Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Raven Special Lager (Baltimore-Washington Beer Works)

Wade Malcolm contributed The Raven to Beer Club a while back -- just after another round of layoffs had further thinned the ranks of our newsroom. The ominous symbolism was noted.

This beer has a peculiar background. It was created by a couple of Baltimoreans along with a couple of German partners, and was brewed and distributed in Europe for a year before it ever came to America. It also appears that The Raven Special Lager is the only beer produced by Baltimore-Washington Beer Works, which is why it's a good bet you've never heard of the brewery before.

This beer pours a clear warm gold with half and inch of head. It has a classic lager aroma -- slightly musty with a suggestion of grain. The German part of its pedigree seems immediately evident. Once the modest head dissipates, virtually no aroma rises from the beer.

Amidst its light body and prickly carbonation resides a simple and clean taste. The hops and the malt hang pretty tightly together, with the sweet malt gaining the upper hand just briefly before the flavor ends. Nothing Gothic or poetic on display, despite the label's claim. But a serviceable beer with a familiar taste that would probably have broad appeal.

From the bottle's label:

The Taste is Poetic
"...Open here I flung the shutter when with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore..."

Featured beer:
The Raven Special Lager

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