The Twins from Lake Louie Brewing
This new seasonal from Lake Louie brewmaster Tom Porter is one of the most highly anticipated beers of 2015.
Capital Brewery's version has longed reigned supreme among local Maibocks. Now, all that is changing. It started when longtime Capital brewmaster Kirby Nelson left to start Wisconsin Brewing Company (now called WBC) in Verona and soon after introduced a new version of a Maibock called Big Sweet Life.
Now Lake Louie is entering the picture. Lake Louie's Maibock, called the Twins, got off to a big draft-only start over the past week with the strongest pre-orders in the history of the brewery. Bottles in four-packs of The Twins are just making their way into local stores this week.
What is it?: The Twins, a Maibock, from Lake Louie Brewing in Arena.
Style: The Maibock, or Helles bock, is most often a golden to clear copper-colored beer with firm malty aroma and flavor. Hops provide accent and balance, and can sometimes provide spiciness in the background. Maibocks are medium-bodied and overall a very clean tasting beer that commonly ranges from 6.5% to 7.5 % ABV.
Maibock refers to the springtime serving ("Mai" is May in German) of the brew. Its other name, Helles (also German), refers to the beer's pale color. These lagers are traditionally brewed in the dead of winter and aged until spring.
Background: Porter makes this beer with two-row Canadian-grown Harrington malt alongside GoldPils malt from Vienna, a malt that's ideal for Maibocks. The beer is only lightly hopped for balance, and it ends up around 30 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). Porter describes it as resembling the German beer Spaten rather than American Maibocks from the Midwest, more known for their sweetness.
The beer's name, the Twins, refers to the zodiac sign Gemini, which covers May 21-June 21 (roughly corresponding to a Maibock's traditional release period).
The Twins is packaged in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles for around $8. It's strong for a Maibock at over 8% ABV.
Because pre-orders for kegged beer were so numerous, Porter and his distributor are limiting most local liquor stores to just three cases each. "I hate to do that. Next year, I'm going to make more, I promise," Porter says.
Aroma: Light and malty, with sweet bready and biscuit tones.
Appearance: A clear golden-copper body with a thick and soft head that is off-white to light-tan.
Texture: Medium-bodied with softness.
Taste: Smooth malt flavor. Lots of caramel, bready-biscuit flavors and a hint of spicy warmth.
Finish/Aftertaste: Spicy with alcoholic warmth that builds. The over 8% ABV is something to be aware of because the sweet-malty tones may hide its strength.
Glassware: I like the Willi Becher for this beer because it focuses the malty aromas under the nose. With a four-pack at home for a meal, the Maibock is nicely presented in a footed pilsner glass.
Pairs well with: The Maibock is a versatile meal companion. It's great with stews, wild game meats, and sausages. The Twins will go well with a French dip sandwich or a bowl of French onion soup.
Rating: Three Bottle Openers.
The Consensus: Lake Louie's The Twins has not received enough ratings to be scored by BeerAdvocate or Ratebeer.
The Verdict: The Twins is a very flavorful Maibock. Tom Porter says he doesn't consider it as sweet as other Midwestern Maibocks; however, for my palate, that's debatable. There's a very rich malty flavor, with caramel, bready and biscuit tones. Its alcoholic strength was a little more than I expected, with a spicy warmth that lingers and builds. This is a pleasant and very drinkable Maibock, with a touch of edgy attitude about it that says "I'm a big beer."