Something different tonight. I've been doing mostly ales since I started, and, genereally speaking, when you get into beers you find yourself buying up ales to the exclusion of lagers. That's a shame, because lagers can be just as unique and fantastic as ales. Unfortunately they've been given a bad name thanks to Bud, Blue, Canadian etc. etc. etc.
Christoffel makes a coupld good lagers. The Nobel is new, but you should usually be able to find a Blonde in the LCBO. The Blonde is a more traditional lager, but quite good, hoppy and refreshing. This Nobel is a bit of a beast. High alcohol and highly hopped with continental "noble" hops. You'll notice the label says "dry-hopped". This means that hops are introduced after the boil, giving a nice hit of aroma, but not cooking the hops to add bitterness.
My bottle is beautiful, which is nice because I've heard from some people that the shipment has been a bit flat. Huge billowy white head off the pour. Settles after five minutes or so to a finger-thick head. Clear lacings on every sip.
Perfumey continental hops on the nose mingled with some hot alcohol. Slightly piney aroma, a touch of citrus zest.
Taste is all at the back of the tongue. About as bitter as you'd expect from a European pilsner. However, I'm sort of missing the flavours I really enjoy from Euro-hops. A good hit of fresh grass would be welcome. Instead the focus is all bitterness and floral herbs. Then again, I'm not sure how much of that can be chalked up to the huge alcohol hit. This beer is hot, and it gives it an almost Belgian strong ale character. One glass is fine for me, this is a tough beer. I'd definitely recommend it though.
I find this beer surprisingly heavy. Pilsners are typically light and refreshing, whereas this is alcohol heavy and full bodied. Worth a try. Drink it a bit warmer than you normally would a light lager. If it's not your cup of tea I'd recommend the Victory Prima Pils, my favourite pilsner at the LCBO.