel-cut grass, toasted grains, a hint of rye, crystal malts, hop spiciness, some alcohol strength. This might sound odd, but it reminds me of a well-rounded appetizer… not quite a meal but the potential is there.

Mouthfeel: Nice body, refreshing, a bit bubbly, clean.

Overall: A decent Bock, even though it doesn’t look like what I’m used to as thinking of a Bock. Reminds me of the Full Sail LTD Bock I reviewed last month. I’d enjoy more of these.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 82 out of 100, with 92% approval from reviewers. On RateBeer, it scores 3.03 out of 5 and is in their 45th percentile; not a glowing recommendation from them.