With Limited Edition Lager, Full Sail extends its foray into lagers and overwrought x-games language. It is the first of their "Livin' the Dream" series (aka LTD), and the packaging--not so much the bottle, but the sixer box--drips with, like, gnarly rippin' verbiage, dude. It is the least palatable aspect of the brewery's new direction, but I've always been happy to ignore what the marketing department's doing and go straight for the beer. So let's do that.
It is an impressive-looking beer. A striking russet, and clear as a winter night. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't russet. It has a characteristically lager-y aroma, like a marzen, sweet with a touch of aromatic noble hopping.
There are two pronounced flavors in this beer, candy and spice. The initial impression is of sugar--it's perhaps the sweetest beer I've ever tasted. Candy sweet, though, not thick and malty like a barley wine. It is fairly effervescent, and I also get a cola note, which makes the whole affair taste, at first blush, like a Pepsi. But then the hopping comes in, and pretty robustly. It's peppery-spicy, and it doesn't balance the cola so much as draw your attention away from it. The finish remains sweet, but the hops do stay with you.
At first I thought it was going to be a fairly standard lager, something like a big marzen (it goes 6.4%). But this is entirely novel. I tend not to appreciate lagers as much as my wife Sally, so I studied her reaction and took a few quick notes. Said she: "I really like it. It's eeeeasy drinkin'; sweet and tasty. Hey, it even says easy-drinking on the label."
I'm not going to knock myself out looking for this beer, but I think it may appeal to some of the same people Session appeals to, but draw them further into the quicksand of good beer--from which, I hope, they will never escape. If it does that, well, that'd be rippin' gnarly, dude.
Malts: Caramel, chocolate, wheat
Hops: Czech Saaz, Hallertauer
Alcohol by volume: 6.4%
Original Gravity: 16 degrees Plato
Bitterness Units: 26
Other: A "secret sauce" (brewery's words)
Available: Everywhere, until the Spring when LTD 02 will be released.