Advent Beer: Chorlton Madarina Lager

The blurb on the can, stated that this beer is vegan friendly and inspired by unfiltered kellerbier, so presumably unfined and unfiltered. So what to expect? Pin bright, a light haze, lots of murk, or lumps of yeast…?

It poured a much darker colour than I was expecting. Instead of the common insipid pale straw, it was reminiscent of iced tea, in both colour and clarity. I certainly wouldn’t say it was hazy, it had definitely crossed over into murky. The head didn’t last long either, which made it look a bit of a sorry sight in the glass.

The nose didn’t reveal much, aromas were there, but they were very subtle and hard to pick out. Flavour wise it was a bit of a muddle, with a bit too much yeast character for my liking. Bitterness asserted itself pretty quickly and lingered long into the aftertaste, which was nice though.

There was plenty of body from the malt, and flavour from the hops, so the bitterness felt relatively light to start with, but built as you got further down the glass. While the bitterness ended up being quite assertive, and would probably have been more so, but it was attenuated by the yeast flavours.

I’d like to be able to say that there were lovely subtle orange flavours, or some other kind of citric hop character. While there were some, they were almost impossible to pin down, as the yeast flavours encroached too far.

The aftertaste was pretty juicy, but not remotely flabby and watery like the Bibble from the other night. As previously mentioned, the bitterness lingered, leaving the mouth tingling pleasantly. The hop burps, were also rather pleasant too.

I checked the can after pouring and I had left some liquid in the can, which was really murky. You could also clearly see some yeast, still in the ring around the base too. So it wasn’t like I’d dumped the whole can in and necked it. It wasn’t that it was unpleasant, quite the opposite. Instead of just being good, it would have been really, really good, if it had just been a bit cleaner.

I’ve had unfiltered kellerbier before and I’m pretty sure it didn’t taste of yeast. So I’m pretty sure you can be unfined, unfiltered and still be pretty clean tasting. Maybe cans just aren’t the best medium for distributing this kind of beer. Maybe I need to buy another one, leave most of it in the can, and just see what it’s like without any yeast contamination.

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