Black NoddyNovember 1, 2010 Reno, NV
Buckbean Brewing Co.
Available: CA, NV, OR
The Black Noddy Lager is named after a tropical seabird, despite the brewery’s location in Nevada. The brewery itself takes its name from a herb that grows in mountain bogs, the leaves of which have been used as a substitute for hops in beer, as well as a remedy for stomach ailments.
Original gravity: 1052
Kudos to Buckbean Brewing for making a schwarzbier one of its flagship offerings—in a can, no less. Black Noddy, which is named by this desert-based brewery for a seabird, isn't actually black, but more cola-colored, with an off-white head that clings to the side of the glass. A bit of chocolate comes through in the aroma, along with dark cherries and some roasted notes. A distinct tanginess, perhaps from roasted malt, is apparent at first sip and mingles with fruity and chocolate flavors, building as the beer is consumed. Some might find the tang intrusive but others will appreciate its ability to complement a wide array of food.
- Lisa Morrison
Good to see a schwarzbier. There aren’t enough of them, in my opinion. This near-black lager opens with suggestions of sasparilla or cough candy but then the aroma settles into a smoky mix of caramel and wafer biscuits. The taste is creamy and a touch sour, with the dark malts adding to the tartness and bitterness, as well as contributing more wafer and pinches of dark chocolate. It’s all fairly spicy and peppery, too. Roasted grain gathers strength in the dry, smoky, ultimately bitter finish, but there’s no shaking that tartness that is just a bit too dominant for me.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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