Monday, January 19, 2009

Shiner 100

Back in September of last year I reviewed Shiner '99, the Spoetzl Brewery's final anniversary offering before the Shiner 100 was going to pop up in 2009. Well the day the calender turned it seems, Shiner had their trucks shipping the 100 all over the state and last week I finally had a chance to try Shiner 100 for myself.

But before I get to the 100, let's review what they've done to get us here. Shiner '96 was the first anniversary beer and it was a Marzen style ale. '97 was a Bohemian Black (now marketed as Shiner Black), '98 a a Bavarian Style Amber, and as mentioned above '99 was a Helles lager. So while all have been done in an "old-world style," they've been fairly good about changing things up and brewing different styles-and honestly I've been excited to try each new one, even if they tended to be very different from an actual European equivalent of their namesake styles.

Shiner 100 follows in that legacy in most every way. It bills itself as a starkbier which means it should be strong, though it's really not that strong at 6.7% ABV (atleast compared to the 8% or 10% you will find in Maredsous) and while Shiner hasn't released a whole lot else about the style, I'm guessing it's supposed to be akin to a dopplebock, which is to say just a stronger and darker version of a bock beer-which is a good thing since bock is what Shiner does best.

Poured into a glass it has very little head (as do most Shiner brews), a nice copper/ruby/tawny color with tan head, and it laces nicely as you drink it down. The nose is fairly unpronounced smelling what I can best describe as, well, like Shiner bock-maybe a little sweeter. On the taste, it has that tinge of metallic tasting hops that is vintage Shiner bock, but otherwise very understated hops. It's primary flavor is fairly dark roasted malt, but its an extremely complex malt showcasing both sweetness and bitterness which then plays off the alcohol which is evident. It's a little more effervescent than I'd like for the style, but in the end I find myself extremely impressed. As the anniversary beer they've been building up to over the past few years, I think Shiner 100 delivers and is the best of the lot. In many ways, I drink it thinking it's just a better version of Shiner Bock-it tastes very similar but has a better mouth feel, more complex flavors, and a little more alcohol. In short, if you like Shiner Bock I'd be willing to wager you should also really like Shiner 100.

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