Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pacific Schwarzbock and a double standard

As you all know, I'm a sucker for packaging. This one is the king; pine beetle denim wood box, 500ml swing-top bottle and elegant artwork. How could I say no? It would be easy, "Why the @$#@ is the beer prick buying something from Pacific Western?" I got suckered in by the packaging.

So anyways, I drank this beer and thought it was pretty good - for a Pacific. Many a Pacific product have passed by my lips; none have made me smile. A few have even made me grimace. This brew is by far their best tasting release. Then I was forced to rethink my opinion. If this was released by Driftwood, Lighthouse or Moon Under Water the words of disdain would be voluminous. No double standards, so lets get started..

The first thing I noticed was the Pacific Western website mentioned that, "No sooner did our new limited edition Schwarzbock hit the shelves than it’s receiving accolades from respected beer blogs." Their link to shows a copy of their press release. No accolades nor review. Non surprising considering beergeeks is in Ontario and Pacific Western is not carried by the LCBO. Lucky for them. Not to put down the 'respected beer blog' title but they have less than 100 beer reviews on their site. They also gave favourable reviews for two Okanagan Spring beers.

If you go by the styles, as I love to do, this beer would fall in the 'bock' BJCP category. This thing is not a bock, there is no malt depth. I'm no expert, but it tastes like a 8% TNT with some added chocolate malts. The nose is absent with barely a whiff of molasses, roasted peanuts and vegetal. Each sip is flat and slick with roast, molasses, cherries (juice), chocolate and a slight herbal and spicy hop snap. Luckily the aftertaste is short lived. Granted it is an easy drinking beer for 8% ABV, but it just seems a little lifeless. The best part about this beer was the wood box and the swing-top bottle for homebrewing.

Taste +1
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value 0
Appearance +1

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