Fearful Symmetries

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17 January, 2016

Goodbye Sister Deesko: Deesko! by 3 Floyds Brewing Co.



3 Floyds bills their Deesko! as a "Munster-style Berliner Weiss". Not being familiar with the brewery's hometown, I'm not quite sure what makes this a Munster-style brew. I tend to think of 3 Floyds ethos as being about high octane and very hoppy beers. So perhaps it's the high amount of alcohol – 6.5% A.B.V. – in Deesko! The Berliner Weisse is traditionally a very low alcohol brew with about half that. Heaven forfend the Berliner Weisse from an IPA hopping regimen!

Although described as being "perfect for summer", I bought this bottle back in October which, if this tweet is any indication, means that it was fresh at that time. Since then the bomber has been in my cellar out of the light and keeping relatively cool. Opening the bottle I wasn't expecting its age to be a problem as the Berliner Weisse style is about the tartness from lactic acid instead of more delicate hoppiness which degrades with age.

Perfect for summer. Then why was this bier released in the autumn and why did I drink it during a cold snap in January? Uff da! Truth be told, I have more Berliner Weisses in the cellar that will be consumed soon.

Deesko! pours a light gold/deep yellow color. It was quite cloudy - so much so that it was almost opaque. As befitting a Champagne of the North, my glass ended up with a large slightly off-white head that dissipated at a moderate pace. There was a fair amount of bubbles in the bier going up the glass. While not pristine like a pilsner, I thought it looked rather good with its light color and generous foam radiating tasty refreshment.

The aroma was quite potent with a splendid tartness that was both lemony/citrusy along with sharp green apple. It was a big, zesty blast to the nose and I expected something similar for my tongue. Lo and behold the bier had a massive lemony sour taste that made my lips pucker. Although there was a goodly amount of carbonation, it couldn't really compete with all of that lactic tartness. Underneath all of this was a bit more malt than you normally find in the style but Dessko! still had a fairly light body and wasn't very sweet.

Sadly, there was also a herbal/medicinal flavor as well that veered into Band Aid™-like territory. While not pronounced, there was just enough of it that the tartness wasn't able to conceal it. Various sites on the Interwebs say these kinds of off flavors are the result of chlorophenols, produced when phenols made by the yeast come into contact with chlorine.

On the finish the tartness lingered for quite a while along with that off flavor, which was milder than it was earlier. There was no Schaumhaftvermoegen to be found as it all had slid down into the bier.

I think I would have really enjoyed Deesko! had there not been that off flavor. I didn't pour it down the drain, however, and instead applied some Waldmeister (woodruff) syrup and polished off the bottle. I tried to add just enough to disguise the medicinal flavor yet not to make it taste overly sweet. Having accomplished this, I found it quite tasty with a nice tartness. The body was still light enough to retain that easy drinking quality. This was after work and I quaffed the bottle fairly quickly.

Junk food pairing: Dessko!, off flavors or not, pairs well with pretzels, preferably soft ones, adorned with a nice, sharp cheese food product.

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|| Palmer, 10:51 AM

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