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Beer #191 – Wigram – Kortegast Red Sparkling Ale (redux)

Wigram – Kortegast Red Sparkling Ale a revisit from a long time ago, when it was #21 on the list (May 2012). I have a friend who like this, and I thought it would be worth a second look, although I rated it as good before, it’s nice to go back and see if I was right or just making it up on the fly, which is what I pretty much do all the time.

so , Brewed by Wigram Brewing Company in the style of a  Irish Ale and that’s still in Christchurch, New Zealand. Same 5% ABV beer, same 500ml bottle, 1.9 standard drinks worth.

Wigram - KortegastThe Wigram Brewing Company wishes to advise that our Red Sparkling Ale Full Strength Beer has been crafted from Historical Hops which were discovered still growing on the banks of the Hokitika River. The original hops were grown by a pioneer Hokitika brewer, Mr William CJ Kortegast. His Crown Brewery was one of the very first West Coast Breweries. Remnants of these Kortegast hops have been incorporated into our Sparkling Red Ale, which is red in colour with low to medium bitterness and the aromatic flavour of the Hokitika hops on the finish. WJC Kortegast died in 1897 and the source of his hop supply was lost, although the memory of his famous brews lingered on. This Sparkling Ale is dedicated to WJC Kortegast and the pioneer brewers of Hokitika.

This is only slightly bitter on aroma, on opening, is possibly a bit yeasty, not overly carbonated, and pours a brown beer colour, no particular shade or orange, or golden, just brown. Small unlively head just mooches.

Aroma is a musty affair, a bit vinegary. It’s a nice clear beer though, so that’d be a feature not a warning.

There a lot of hops in the front note, and that carries thorough the middle but doesn’t get to the end. The head remains fairly creamy in the glass, but I’m left wondering about my earlier take on this. This crammed all in the front idea for a beer doesn’t seem to sit very well.

Of course I’ve had a few beers since I last drink this, and it was important then, and that I enjoyed it as a good beer. Now I have doubt. There’s something quite right about it, and it feels heavy or top heavy. The hop note lingers around not really offering a finish but more a nuisance value. There appears to be no length in the taste, it’s all jazz hands and smile up front.

The finish is of green hops that seem under achieved for this. It’s not really doing it for me, and I’m wavering and faltering. The lacing that I may have before is missing to. Different beer different day.

The pdubyah-o-meter shrugs it’s way, as a struggle to give this a 6 (Average) to be honest, it’s weirdly hopped, and oddly malted, musty, and oddly heavy and lacking in length.

I don’t think I’d avoid this, and would like to give it the best of 3 test at some point in the future. There are days when a beer will do it for you, and clearly this isn’t one of them for this beer and me.


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