Blackhorn American Black LagerNovember 1, 2013
Bolero Snort Brewery
Ridgefield Park, NJ
Bolero Snort Brewery opened in January, and Blackhorn American Black Lager is one of its two initial year-round offerings. It is brewed with two-row, Crystal, chocolate and de-bittered black malts and hopped with Warrior, Centennial and Zythos.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1065
Dark, handsome and downright tasty, this Jersey boy really sings. It pours nearly opaque black with just a glint of mahogany peeking through and a fizzy mocha head that recedes quickly to the side of the glass. Aromas of semi-sweet chocolate and dark-roasted coffee beans are met with similar flavors, and a surprising dose of hops imparts interesting yet balanced pine resin notes to the beer, adding to its complexity. Lagering has rounded this beer’s flavors out a bit, melding them all together in a lovely marriage. A swarthy beer that is both nimble on the palate and satisfyingly rich.
- Lisa Morrison
A neat twist on the “black IPA” model, taking German schwarzbier and zipping it up with lots of extravagant U.S. hops. The dichotomy of the style is evident in the aroma: smooth, biscuity toasted grains fight for attention with piney, thrusting hop resins. The battle rages on in the taste, with sweetness rushing to the aid of the grains and bitterness charging alongside the pine, grapefruit and pineapple notes of the hops. Leafy hops linger in the dry finish, but the malt, becoming coffee-like, is not finished there, either. And beneath it all lies the refreshing cleanness of a cold-fermented beer.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka the Beer Goddess, talks beer every day at her beer store and taproom, Belmont Station, and on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Jeff Evans is author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide, The Book of Beer Knowledge and Beer Lover’s Britain. More of his writing can be found at www.insidebeer.com.