A Little Bit Malty in Here

Craft Beer Orange County

Cismontane Brewing in Rancho Santa Margarita has eschewed the single hop idea and instead has partnered with Best Malz out of Germany to undertake a series of single malt beers.

The brewers are trying to gather information on each separate malt to understand more of what they bring to the table.  Or as they put it in their scientific treatise on their blog, “This gives us artistic ability through scientific testing.”

Each beer is brewed in the same way.  Same ingredients, method.  Except for the base malt which goes from Pilsner, to Vienna, to Munich and Heidelburg.

I picked up one of each to see what I could learn and these are my rigorously unscientific findings:

Surprisingly my first tasting session of Pilsner vs. Heidelberg revealed that the latter was much more in line with my understanding of a Pilsner than the namesake malt was.  The single malt Pilsner poured a more orange/yellow color and was redolent of pear from first sip to the last while the Pilsner was much more simple and clean with the carbonation that I expect from a Pilsner.  That being said the taste of pear was my winner of the two.

In the second round two European cities squared off, Munich vs. Vienna.  And this was a landslide for Austria.  The Munich malt gave off a real metallic note that really jarred my tastebuds, whereas the Vienna had a pleasant and lasting Concord grape taste to it without being too sweet. Neither was super bubbly like I expected instead both were more silky in nature.  Not in a bad way though.

The overall winner was Vienna.  With Pilsner a close second. Both had nice fruit accents that were missing in the other two that pushed them higher for me.

So, there are single hop beers, single yeast beers and now single malt.  What’s next?  Single water?

My Beer of the Week is Jurata Baltic Porter, a collaboration between Coronado Brewing in San Diego and Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.  It is their second collaborative effort following their Last Spike, a California common.  Jurata pours a dark brown with hints of black. Tons of lacing as the head recedes. Smells almost like a milk stout with notes of sweet chocolate. The taste adds a touch of smoke to the equation which tones down that milk chocolate domination and the carbonation really helps in that regard as well. Hint of cigar in there too which some would see as appropriate.

Your Homework is to check out the app, Today’s Beer.  It is the digital version of a page a day calendar except here you get a full 360-degree view of the bottle (or can) plus all the significant details about the brew.  Not only is it beer porn it is also educational, and a great way to start or finish your day.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

A Little Bit Malty in Here


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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