Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Buckbean Brewing Company – Doug’s Very Noddy 40th Birthday Lager

buckbeanI do love the chance to try beer form breweries that I’ve not yet come across or heard of. Buckbean Brewing Company is based out of Reno, NV of all places so it came quite a long way to get here. The website is worth checking out, and I would really love to try their orange blossom beer sometime – what an interesting flavor choice! A notable interesting feature of this beer? They do all of their beers in cans. I know what you’re thinking. “But, only yucky beer comes in cans!” Here’s the truth – I’ve had other craft beers out of cans, and as long as you’re pouring them into a glass (which you are anyway, right?) there’s no difference in flavor! The cans are lined and don’t taste metallic at all.

So I took the can (which is mostly silver with a nice wrapped label around it) and poured it into a glass. It took a long time to do this because the head was huge! It foamed up and threatened to overwhelm the glass, and I patiently waited and poured the rest in very slowly. The color of this beer is opaque black, and the head is nice and tan/brown.

The smell, too, is deserving of some focused attention. It is a little chocolatey, a little malty and has a little bit of that plum/cherry whatever that deep, sweet taste is that shows up in a lot of imperials. I should mention that the ABV on this is 10.5%, and that this is kidn of a special relative to their Black Noddy Lager (which I wish I could get my hands on.)

The taste is different than most beers in this style I’ve had before. It has a distinct sweet malt, but is also followed by an almost bitter twinge. It feels great in the mouth – very smooth and goes down quickly. This is complex, too. It starts out warm, sweet, syrupy and then bites a little in the end (in a really good way). There is a really subtle smokiness going on, too – something that I always like to taste.

This was a beer that I’d like to sip over and over just to see what tastes I could draw out of it. I also wish I had the Black Noddy Lager to compare it to, since there are probably a lot of common threads between them.  I highly recommend this. If you are in the CA/NV area, it is distributed locally and is probably a lot easier to obtain on the west coast. Check out their website for more information. I hope that I get an opportunity to check out more Buckbean brews soon.

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4 Comments

  1. This is an excellent beer. The Black Noddy Lager is tasty too, and I love the Orange Blossom Ale…they’re also very appreciative of all us beer reviewers and our opinions. They are a really great brewery

  2. This is an excellent beer. The Black Noddy Lager is tasty too, and I love the Orange Blossom Ale…they’re also very appreciative of all us beer reviewers and our opinions. They are a really great brewery

  3. I tried this at the GABF as I met Daniel Kahn whilst judging and it’s a truly delightful and delicious beer – and Daniel’s a really top guy too, which makes it all the more pleasing that the beer is so drinkable!

    Good call on the can thing – I’m a big fan of Caldera, Maui, Oskar Blues and 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat (it is absolutely divine!), all of which are canned and of the highest quality.

  4. Cool – I hadn’t heard of Buckbean before but the Reno/Tahoe area seems like a dream part of the world to have a brewery. Beer and skiing! 🙂

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