That’s right: Uerige Alt, the classic Düsseldorf Altbier that I’ve been dreaming about for years… I found this at John’s Marketplace in Portland during the Brewfest trip, and was blown away. It came in the very cool flip-top bottle you see in the picture there and I pretty much had to have it. There was no question.
I don’t think I’ve anticipated opening a beer as much as this one. I don’t have a Stange glass, though, so I poured it into a narrow-ish Oktoberfest mug.
Appearance: Very cool skinny flip-top bottle, I’ve not seen one like it. Poured a murky brown with a fizzy white head.
Smell: Hops and caramel malts. A hint of something sweet, like licorice. Hops have a spicy character to them in the background.
Taste: Although not pronouncedly bitter (like some of the green hop monsters being brewed in the States in recent years), there’s a big oily hop character here—it’s spicy and sharp and a little bit woody and herbal. Malty with a fruitiness to it, a bit of roasted grains, dark toast. A little astringent. Hops throughout.
Mouthfeel: A little on the light side of medium-bodied, a little dry; the hops leave a slick in the mouth.
Overall: Intensely hoppy without being too overwhelming and bitter… this is what it’s about. Now I just need to get to Düsseldorf…