Taste it First: Double Dirndl Imperial Märzen – Klaus Brewing Company
This is the first article in a new series called “Taste it First with Tristin” where I try upcoming releases from breweries, and give you my unbiased opinion about whether this beer is worth waiting for or worth a trek to the brewery on release day.
First to pick up the gauntlet for “Taste it First” was Klaus Brewing Company with their new release, Double Dirndl. Double Dirndl is an imperial version of their Märzen, and at 10% abv and 30 IBUs this brew was mellowed for an entire year at Klaus. Trust me when I say this year was not only vital to the flavor profile for this beer, but is a disappointing timeline to wait for the next iteration of this beer. A candy-like malt backbone and medium body makes this beer surprisingly drinkable for its strength. Klaus Brewing Company is a German-style focused brewery led by head brewer, Thomas Lemke. They are located at 10142 Jones Road in Houston, not far from the Jersey Village/Cypress area.
As with my other review pieces, I will be approaching this beer review as a judging of the beer in comparison with its BJCP style parameters. Since Imperial Märzen is not really a style, I will be comparing this loosely to a traditional Märzen with factors that make it Imperial in mind. Without further ado, Double Dirndl from Klaus Brewing.
Aroma- This beer is ALL MALT, just gorgeous complex bready malt aroma. There is almost no hop aroma here, except the slightest suggestion of some German spiciness, but is only noticeable after the beer warms some. The fermentation aroma doesn’t really give off any fruitiness, but there certainly is a clean fermentation aroma that I would expect from a lager.
Appearance- This beer is a dark amber color with significant orange tones to it. When poured the head was a slightly off white (yellow tint) foamy head that had decent retention to it (especially for a high ABV beer). The head gradually dissipated to a ring of foam bubbles around the glass and a slight lacing around the glass as I continued to drink.
Flavor- This is where this beer shines, it is malty, bready, and wonderfully sweet without being cloyingly sweet. The balance obtained from the hop bitterness here is incredible. You can definitely tell this was a clean lager fermentation, as there are no off flavors here and no fruity esters to speak of. The balance is towards malt in this beer for sure, but in the best kind of way.
Mouthfeel- The body of this beer was medium high, but there was such a creaminess to this beer that I think the body was medium to medium low and the creaminess factor made it feel higher. There was just the slightest hint of alcohol warmth, but nothing that is reminiscent of a 10% beer. The finish here was dry but without any unpleasantness because as I mentioned in flavor, the lingering malt character held this beer to a pleasant sweetness.
Overall Impression- If the Märzen is the big brother of a Festbier, then this beer is the big brother to the Märzen. It is a beautiful rendition of a Märzen flavor profile with the high alcohol and richness of a Doppelbock. I was disappointed to find out that there was only 1 keg of this beer, and it was taproom only as I would have gladly taken this beer to-go.
This beer releases tomorrow, Saturday, January 30th and I would not miss my chance to try this beer that has been mellowing for a year!