Wild Rose Roggen’s Heroes

Reviewed by on October 16, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: October 14, 2014

  • Best Before: Released September 25, 2014

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery has produced this seasonal lager, but with rye malt, and some fancy New Zealand Wakatu hops – cool to see an oblique take on the Oktoberfest style, but still within the German brewing overseers’ restrictive realm!  And not to mention their pop culture marketing acuity…

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, pale copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, stoutly foamy, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves some fraught swaths of melting iceberg lace around the glass as things duly recede.

It smells of semi-sweet, somewhat biscuity caramel malt, Save-On rye bread (more white than rye, IMHO), soft earthy spices – nothing overtly in that other seasonal vein, but it’s there – musty citrus pith, faint dead yeast, and weedy, floral hops. The taste is bready, fairly sweet caramel malt – the spice of the rye notable, to be sure, but seemingly at the beck and call of the grainy, barley-led cabal, as it were – a slight apple and pear fruitiness burgeoning as it warms, and some further earthy, weedy, leafy, and certainly bitter floral hops. The carbonation is quite low-key and treated with veritable kid gloves, the body a dense medium weight, smooth, sure, but with a buttery, bitter sort of honesty-keeping offset. It finishes off-dry, the malt all complex as can be, and the antipodean hops maintaining heed to the flag.

With the two guest players in this Oktoberfest dance receiving a lot of the headlines, it’s easy, I suppose, to overlook the sturdy amber lager underneath it all. Bready, slightly fruity, and just sweet enough, this one works quite well, especially as its release coincides more with the North American idea of the base celebration, i.e. the whole freaking month of October – nothing wrong with that, though, pumpkin-lovers, move along now.

Brady White

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