To use the word “ice” in your beer title is a little ballsy… for a craft brewer anyway. “Ice” instantly brings up images of Molson Ice, with tag lines like “ICE BREWED” or “COLDER THAN ICE” or “BEER=GOOD, ICER BEER=GOODER!”. Now, granted i may be remembering the slogans incorrectly and imagining slogans far worse than anything a Molson advertiser would actually produce (but I don’t think I’m that far off), but “ICE” is a “slippery” word. Get it? Ice is slippery and in the context of beer it has heightened connotation that could conceivably “Slip” away from the craft brewery… the best jokes need to be explained. IN any case i’ve written 100+ words without actually talking about the beer, so in the interest of brevity, here we go! The tension i hope i created leads to the realization, Hermannator IS NOT Molson Ice. It is much better. This beer remains quite true to style as it is a lightly hopped dark lager. Where it gets special is the additional flavours. Similar to some stouts there is a very slight roastiness, not at the level of any stout i’ve had but enough that you are aware of it. Also noticeable is red wine nose, but I’m afraid to say that as i’ve only ever indulged in sub 10 dollar bottles of wines. Additionally through the nose and middle there are dark fruit flavours like raisins and currents. The finish is a combination of the fruity flavours and a lingering of cognac or other distilled spirit, again I’m anxious of making the comparison as i don’t often drink hard alcohol. It also comes in at a whopping 9.5% abv, you drink this in a fine leather chair surrounded by leather bound books smoking cuban cigars considering the merits of Doha round of WTO meetings, you do not drive.
Vancouver Island Brewery Hermannator Ice Bock- 4/5