Thursday, 14 July 2016

Absent Landlord Country Kolsch

The copy on the side of the 473mL cans that house Absent Landlord Country Kolsch taught me that in 1855, a gent named Henry Blyth bought the entirety of the town of Drummond, Ontario, rechristened it Blyth, and never even visited the damn place. From this anecdote, Absent Landlord gets its name. A Kölsch-style ale from Blyth, Ontario's Cowbell Brewing Co., Absent Landlord features 5.3% alcohol and 18 IBUs. Hazy and orange-gold, it decants with a nicely sudsy off-white head.

Absent Landlord has a sweet and fruity scent that is closely replicated in the flavour. There is something almost wheat-like in the taste, with vague banana notes nestled in with lightly toasted malt. Out back, there are sufficient hops to offer a sense of closure, but little more than that.

While not quite what I expected, Absent Landlord offers a refreshing (literally) take on the Kölsch style. No idea what makes it a "Country Kolsch" other than the fact that Blyth is a rural community. Perhaps it's an attempt to thwart the sticklers in Cologne who insist that a Kölsch must come from their fair city, or perhaps it's because there is a bit of a witbier element. Whatever the case, Cowbell has created an interesting little ale here. I'd buy it again, though I'd be more likely to do so in a timely manner if this beer was a tad less sweet and had fewer banana esters.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10.

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