So, I stopped over at the Rogue Kitchen + Wet Bar near Waterfront SkyTrain station in Vancouver, and browsed their brew menu. I got pretty excited when I saw the Hermann's Dark Lager (ABV 5.0%) from Vancouver Island Brewery on the menu, seeing as I wanted to review it. At the time, I also had a slight stomach ache, so I thought I'd test my theory on a dark lager, seeing if it would not only taste good, but help my gut at the same time.
|Hermann's Dark Lager from Van Isle Brewing Co. @ Rogue Kitchen + Wet Bar|
I had it poured on tap, as pictured above. It looks like a standard dark ale, or a stout/porter with no head. I'm guessing when they poured it, the head dissipated. On first sniff, I couldn't really tell if it was a lager at all. I picked up roasted malt, maybe a bit of burnt malt. I also smelled chocolate; it smelled closer to more of the dark ales I've had in the past, so I wasn't sure if they poured my brew right until I dove in.
That first sip was so smooth, I knew it was a form of lager. It felt like a mutated lager, but in a good way. Dark, roasted malts, combined with some sweetened flavouring and kind of a nutty taste too. I also picked up a slightly cocoa-like taste, maybe coffee. It's not bitter, but at the same time not sweet either. It's well balanced, and the tastes all fit together.
Maybe it was just me personally, but I felt immediately relaxed after the first few sips. The taste was impressive for a dark lager. And to make the sips even sweeter, it did remedy my slight stomach ache. I'm not really sure why, nor does it matter for this post.
This is a drinkable brew for any taste-level. Whether you're new to beers, have had a few in the past, or even a few too many, you'll enjoy the taste of this dark lager. I can't think of anyone I've met that would turn this down at a bar. If it's in season, it would probably be on my list of choices for the night, but maybe not the first choice. I tend to start off my bar visits with a heavier brew, but this one is good too!
I don't actually think I can take off any marks from this brew for much. The carbonation could have been better, and maybe a little bit of head would have been good too. However, it was probably just the fact that I bought it on tap, and perhaps the keg was running low. Either way, it doesn't lower the rating by much.
If you're ever unsure at a bar, or the liquor store, pick up this brew, I swear it's good for you (and tastes awesome). So far, everything I've tried from the folks at Van Isle has been quite good. Personally, its reputation is high up with the folks at the Red Racer breweries in Surrey. That says a lot.
The Hermann's Dark Lager from the Vancouver Island Brewery gets an enjoyable 8.5 / 10