Sunday, 6 February 2011

The World of Welde

Having lost my laptop hard drive to an accident last weekend, I'm playing catch up, and contemplating the costs involved in getting back all the stuff that I hadn't backed up (a shameful amount, actually).  Most of my beer photos, for one, but at least most are taken for this blog, so their purpose has already been fulfilled. For these Welde beers, I have to fall back on stock images. I'm sure you'll forgive me (not that I give a shit at this moment in time).

Welde No. 1 is one of those beers that used to keep popping p at summer parties at my in-laws. I have to say, it made very little impression, with the most memorable thing being the twisty bottle design. Well, that and some dubious advertising that tries to suggest the bottle is inspired by the curves of a woman's body. Go figure!

Nevertheless, while doing a little beer shopping before Christmas, I saw they had produced a special beer hopped 100% with US cascade hops, I was intrigued, but thought I should get a regular beer to compare with. Welde No.1 1 weighs in as a standard 4.8% Pils (sorry, Premium Pils). A buttery gold with a short-lived, sparkly head, the aroma delivers light citrus (lime) notes and a lavender floral tone deep down. Promising, but while it delivers a reasonably nice bready maltiness, and some of the lime and floral flavours promised in the aroma, it's thin, with a metallic edge and perhaps a hint of skunking. The finish is mealy-dry with a hint of corn and... well, meh! Mr. Skunk came to visit for sure. I can't help wondering what it's like fresher, and not served from a green bottle.

So, cue the Welde Jahrgangsbier 2011 USA (2010 was Australia), hopped exclusively with one of my favourite hop varieties, cascade. The specs suggest it's leaning into US IPA territory at 6.8% ABV, but there was no info on the hopping rates. Needless to say, I was hopeful, but those hopes seemed to be dashed right after pulling the cap off. Where was that classic cascade aroma? You almost have to snort the beer to detect it, so buried is it under a broad yeasty aroma. The flavour does deliver orange and mandarin at decent levels, but it's placid, playing a complementary role to a lightly carbonic caramel that takes the lead. It's not bad, but is really dominated by that yeasty character (sure, it's unfiltered, leaving lots of yeast in the bottom of the bottle, but extremely unlikely to be bottle conditioned). The finish is pleasantly spicy, but again, more doughy yeast. It's better then the example of the No. 1 I had, but boggy and muffled.

That photo makes it look really dark. It's not.


Rory said...

That photo makes it look like an Imperial Stout! Nice ring-pull action too :)

Thanks for the report. Had not heard of these beers (or bottles before). Perhaps these are misfires, but it's a good sign that German brewers are looking outside of their own brewing tradition.

Barry M said...

I think it's only the second time I've seen those ring pulls on a beer bottle, the other being Bergmann beers.

There are certainly a few brewers doing things beyond the usual Helles, Dunkel and Weizen. I gotta try more :D

Velky Al said...

Don't Porterhouse use those ring pulls?

Barry M said...

I don't know, Al, I've yet to see one of their bottles in the flesh :/

Leigh said...

Wow. that's some advertising. Love it.

Barry M said...

If I get some beer mats, I'll post them over :D