Now that I am fully recovered from the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, and have successfully settled into my new home in the Hampton Roads area, I am ready to get back into the swing of things. And while the move has been difficult and never ending, the quest to find great Commonwealth brews got a little easier. I have found a bottle shop close to my house that has a great selection from all over the country, but has no qualms about putting on beers from Virginia. With that being said, a lot of my reviews will be coming from those pulls over the course of this month, as traveling will be limited up until the National Lampoons European Vacation coming up at the end of the month. First up is a newer style run from one of our good friends, and this one breaks the mold of breaking the mold.
Bad Donkey, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (Goochland, VA)
Black Lager, ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 28
Presentation: Crowler pour into pint glass. It is still a lager and should be treated as such. Fancy glassware need not apply.
Appearance: Very dark brown to black, thinner/translucent around edges, tan to darker tan head that just evenly coats the top.
Aroma: Roasted malts heavy. Dark baker’s chocolate with a slight caramel/toffee hint as it warmed up.
Taste: Most of the similar characteristics of black lagers were up front towards the middle. Roasted malts balance bread notes with some coffee/chocolate undertones. But the back you got a decently strong toffee malt finish, almost sweeter, which does divert from the norm.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Lager wins out on this. Thinner, light-medium body, some dryness up front, but sweetens out towards the back. No reset, as this finishes on the malty side. ABV not very noticeable, if at all. IBUs only really show up at the top. Smooth once you get into it a little.
Overall: It is a very interesting twist on the black lager. The late toffee/caramel ending was something that was not expected, but very welcome. Found on keg in Hampton Roads, so normal distribution but might be ending the run soon. Light enough to survive the August/September weather, but the malts could kick this beer pretty close to Halloween. Another homerun for LCCB.