Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dundee Variety Pack Review

Here's another quick review...since I haven't done a decent beer review in forever.

Dundee Brewing Company is a craft brewing company from Rochester, New York, and one of two famous product lines from the High Falls Brewing Company. They like to brand themselves as the unique and individualistic brewing. Currently, they carry six standard brews, and a seasonal brew. In most variety packs, you get the standard six: Wheat Beer, Honey Brown, Pale Bock Lager, India Pale Ale, Pale Ale, and a Porter. The seasonal brew is typically purchased separately.

Before any tasting, what really stood out was the originality of the artwork on the label. I tried to research the artist behind the pictures, but at the time of the review, I was unable find any information on the pictures. The second thing I noticed is the special labels each brew got. Additionally, these 'taglines' are emphasized when you visit the Dundee website and click on the Ale/Lager description.

Here's a few (found on the bottle and on the website):
Honey Brown: Be different. We’re not saying that you have multiple personalities. Or voices in your head. At Dundee Brewing Company, we understand that one day you feel one way and the next you feel a little different.When you’re in the mood for something different, Dundee Honey Brown is the perfect choice. It’s different because we add pure clover honey to an outstanding lager to make a uniquely drinkable beer. Sure, honey isn’t your ordinary ingredient in beer. But if you want ordinary, you’ve come to the wrong place. [Label features a drum playing bee]

Pale Bock Lager: Be optimistic. Certain things seem interminable. The line at the DMV. The commencement address. Winter. But take heart. Even the longest, darkest winter gives way to spring and a new sense of optimism that the best is just ahead. That thought—and an itchy wool robe—sustained the monks through times of fasting. Their reward? A bock beer with the power to rejuvenate the body and the soul. That, and the opportunity to exchange the wool robe for a nice burlap one. So when you’re stuck in the middle of that seemingly endless glass of mediocre beer, be optimistic. A Dundee Pale Bock awaits.

And my favorite label, the Pale Ale: Be Hoppy. Behold the hop. A flower, but too unsightly to be used for decoration. The ugly duckling of the flower family. Oh, but the secret it holds. Soak it in some water with the right companions and it surrenders its bouquet to use a corny flower metaphor. That unique hop flavor is the difference between a fine pale ale and more ordinary beers. Dundee Pale Ale understands the secret of the hop flower—the power to turn an ordinary beer into something extraordinary. And the power to make you indescribably hoppy. [The label features a cool looking Mr. Toad with an eyeglass and mug of beer]

Now on to the taste. Each brew was undeniably drinkable. The IPA was bitter, but on to the point of repulsion, and the Porter had a very robust taste. The Wheat Beer is an American style hefeweizen. It pours a cloudy copper-gold with a solid, foamy white head with above average retention, but this beer just lacks the typical glow of a wheat beer.

My favorite of the pack was the Honey Brown. Taste is very sweet, supports the texture but not as intense, very mild, with a creaminess in the back that is very inoffensive, lots of malt with little if any hop bitterness to speak of. The taste does not support the great texture of the beer. Overall, its a good beer, but falls short on the oomph factor.

Additional information for those beerfomatics out there:

Dundee News
High Falls Brewery Information

Beer Advocate

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