Legbiter Ale is one of two sample beers The Brew Club received recently from the people who promote Strangford Lough Brewing in the United States. (The other beer is called St. Patrick’s Best and will be reviewed separately.)
Sure I’m biased, but I think sending beer-bloggers samples of new beers is a great way to get some relatively cheap publicity. If the beer is good, then its an even better deal for the brewery, right?
In this case, it seems as if almost every beer-blogger I follow (and there are quite a few of them) has gotten samples of this beer to review, and so I think they are doing a good job at getting their product noticed.
The beer itself is created a bit differently than most other beers. On the label, it says ‘Product of USA. Crafted from barley grown in St. Patrick’s Country.” What’s that mean? Well, it seems that Strangford Lough employ a cost-effective process of making this beer whereby the first brew uses Irish barley to produce a malt extract concentrate that is then shipped to the US to be finished brewed.
Legbiter Ale is ‘finish brewed’ at High Falls Brewing Company, (HFBC) located in Rochester NY. HFBC is part of North American Breweries , and is the contract brewer that “finishes” the Strangford Lough beers in the US. I’m assuming that this method is cheaper while allowing them to maintain the beer’s ‘Irish character’.
At first I didn’t know what or who a ‘Legbiter’ was. I thought perhaps it was the name of an angry dog. A Postal Worker may know of a legbiter or two! No, reading up a bit, ‘Legbiter’ was the name of the sword that King Magnus (Magnus Barelegs) was buried with. OK, so now we know something about the beer, and what Legbiter was, so let’s finally get to the beer!
I’m not really sure what kind of beer this is. On their website, they classify Legbiter Ale as a ‘Golden Ale’, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of an Irish Golden Ale. Have you? Others seem to think its more like an English Pale Ale, and I’d agree just based on the looks of it – but I’ll defer to the brewer.
This 4.8% ABV ‘Golden Ale pours a clear brownish color into my glass, creating a nice looking bubbly head. It does not appear to be overly-carbonated, and I’m not noticing much in the way of lacing on the glass.
The aroma is nice enough, with malt being prominent. It reminds me in some ways of some Scotish Ales I’ve tried – with very little in the way of hops in the nose. Sweet malt, perhaps caramel and certainly bready.
Legbiter tasted quite like is smelled. No surprises here! Malty, bready and a sweetness like caramel came to the front. There was some bitterness and it finished dry. Even though it didn’t knock my socks off, I liked it.
The beer was medium-bodied, and as I mentioned it was not too carbonated so it makes for an easy-drinking session-style ale I think. There is some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, and its a little sticky feeling, but it works.
Wrapping up, I’d say that the Strangford Lough Legbiter Ale, (whatever style it may be), is a nice tasting beer. I’d prefer to have this during the cooler months of the Fall or Winter as I think as its a little heavy and sticky, but overall, I’d give it a solid thumbs up. If you like Scotish Ales – give it a try! (ahhh, the peat) 🙂