This beer is made from “pure Tibetan spring water, Tibetan barley, Saaz hops, and yeast,” making it the first beer to be produced with Tibetan barley. I don’t know what that means, but I’m willing to find out.
Perfectly yellow straw color, with crystal pilsner clarity and a huge rocky white head – aided by the tall kolsch glass – that subsides slowly, but hurrying down as it separates into a Swiss cheese layer of foam. The nose is grainy and clean, like wet corn husks, but there is something more there.
A chewy and floury odor like boiled pasta comes out along with a slightly sweet maltiness. The first sip delivers a good mouthfeel that is refreshing as a good lager should be. There is a lightness yet a complexity to this beer that makes it really appealing. The malt appears first, smoothing out the sip as some nice bitter hops leave a grassy flavor that perks you up a bit to remind you that pilsners should have a bit of a kick at the end. A touch of rice-like flavor is imparted as well, and it is not at all unpleasant.
Each sip of this beer is as smooth as a marble rolling on polished granite countertop toward a pool of water. It glides along seamlessly and then plops with a hop finish that is entertaining enough to have another. This is not a run-of-the-mill gas-pumper. If you like drinking lagers with Asian cuisine, this is a step above most of the cheaper choices. I picked this up on sale at a local Whole Foods, so look for it to be a well-priced alternative.
In my haste to drink this beer, I grabbed the Sierra cap from the Celebration, which is a shame as the Lhasa cap is pretty cool. So, here’s a glamor shot.Good for Lhasa Beer. This earns an Awesome tag.