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First Anniversary Black Lager | Cismontane Brewing Company

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6 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cismontane Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cask service via hand pump into a half-pint glass at Cismontane tasting room in Rancho Santa Margarita.

A: Opaque black, showing dark brown at the edges, with one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Moderately intense roasted grain that almost conceals some soft sulfur and even softer chocolate. Hops are herbaceous, but not distinctly grassy. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with early acidity and hard minerality that stands out over nutty malt and a phantom whiff of dark fruit. Flavors become more dry in the middle, where roasted malt and honest herbaceous hops are at their most focused--but still restrained in intensity. Milk chocolate brings a thread of unctuousness to a mostly dry charcoal finish. Dark olive brine is very faint, lingering on the palate after other flavors have gone. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, wet and smooth on the palate but yielding slowly-rising alcohol heat, with very low carbonation.

D/O: The native brewers of Germany's darkest beer styles may not care if their beers appear distinct from porter styles, but the American craft brewers of dark lagers would do well to make it a priority. This schwarzbeer--Cismontane's official beer to celebrate their first anniversary--is successful at distinguishing itself, appearing more clean and straight-forward than a typical dark ale. The lingering briny finish leaves a question mark on the palate, perhaps stemming from the synthetic joining of roast, sulfur, and vegetal hops; or some side effect of cask conditioning. Still, it is a nice change of pace that is, for the most part, equal to the sum of its parts. Stylistically, it likely faces an uphill climb if it is ever to catch on in popularity amongst more brewers and drinkers of American craft beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of charlzm
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed May 12th, 2011 at BoHo, Hollywood CA.

Appearance is as one would suspect from the name: opaque black. Well, actually more of a very clear, very dark brown when held up to strong light. A two finger foamy tan head that's not especially sticky or clingy tops off the glass. On the plus side, it's a very uniform smooth head.

Aromas of dark roasted malt and a slight nuttiness.

Flavor is marked by a wood character up front and a dash of chocolate and ash at the finish. In between, there is a restrained touch of nuttiness as in nose and an unexpected red grape note. Only the lack of strong roasted grain flavor sets this apart from some porters I have had.

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent but otherwise unremarkable.

Well done but not something I'm in a hurry to have again.

 790 characters

Photo of tommyguz
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of womencantsail
3.04/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Provisions

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a finger of off-white/khaki head.

S: Grassy hops and lots of roasted malt are the first things to hit the nose. A bit of yeast in the background along with some soap and herbal, mildly piney, hops. Not a very good aroma.

T: Fairly bitter, more so than expected, with a rather heavy roasted malt character. More of the herbal hops and a bit of a chalkiness. Some mild dark chocolate and ash flavors, too.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Nothing about this beer really did much for me.

 579 characters

Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

First Anniversary Black Lager from Cismontane Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 6 ratings