By Greg B. If you live in the Baltimore area, no doubt you’re familiar with Clipper City, DuClaw Brewery or the Wharf rat. But are you familiar with The Raven? The beer that uses Edgar Allen Poe’s tombstone and most closely associated animal figure is brewed by the Baltimore-Washington Beer Works.
The beer is called a ‘special lager’ and the label boasts that ‘The taste is poetic’. I’ve had it a few times over the years, and I’m not certain about the poetry of the taste. Perhaps ironic, as Edgar himself was quite a drinker, but I wonder if he would have drank this one? To give it a more Baltimore style experience, I poured the beer into a mason-jar style mug. The beer pours a nice medium golden color with reddish highlights, with about 1 finger of frothy bright white head. On the nose, there isn’t much to say, it smells vaguely lagerish with hints of sweet malts. To taste, I feel it’s about the same, relatively tasteless with medium-high carbonation. When it’s cold, it’s definitely refreshing, and it’s certainly a very malt-forward type lager, but I personally wish it had a bit more kick or bite from some sort of hop usage. It’s a bit of a shame, as there really are no good American lagers, and I really want there to be (Brooklyn lager may well be the exception). With a bit more roasted malt character, just a tiny bit more, and a substantial amount of bittering hops, I feel this beer could easily become a Baltimore favorite. 1.4/5, 5.5% abv
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