Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Session Black Lager

By Jay Brooks
Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 12:25 pm in On Beer.

Dark beers aren’t necessarily heavy beers and in fact some famous dark beers are downright light. Guinness, for example, is only 4% a.b.v. Budweiser, by comparison is 5%. Dark color comes from the use of roasted malt, that is barley or wheat that’s been slowly heated until it gets darker. This also imparts different flavors, especially as it gets darker. Brewers use a variety of different malts in most beers, the combination of which (along with the hops, water and yeast) help to give each beer its distinctive flavor.

Next month, Full Sail Brewing, from Oregon, will be launching the newest beer in the Session line of beers, Session Black Premium Dark Lager.

Session Black Lager

While there’s more than a little hyperbole here, this is what Full Sail’s press release has to say about their Black Lager:

Session is more than just another beer brand. It’s a breath of fresh air. Sporting a stubby old-school bottle, distinctive name and retro-cool logo, Session has rewritten the rules of creating a new beer brand. Session is neither a micro, a macro, nor an import. It’s a little of each. And yet, none of the above. In other words, Session is a true original. It has an authenticity all its own and that is something to be proud of.

“Session Black is short, dark and totally drinkable. The initial tastes are a subtle pairing of caramel and chocolate malt flavors with precise hopping to provide an elegant citrus background to the delicate finish of dark cocoa,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s Executive Brewmaster.

But I’ll withhold judgment until I get to try it. The original Session Beer is pretty good, though I generally prefer my beer with a bit more flavor. But I can also see how it makes a good alternative to macro lagers, and is especially good for, as intended, “sessions” where you’ll be having more than one. But the black lager is promising because it will undoubtedly be more flavorful and yet retain its thinner, drinkable mouthfeel. That’s the same reason I love dunkelweiss beers, dark versions of wheat beer, because they’re as light as hefeweizens but with richer flavors. I’m certainly willing to devote a session to find out.

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