Time to visit our neighbors, eh? Latvian craft beer has been on the rise lately, and the last couple of years brought us, beer drinkers & lovers, an influx of quality Latvian brews. Forget Aldaris, let the new generation of brew masters come forth! And this generation is full of ambitious home brewers turned professionals. This means great beer for everyone, since former home brewers tend to be braver, crazier and offer anything but exceptional brews. Before this little tasting session we’ve already tried some of Malduguns‘ beers, including their bestseller Lauvas Pacietiba and fastseller Pelecis, so we knew that we’re dealing with a very interesting brewery. That’s why we made sure to test-taste some more and write a couple of things about the brews.
By the way, we will be writing about another Latvian craft beer powerhouse, Labietis, but it might take a while, so stay tuned!
We’ll start with Cilpa, an APA with 5.3% ABV.
Appearance: Clear copper-coloured body with a tall fluffy off-white head.
Aroma: A beautiful bouquet of tropical fruit, lemon and pine. Quite intense.
Taste: Rather complex. Malts are quickly replaced by multi-layered hops. Very nice.
Mouthfeel: Mid-to-high carbonation, long lasting aftertaste.
Notes: The beer’s character and playfulness reminded us of Mikkeller’s brews. And in a good way! It’s a well-balanced beer with pronounced hoppyness.
Now off to a single-hop IPA with Waimea hops. Zala Bise has a 6.3% ABV.
Appearance: Clear amber-coloured body with a creamy off-white head.
Aroma: Very pleasant aroma, similar to that of Cilpa, only with less tropical fruit on the nose and more caramel.
Taste: Malts disappear even more quickly, leaving behind a pronounced hoppy bitterness. Lovely.
Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, with long lasting aftertaste.
Notes: A quality brew, but a bit too bland right after Cilpa. However, on its own it is very nice and intense.
And the last one on this roster is Akacis, a 6.9% ABV stout.
Appearance: Intense black body with a tall and firm brownish head.
Aroma: Bread crust, coffee, chocolate. Intense and pleasant roastedness.
Taste: A lot of roastedness and some chocolate. Ends on a slightly sour note.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, with a long-lasting aftertaste. However, a firmer body wouldn’t hurt.
Notes: It might seem a bit too roasty, but we still liked it nonetheless.
Disclaimer: We had these beers on 06-05-2016