Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beer Review: Solidarity by New Albanian Brewing Company

Style: Baltic Porter
ABV: 8.5%
Ratebeer: 93/73
Beer Advocate: B+

The New Albanian Brewing Company is located in, of all places, New Albany, Indiana. Until a relatively recent trip to Indianapolis, I had never heard of the brewery or the city. Apparently it is down by Louisville.

While at the wonderful Tomlinson Tap Room, I was lucky enough to try their double IPA offering, Hoptimus. Thoroughly impressed by this, I figured I would try a different bottle I found from them while still in the city. Since I've been on a big porter/stout kick recently, I thought a Baltic porter would be perfect (plus the label was pretty cool).

Back story and ingredients:


It pours very dark brown, almost cola-colored, with a very light head that cleared out quickly with little lacing. Not the prettiest beer I've ever seen, but you I don't have tastebuds for beauty.

The smell was mostly roasted grain and coffee; don't really get anything else out of it. Taste is much of the same, but with a tiny bit of chocolate on the finish, along with a very, very subtle hop presence. Sweet when chilled and almost cloying when it warms up.

The carbonation is medium, perhaps a bit too present for my tastes. Body is really thin, almost like an iced coffee. Not nearly as thick as I thought it would be. The 8.5% is completely hidden; perhaps the smoothest 8+% beer I've ever tried. If someone told me this was 4.5%, I wouldn't doubt them.

I have to say, I was really disappointed in this beer. I've been impressed with other varieties from the same brewer, so I know they can do better. I was really looking forward to this one, but the taste and thinness of it just kills it for me.

Grade: B-

P.S. Now that I'm back from getting wedded and thoroughly vacationed, I have a few reviews and a couple other posts I'd like to get up. You'll be hearing back from me soon!

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