Friday Brew Review: Verloren

We should all aspire to be a bit more like Indiana Jones.

What’s that? You say you don’t approve of Indy? You think he’s a poor choice for a role model? Well then, why could that be? Is it the fact that he makes murder hilarious? Or do you have some serious qualms about his freewheeling sexual ways? Oh, let me guess – you’re going to give me some malarkey about child endangerment? These’re all arguments that’ve been presented to me before, and as such I have no hesitation in brushing `em off with a Donkey Kongian nonchalance.

`Cause at the end of the day, Indiana Jones is a Nazi-battlin’ scholar who hunts down ancient artifacts.

It’s by conjuring this spirited admiration for the Jones-lifework that I approach the prospect of reviewing tonight’s featured beer. Although I’m not a philanderin’, bull-whippin’, gorgeous-as-man-can-be archaeologist like Indiana Jones, I certainly share his love of the arcane. Y’know, the stuff that’s too elusive or frightening or challenging for mass consumption. Like the Star Wars Holiday Special. As such, my reverence for the hidden truths of antiquity and inebriation and maybe even existence itself have led me to sip upon the splendor that is Verloren.

Long known for their dedication to crafting quality brews, the folks at Sam Adams began upping the ante about a year ago by rolling out their series of limited release beers. The idea behind this movement, ostensibly, is to provide beer lovers with the sort of heightened experiences that cannot be bottled within the company’s standard (though truly formidable) selection. For the average beer-drinker lookin’ for nothing more than a way to lubricate the soul-grindin’ that is the most recent loss of a favorite sports team, such craft brews seem silly. But for us Indiana Jones-styled beer snobs who’re always on the prowl for something new, this is just fuckin’ lovely.

It’s all about the discovery of something new, folks.

So what did I discover about this here Verloren? Well, I found that Sam Adams seems to believe in the product wholeheartedly. According to the brewery website, the beer can be described in the following terms:

Our rendition of an old German style, Verloren is brewed with 50 to 60 percent malted wheat creating a fine haze, cloudy straw color, and crisp twang. The singularity of this brew however, comes from its soft creaminess, dry finish, and spices.  The addition of salt creates a slight sharpness against the soft cereal character and enhances the other flavors around it, while ground coriander creates a peppery bite to enliven the brew.

Malted haze? Dry spice-finish? Ground coriander? Verloren flirted with me, whispering into my ear that the pursuit would be worth the risk.

So, what do I actually think of this lost brew now that I’ve tossed it back? In short, I think it’s successful on all fronts. Superficially, Verloren does a great job of enticing the prospective imbiber visually and olfactorily. The ale pours into the glass smoothly, settling into a hue of hazy orange that’s topped off with a conservative off-white head. Holding it up to the light, the cloudiness of the ale is able to reveal its whole glory – orange swirls of alcoholic wonder that are not to be fuxxed with. Goddamn. On the bouquet front, there’re a few discernible elements, notably honey and salt and flowers and citrus.

Time to drank.

Verloren is medium-bodied and smooth on the palate, touting a flavor that speaks of levity while delighting entirely. With no credentials beyond “Dude who drinks beers and talks about `em” it’s hard for me to pin down the bread-notes I detect, but I’ll just say yeast. Yeah, that’s it, there’s definitely some yeast in this beer. Moreover, although I certainly taste some of the saltiness that I noticed while smelling, I wouldn’t say that this is a “salty” beer. Rest assured, pub-dwellers, this is a brew that can be complemented with haphazardly aimed fistfuls of pretzel. Additionally, I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention the lemon-zest, subtle-spices, and covert-pepper that’re unleashed by this ale.

I’m not Indiana Jones. I know that. But like Indy, I’ve found great reward in engaging with those elements that often elude us. For him, it’s the Ark of the Covenant. For me, it’s beer-drinkin’ novelty. And fortunately, we’ve both had great success.

Verloren is a wonderful drink, painting incredible flavors and superb drinkability upon a lighthearted palette.

The Verdict: A-