Bent Paddle Roof Rack Vienna-style lager. Brewed and packaged by Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Duluth, Minnesota, contains: water, malt, hops, yeast. 5.7% ABV, 27 IBU.
Clear, bright golden hue, edging on orange, large, lush ivory head, leaving lace.
Aroma: vibrant, malty, with light fruity esters. Classic vienna profile, with a slightly hoppier twist to it. Plenty of peppy citrus-y notes.
In the mouth: Soft entry, with the lush, sweet malt sliding in, and just enough hops to keep it in check. Balance is key here, and it is just about perfect. Delicious, smooth, and so easy drinking. Mmm, mmm, good.
Let's read the gobbledygook on the side: "The end of paddle season comes with a sense of the bittersweet---just like our roof rack lager. This Vienna lager plays malty with a bit of toastiness from Vienna malt and is dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria hops. Hoist your craft to your roof rack and enjoy this festive lager."
The key note there is "festive", as the flavor "plays malty" like an Oktoberfest. If this is their seasonal offering, a la marzens, I'm all for it.
Full disclosure: This wasn't really a gift from the Sample Man (though I don't always tell you, the reader, every time that a beer reviewed here is), but was part of a 6-pack given to me when I visited the brewery a few days ago. I wouldn't have gone out and bought one anyway.