Friday, November 05, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXXVII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the sociable folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can provide all you need to pleasantly pass the time.

What is a "session"?

Definition of session by the Free Online Dictionary:

ses•sion n.

1. a. A meeting of a legislative or judicial body for the purpose of transacting business.
b. A series of such meetings.
c. The term or duration of time that is taken by such a series of meetings.

2. The part of a year or of a day during which a school holds classes.

3. An assembly of people for a common purpose or because of a common interest: a gossip session.

4. Law A court of criminal jurisdiction in the United States: the court of sessions.

5. A period of time devoted to a specific activity, as to recording music in a studio.

What about it terms of drinking?

Session drinking is a chiefly British term that refers to drinking a large quantity of beer during a "session" (i.e., a specific period of time) without becoming intoxicated. A session is generally a social occasion.

A “session beer,” such as a session bitter, is a beer that has a moderate or low alcohol content--in the UK this would be no more than 4% ABV. The classic session beer is a bitter of about 3.7% or a dark mild of 3.2%.

In the United States, a recent session beer definition has been proposed by beer writer Lew Bryson. His Session Beer Project blog includes a definition of 4.5% ABV or less for session beer. Followers of this definition include Notch Brewing, a session only beer brand.

Which bring us to this week's featured beer. Hailing from Oregon, one of my long time favorite brewers Full Sail and their Session Premium American Lager:

Original Session, with the bright red label, is a classic all-malt pre-Prohibition style lager that reminds us of what American lagers used to taste like. It's flavorful, refreshing, and has a touch of that import-style taste. (Which, once upon a time, you didn't have to buy an "import" to get.) Oh, and it comes in a stubby, 11-oz bottle like your grandpa used to buy. So after your next session (surf, jam, gab, whatever), crack open a Session and drink to the good old new days.

Named World's Best Premium Lager at the World Beer Awards and winner of a slew of other shiny trophies, Session has truly earned itself a place at the bar. Not to mention the barbecue.

Squat brown bottle with a small mouth the fits snugly in your hand. Simple yet stylish red label with beer name in retro font. Home run for the design look and feel.

Style: Lager

Alcohol by Volume: 5.1% (which technically seems outside the scope of sessions beers as defined by most)

COLOR (0-2): Light gold and clear. 1

AROMA (0-2): Some faint malts. 1

HEAD (0-2): Bright white. Decent volume off the pour but fades fast. 1

TASTE (0-5): Grainy flavors with light malt and just the slightest touch of bitter. Dry, crisp and clean with good carbonation. Very drinkable as one would imagine. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Pleasantly bittersweet. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Session Lager lives up to its billing as a refreshing and quite quaffable beer. While there's not a whole lot of flavor there, Full Sail has come up a nice little lager here. It's what American macros should taste like. And the bottle is awesome. To get the most out of a beer you really should also drink it from a glass. However, I'd make an exception here as swigging it out of the stubby bottle is too enjoyable an experience to resist. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 12