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Freedom Organic Dark Lager - abv 4.7 per cent; £1.50/33cl
THE Freedom Brewery is situated near the village of Abbots Bromley in rural Staffordshire, although at its foundation in 1995 it operated 120 miles away at Parson’s Green in the west London borough of Fulham.
It was the first of the new wave of microbreweries to focus on lagers rather than ales. Its pilsener beer featured here a while back.
This week it’s the turn of Freedom’s take on dunkel beer, the dark lager style widely available in the Czech Republic and much of southern Germany, but only recently gaining a degree of recognition in the UK.
Chestnut coloured, rather lighter than most of its continental cousins, it pours with plenty of lively bubbles but little head. The aroma has toffee and roast malt, with some light fruit notes… blackberry and cherry… and a little creamy vanilla.
There is an initial sweetness in the mouth, with malt and caramel, followed by a more bitter flavour of dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Some dry, earthy hops appear in the aftertaste, with toffee reappearing at the finish along with a light herbal bitterness.
Perhaps closer to the Vienna lager style rather than a true dunkel, this is nevertheless a very worthy effort at a beer style still relatively new to this country, and organic to boot.