27 April 2018

Sak it to me

I picked up this pair of Lithuanian beers in Den Haag's Dorst beer shop, both all very modern and craft, in a 2007-vintage sort of way. Sakiškių Alus is the brewery, located not far from Vilnius.

First out is Wit Bier which the label tells us is based on the traditional Belgian style but with added lemon, grapefruit and black pepper along with the orange and coriander. It's 5.2% ABV and a bit heavy with it. Carbonation is low and the texture quite sticky, so not one of the zestier, zippier, refreshing wits. The coriander has also brought a lot of soapy bubblebath with it, which is tough to get past. When you do, though, there's a worthwhile beer here. The black pepper spicing cleans up the worst excesses and there's a fun Lucozade fruit-candy combination. If you like a bigger, chewier sort of witbier, and don't mind the odd medicinal sideroad, this is a decent offering.

Its companion on the journey back to Dublin was the India Pale Ale. A hazy pale orange colour, the foam is less busy but there is a similar herbal-mineral quality in the aroma. Mineral is the cornerstone of the flavour, a flinty dryness. This is complicated with sharp grapefruit skin and hard orange candy: a very old-fashioned sort of citrus. Crystal toffee sweetness provides the counterbalance, but it's light enough to let the hops stay prominent throughout. This is a little basic, but well made, and enjoyable. I particularly liked the dryness, adding to its refreshment abilities.

Verdict on Sakiškių? I approve. These weren't the freshest but still had plenty going on. I'd like to explore the range further.

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