Klara (Idle Hands Brewing Company)

Style: Dortmunder Export Lager

5.5% ABV

From: Everett, MA

Brewer’s Note: “A crisp, German style lager with malt depth and noble hop character.”

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The beer’s label is simple but pretty. I love ‘hand-filled-in’ font for the beer’s title, and the hand written take of the rest of the info is really nice. Unfortunately, the rest of the hand written fonts don’t quite match up with the beautiful and crisp lettering of the Idle Hands brewery name and logo, which is too bad. I love the Idle Hands logo, by the way. The beautiful simplicity of it (admittedly) took me forever to figure out, but once I could see that the hands were making a tulip glass, I fell in love with the logo. Clutter is definitely kept to a nice minimum on the label, though it could be extended out just a touch so that the government warning wasn’t quite so close to the simple white background of the rest of the label. I like this label, and I think I’ll be keeping this bottle around for a time to come.

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The beer pours a beautiful, golden sunburst color, with a nice huge head of creamy white, pebble-like bubbles that sit about a fingers width above the glass. In body, the beer is crystal clear and clean and a nice lazy stream of bubbles working their way from the glasses bottom. On the nose, the beer smells like a German lager. Grassy noble hops meld with smooth cracker malts, a touch of earthy loam and a very soft note of DMS that gives the nose a touch of meatiness. On the tongue, the beer tastes bready sweet upfront, but quickly begins to blend with nice grassy bitters that lead to a dryer finish. Acidity is soft, but slightly citric in the mouth, adding a pop to the sip, and the earthiness of the malt mixed with the light DMS flavors adds a nice salty finish that just makes me crave another sip. In flavor, the beer begins as smooth cracker/pilsner malt flavors that blends with fresh cut grassy bitters, subtle mineral notes, and very faint touches of vegetal corn. The finish is salty with a nice background of more herbal hop bitters, and even a touch of lemongrass and citrus and bread. At times, I get a burst of lemon bread in the finish, which I really like. The malt makes a resurgence into the aftertaste with a nice, warm bread flavor that blends with the slightly vegetal flavor. In the mouth, the beer feels on medium in body with a fresh crispness that allows for supreme drinkability. Carbonation is middling, and just a touch rough, though I do like the prickle on my tongue. Once the beer leaves, the mouth is left with some saliva on the edges of the tongue, but an overall dry sense from the saltiness that hits on the finish of the beer. Overall, this is yet another beautiful, nearly sessionable lager from Idle Hands. The only thing I have against it is that the saltiness becomes a bit much as I drink more and more of the beer. I almost wish they would bring out the subtle citrus notes a little more from the hops, just to dumb down the saltiness a little. I actually found myself thirsty after I finished the beer… This beer is tremendously drinkable, however, even with its saltiness, and very tasty and complex for such a drinkable beer. Much like Idle Hands other lager, I’m getting new flavors with each sip. American craft beer is only just starting to mine the incredible complexity and versatility of German lagers, and Idle Hands is at the forefront of this movement in New England. Another great fresh lager beer.

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