Westbrook Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Dark Helmet Schwarzbier
In my previous reviews of Grand Teton’s 5 O’Clock Shadow and Jack’s Abby Cascadian Schwarzbier, I’ve talked about how the black lager style has been a welcomed change to the standard lager formula. The strong roasted notes remind me more of a good stout or porter than the bland sweetness you get with a lot of lagers.
But Dark Helmet one of one of Westbrook‘s two fall/winter seasonals eschews the roast-centric flavor for more of a richer, more chocolate-heavy beer, while still keeping that biting roasted note prevalent.
Also, it’s a nod to Spaceballs. And who are you to not appreciate that? Major Asshole?
The beer is black as Rick Moranis’ soul. The pour is pretty thin and the head is pretty minimal. There’s about only a finger of a light brownish head that settles pretty quickly but leave a slight film over the top. The lacing’s really weak and watery but there are some slight alcohol legs.
The nose has a big, sweet chocolate note to it backed with a bit of a light roasted quality. It’s not as coffee-forward as a lot of other schwarzbier There’s just a little bit of a rye bite to it. It’s got a very luscious, smooth nose to it, a bit less biting than I remember from last year’s batch.
There’s a good bite of bitterness on the front of the tongue. There’s just a slight carbonation to it and it’s very smooth across the palate. On the back of the tongue, the flavor starts out with a creamy and bitter dark chocolate note. That gives way to a lighter roasted quality with a sort of fresh coffee bean quality to it. The bite from the rye comes up again on the back. For a sessionable beer, it’s something more suited to sipping slowly.
May the Schwartz be with you.