Jun 7, 2013

Lancaster Brewing Rumspringa

I’ve only had a few brews from Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Brewing over the years — Amish Four Grain Pale Ale, Gold Star Pilsner and Milk Stout. The only one so far to have wowed me was their Milk Stout which for some reason I haven’t officially reviewed here. Their Rumspringa, a 6.6% ABV bock, sort of falls in line with the other brews. It’s decent enough, but doesn’t really command my attention.

For the most part, the brew is right in line with most domestic bocks that I’ve had, but it does have an additional twist to help separate it from the rest. Rumspringa is brewed with local Lancaster County honey which gives the beer an interesting flavor that I’m not sure 100% works with the style. The honey isn’t too forward in the flavor and doesn’t really add too much additional sweetness to the 2 Row Barley and Caramel malt that forms the backbone. Maybe that’s part of it’s problem.


Rumspringa pours a golden amber with a short-lived, off-white cap of foam.


Grains, a hint of caramel, toasted bread, light fruits and subtle honey notes all come together in a rather inviting nose.


The flavor is pretty much right in line with the nose, but with a more pronounced sweetness and honey presence. It’s also fairly hop forward with a leafy, grassy character and low level of bitterness (22 IBU). The beer carries that sweetness and soft bitterness to a finish that, for 6.6% ABV, is surprisingly warming. The honey makes a resurgence late in the finish and lingers a good bit.


I like the idea of the honey addition to give the beer a unique character, but I’m not entirely sure that it really works here. It gives an already fairly sweet style that much more of a sweetness — not cloyingly so, but not right either. It’s a decent little brew that I enjoyed well enough, but don’t believe I’d pick it over their Milk Stout.

Rating: 3/5

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