Beer of the Week: Elliot Bay Brewing Paint It Black Lager

By Iron Chef Leftovers

imagesCADDG23NIn looking through my beer notes, I realized that I had quite a run of dark beers in December. I guess I was either just drinking to the season or drinking what was new and interesting. Either way, a December trip to Elliot Bay Brewing yielded a beer which I had not seen before – the Paint It Black Lager. Black Lagers are a beer style that you don’t see too much these days so that appealed to me and it figured that I had to give a shot to a beer that was named after my favorite Rolling Stones song. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any details about the beer on the interwebs.

The beer pours jet black with a creamy brown head. Roasted malt dominates the beer with hints of grain and mild hops supporting on the nose. The beer starts out on the palate strong with a slightly boozy vanilla, followed quickly by a pleasant milk chocolate and grain component, before moving into light coffee and sweet roasted malt. The finish is long and pleasant with lingering notes of coffee and chocolate supported by sweet malt and just the faintest hint of hops. The beer is deep and layered, and a nice change of pace if you are looking for something dark without venturing into the world of stouts or porters.

Elliot Bay Brewing’s Paint It Black Lager strums in with 4 Red Doors out of 5.

Beer of the Week: North Sound Vanguard Lager

By Iron Chef Leftover

The second of the 3 DNA project beers comes from the guys at North Sound Brewing in Mt. Vernon. If by chance you have never heard of them, you should make a stop by their brewery next time you are up north – they make some of the most under the radar beers in Washington. They drew Vanguard hops for their beer, which are “Slightly flowery, mild. Similar to Hallertau Mittlefruh and saaz in aroma. A gentle hop for subtle bitterness, aroma, and flavor.”

The beer pours pale yellow in color with a slightly hoppy, almost pilsner like character on the nose. The initial sip is surprisingly hoppy with a slight sweetness before yielding to a long floral hop backbone with notes of resin and grain before moving to a place with a light grapefruit and bitterness and finally finishing off with a pilsner like finish. The beer drinks like a hoppy pilsner, but is described as a lager with very littler lager character. The beer allows the hops to shine and has enough layers of flavor to please any discriminating palate.

The North Sound Vanguard Lager sends out an advanced force with 4 beach heads out of 5.