This time we decided that Lithuanian brewery Volfas Engelman deserves a mention in our blog. Recently they released a limited edition line called Tastes of the World (Pasaulio skoniai) which currently includes only two examples: an IPA and a witbier. There will undoubtedly be more to come, so we’ll be keeping an eye out. The brews in question seem questionable (ha, see what we did there?) from the get go. First, IPA’s style is indicated with a mistake (a small one, but attention to detail should matter), while the second beer is called Blond but is actually a “Belgian style wheat beer”, so… a witbier. This nitpicking aside, it was really hard to get our hands on them because not all stores carry them (limited availability, woot!). And in the end it wasn’t quite worth seeking them out. Let’s start with the Belgian style wheat beer.
Appearance: Opaque straw coloured body with a high and thick white head.
Aroma: Ooh, the synthetics! It should be mentioned that Volfas Engelman used aroma additives in this beer. Sure, it smells like cardamom and citrus, but the technicolor ones, no the real deal…
Taste: A light and fizzy lemonade. It kicks off with all the sweet additives and ends with malts.
Mouthfeel: Light and watery, with a short lasting aftertaste.
Notes: It has a strange balance. Or maybe no balance at all? The first sip is all over the place, kicking and screaming, but then it suddenly ends… with nothing. It might be a refreshing option for a summer cookout, but they have to balance it out at first.
And now a word or two about Indian (sic) Pale Ale.
Appearance: Amber/ copper coloured body with a porous off-white head.
Aroma: Quite intense and not unpleasant, but it smells like the simplest hops you have in your home brewer’s pantry. Literally, it smells like Magnum and although the label says Chinook and Cascade there’s not a trace of them.
Taste: The same can be told about the taste. Although there are some malts to balance out the hops, in the end you just feel the bitterness. And not the fruity/ piney/ floral bitterness. Just the plain ol’ Magnum bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Rather firm bodied, with a long-lasting aftertaste.
Notes: Truth be told, the very first notes are quite pleasant, combining malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. But that’s not enough to make a good IPA. Although we’ve been told that people with less experience with IPAs quite enjoy this simple version.
Disclaimer: We had these on 12-03-2016