Brooklyn Brewery – Insulated Dark Lager

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Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery

Style: Dark Lager

ABV: 5.6%

Score: 3 of 5

I know we’ve not posted in a while, fixing that right now. With that said, I’ve always been intrigued by deceptive beers. There’s a certain wow factor when your eyes tell you a beer should taste and smell a certain way based on its appearance, but completely blind-sides you with the exact opposite. Golden Stouts are the new craze on that, but the original Decepticons, if you will,  are Dark Lagers and Schwarzbier. Brooklyn’s Insulated Dark Lager, which is a Schwarzbier, plays the deception game very well.

While most Schwarzbiers pour almost a black cherry red and let some light through, Insulated Dark Lager is pitch black and does not allow even the faintest of glimmers through. If I’d been served this without reading the bottle, I would have assumed it to be a dark, heavy ale. There is hardly any head to speak of, and what little there is, dissipates quickly, leaving barely any lacing behind. On the plus side, the traces of light-tan head left behind, layer nicely around the glass as I drank.

The first and most present thing on the nose is delicious black coffee. Once my nose pushed that aside, I was happy to pick up notes of roasted grain, burnt toast, and a very slight hint of fig or dark fruit marmalade. According to Brooklyn’s website, they use a variety of American and German hops so I was expecting some floral notes, but if they were there, I missed them.

Those American and German hops I just mentioned certainly make their presence aggressively known on the first sip, which was slightly unexpected. Insulated Dark Lager is a nicely dry beer, just the way I like them. It was a nice balance to get the initial bitterness of the hops with the dryness that followed. The body is fairly light as expected, and there is a strong linger of black coffee. Unfortunately, the linger doesn’t last long as your palate very long, leaving only a very faint sense similar to that having drunk coffee earlier that day. Oddly enough, this beer reminds me of the bread that they offer you at Outback Steakhouse before your meal.

There is nothing remarkable about this beer, but it’s very well made and delicious. I can come back to several of these or have a nice steak, mashed potatoes and Outback Steakhouse bread with this New York Schwarzbier. If you haven’t give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

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