Finally a real snowfall. 13 inches on Tuesday plus a dusting today. And the temperature is down to the normal range with lows around nine degrees Fahrenheit. Winter has come in fits and starts this year, but now it seems it’s finally here. Time for a tall, cold Mexican lager.
(Sound of record scratching.)
It’s okay. Lager is good anytime – even in the middle of a Minnesota winter. And there really is nothing wrong with those Mexican lagers, even if so many of us want to deny their right to be called beer.
But when the Mexican lager is Imperial it’s even more winter friendly. Eight percent alcohol gives that little bit of warming to help take the edge off of winter’s bite.
But really? Imperial Mexican lager. What are you thinking, Indeed Brewing Company? It kind of reminds me of all the faddish Imperial Pilsners that are floating around out there these days. “What’s the point?” I ask of those. “Pilsner is perfect as it is.” I’ve seldom met an Imperial Pilsner that I liked. So why would I like an imperial Mexican lager? Even if it is made with orange blossom honey.
I looked back through my records and found that I had written notes on this one at some time in the past. I think it was 2013, the year this beer was first released. At least that’s what I’m going to say now. I like to do these comparisons. It gives a good perspective on the changes that can occur over time – in both beer and palate.
Here’s my notes:
Mexican Honey Imperial Lager
Indeed Brewing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Style: Imperial Mexican Lager
Serving Style: 16 oz. can
Aroma 2013: Light grainy sweetness. Citrus hops are strong – tangerine and oranges. Low notes of honey.
Aroma 2016: Grainy sweetness with overtones of honey. Very light toasted grain. Hints of spicy hops. Low sulfur.
Appearance 2013: Medium gold and hazy. Full, rocky, dense white foam with excellent retention.
Appearance 2016: Full, creamy, mixed-bubble, white foam with excellent retention. Deep gold and brilliant.
Flavor 2013: Full, grainy malt sweetness. Some bready, pils malt character. Honey comes strongly mid-palate and remains in the finish. Bitterness is low, but just almost enough to balance. Overtones of orange and tangerine from the hops. Delicate. Nuanced. Faint apple notes. Finishes with lingering honey and sweetness. Floral.
Flavor 2016: Largely follows aroma. Malt dominates – toasted grain and medium sweetness. Honey is clear. Medium-low bitterness offers some balance. Medium spicy hop flavors. Low lemony citrus. Some alcohol. Finish is off-dry with lingering honey and spice.
Mouthfeel 2013: Medium-light body. Delicate. High to medium-high carbonation.
Mouthfeel 2016: Medium-full body. Low alcohol warming. Medium carbonation.
Overall Impression 2013: Light and nuanced, yet full and filling. Imperial Mexican lager? WTF! On the long haul perhaps a bit one-note, but one glass goes down well.
Overall Impression 2016: Almost a Maibock, but with a simpler profile. The flavor is what one would expect from an oversized American lager. I expected more citrus from Amarillo hops. They really came off to me as spicy, almost Noble hop varieties. Overall I like it. A decent winter lager.