This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac's Decoction Concoction Lager (DCL).
The DCL is the last new beer I have tried from Saranac's 2013-2014 Beers of Winter Box. The mix box also includes Saranac's flagship Pale Ale (reviewed here - kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2009/03/sunday-night-suds-saranac-pale-ale.html); two relatively new beers, the 4059 Porter (reviewed here -kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2012/11/sunday-night-suds-saranac-4059-porter.html) and the Belgian Pale Ale (reviewed here - kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2012/12/belated-sunday-night-suds-saranac.html) and three new beers - the DCL, the Moonshadow Black IPA (reviewed here - kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2013/11/sunday-night-suds-saranac-moonshadow.html) and Rudy's Spiced Christmas Ale (reviewed here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2013/12/sunday-night-suds-saranac-rudys-spiced.html);.
I was confused by the title of this tasty, but oddly named brew. I went to the Saranac website for some insight on the choice of name and learned very little. The website stated that the beer is dry hopped and that its flavor comes from "boiling mash being added back into the brew." This of course is what happens when a beer undergoes the the process of decoction (which is defined by the www.homebrewtalk.com website) as "Water is added to the grist to reach the initial mash temperature. Once the first temperature rest is complete, a portion of the grain and water is scooped or shoveled out of the mash tun and into the kettle or another heated vessel, where it is brought to a boil. The portion removed, which can often be as much as a third of the grist, is called the decoction."
However, I was still left with the question - is this the only beer that Saranac makes which undergoes decoction? I don't have an answer to the question, but I do know that the Saranac DCL is tasty for a lager with some floral pine, a bit of nuttiness and some malt.
Saranac's DCL is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit as is every other beer produced at the Matt Brewery plant in Utica, NY. Keep in mind, Saranac has begun to brew some of its High Peaks series off site and these bottles do not have kosher certification from the Va'ad of Detroit.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the DCL, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/101803.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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