This might as well be “thank you week,” because half of the week’s beers have been given to me by friends. Today’s beer, Narragansett Bock, was given to me by my friend Joe, who has been kind enough to supply me with all of the Narragansett beer I’ve tried as of this point. And the timing is quite clutch because I’m in the midst of a huge bock kick for some reason. A week ago I walked into a liquor store with the intention of picking up a wheat ale, but walked out with a doppelbock. Yep, I’m impressionable at the moment. But anyway, this is the third Narragansett beer I’m reviewing. The lager? Very good. The porter? Rock solid. Let’s see if ‘Gansett can score the Whosisbrew hat trick with their maibock.
The beer poured with a foamy, moderately sized, off-white head, which displayed superb retention and left a network of patchy lacing along the sides of the glass. I particularly enjoyed the foaminess of the head, as it was rocking back and forth and was much more uncontrolled than what I’m accustomed to. The color kept my attention for a good while before I even examined the aroma. It was a beautiful shade of copper, with an accent of burnt orange, deep red and amber adding further depth. The aroma reached up and high fived me in the face, and this was an extremely good thing. It was a bright, pungent bouquet of caramelly malt, yeasty bread, a little orange peel and a kind of burnt, sugary sweetness. The aroma overall was very malty, suggesting the taste should have quite a bit of sweetness.
The taste wastes no time introducing itself to your tastebuds. It kicks the door down and bursts onto your tongue with a considerable amount of malty sweetness. After the bite of sweetness is sustained, the range of flavor opens up to allow caramel and burnt sugar flavors to add further complexity to the beer. The beer’s sweetness is definitely prominent, but it’s mellowed out beautifully by a cast of surrounding flavors. Some bready, yeasty notes become evident as the beer sits on your tongue for a few moments, and some floral notes (perhaps a “hello” from hops) join the range of flavor to unify the beer’s body and prevent the sweetness from becoming unbearable. A little citrus is there as well, which prevents fatigue and adds an interesting tang to the beer. The mouthfeel was medium, with a pretty creamy consistency and a gentle bite from a good level of carbonation.
This is, undoubtedly, my favorite Narragansett beer so far. This maibock is very well-crafted, well-executed and very flavorful. All of the flavors are bound together extremely well and the beer’s balance is exactly where a good maibock ought to be. Narragansett has amassed an impressive portfolio of beers and they have resurrected this proud brand with the promise of beer sold on its merits. That promise is anything but empty, and as long as they keep making beer such as this, my pint glass won’t be empty either.