Beer of the Weekend #578: Lac du Bay

I am camping tonight and thought I would write the traditional BotW review a little early.

The beer of the weekend is Lac du Bay, brewed by the Central Waters Brewing Company of Amherst, Wisconsin.

Lac du Bay is part of Central Waters’ Seasonal Series. Or at least it comes in a Seasonal Series sixer. There is no information about the beer on the brewery website, but no beer is listed for spring on the seasonals webpage. I assume that means the website has yet to be updated. The beer guy I talked to at John’s said they received Lac du Bay recently, assuaging my fear that it had sat around for ages.

(Speaking of Central Waters, I tried the brewery’s first sour ale, Exodus, at a sour beer event at The Sanctuary. It was good and sour stuff.)

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. “10014” is printed on the neck but it is obviously not a freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is clear, medium amber with honey and caramel tones. A finger of dense, very light tan head settled slowly, leaving trails of foam along the glass, a bubbly and sticky ring around the edge, and a spotted and thin skim.

Smell: Solidly malty with sweetness and a lot of caramel and toffee. It has a pleasant undertone of floral hops and perhaps a little rye. It also has a vein of fruit with scents of apple, cherry, raspberry, and blackberry.

Taste: Nothing really stands out at first so the overall experience is a smooth harmony of flavors. Toasted malts, caramel, toffee, and floral hops do gain prominence, though. Honey comes into play and, paired with the warming undertone of alcohol, lends the beer a hot toddy element. Spice (which tastes a little like rye), citrus zest, and molasses emerge as the beer warms. Each sip coats the mouth with a lingering bitterness. There is a little fruit sweetness but no individual flavors make themselves known.

Drinkability: Hmm… This is a very well-made beer, but I was expecting something much more sessionable. The bitterness is a little too aggressive and the ABV a little too high for it to be sessionable. It is not, in my opinion, a fitting spring seasonal. Maybe early spring, when it is still cold, but not when it warms up.

Fun facts about Lac du Bay:

-Style: English IPA.

-Price: $8.99/sixer at John’s Grocery in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: ABV info is unavailable on the bottle or brewery website, but BA pegs it at 7.2 percent. The version of Lac du Bay listed on BA, though, is classified as being retired and is no longer brewed. Perhaps it is not the same beer, but I’m not sure.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

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