Saturday, November 9, 2013

Budweiser Project 12 Second Edition North Pacific Lager Batch 94534

This is part of the Second Edition of the Budweiser Project 12.  Budweiser has 12 breweries across the United States. In the first edition, Budweiser had their brewmasters at all 12 of their U.S. breweries come up with a special recipe, but all had to use the same Budweiser proprietary yeast. They cut these twelve selections down to six internally, then down to the three in the Project 12 special release by public tastings. People can vote on which is their favorite. The batch numbers correspond to the zip code of the brewery that came up with the recipe. 43229 is Columbus, Ohio; 94534 is Fairfield, California (I took the tour at this one several years ago); and 23185 is Williamsburg, Virginia.

In the first edition, they had a deep gold lager from 63118, St. Louis, Missouri ; a light amber  aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans from 23185, Williamsburg,Virginia; and a deep amber lager from 91406, Los Angeles, California.  In a feat of originality, the Second Edition features a deep gold lager from 94534, Fairfield, California; a light amber aged on bourbon barrel staves and vanilla beans from, you guessed it, 23185, Williamsburg, Virginia; and a deep amber bock from 43229, Columbus, Ohio.  While the lineup is repetitive, the beers are much better this year than they were last year. The first edition was really bad tasting overall.

This golden lager is 5.5% ABV and is from the brewery in Fairfield, California. It uses Northwest hops like Cascade and Palisade. The beer pours a dark golden in color. There is a tall head of white foam, that fizzes down fairly quickly, but has a somewhat creamy top to it. The aroma is light fruit, apricot and citrus, over golden grain, with light grass and straw. The taste follows the aromas, light fruit and straw over golden grain, the finish is grassy with a light to medium bitterness. It is very dry. It is crisply and refreshingly carbonated. This is much better than the gold lager in the first edition of project 12.  It is somewhat like their competitor’s Batch 19 lager. Overall, pretty decent, there is just a note at the end of the finish (Discordant tang? Metallic? Medicinal?) that doesn’t quite work for me.  There is a few more of these left in the pack, I’m curious to see how it hits on a second time around.

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