9. Knappstein Reserve Lager

Posted: May 27, 2009 in Lager
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Knappstein Reserve Lager - BottleKnappstein Reserve Lager
Australian flag - small


Company info:
Enterprise Brewery
Clare Valley, SA

[No website listed on label]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.6%

Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:

‘Carefully crafted using Sauvin hops to produce a distinctly fruity and floral beer. This exquisite Reserve Lager has a distinctive wine-like balance. Brewed using only the finest quality ingredients and a minimal intervention brewing process’.

What the label really means:

I’m not entirely sure who is meant to be impressed by the words ‘a minimal intervention brewing process’ (or who is supposed to know what that means). All I got from the label is that the beer is ‘distinctly fruity and floral’. 
In a Mason Hell-Cat Beer Blog first, I decided to do some research into what Sauvin hops are. I found that it is a hop that ‘imparts grape like flavours to the beer’ – I guess like sauvignon blanc – but couldn’t they have just said that on the label? I’m sorry Enterprise Brewery, but your label is reeking of pretentious snooty-ness I have not seen in beer label marketing for some time.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I can’t get over my initial impression that this label reminds me of a particular Asian beer. I just can’t remember which it is – it’s a little Kirin, but not quite. Help anyone?
Over all though, I don’t mind the label. It’s simple, aside from the massive amount of text on the bottom ring label, telling us (amongst other things) the history of the Enterprise Brewery, and Knappstein is proudly displayed in a large font. I appreciate the fact the main label is in clear plastic, enabling us to see the liquid on the other side. 

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA: A sweet, fruity smell. It’s kind of subtle, but it’s definitely teasing me to take a sip.

Taste: GLASS – I taste a wheaty, fruity taste that is really engaging me, making me want to savour it all around my mouth – I’m loving it. I note the fruity tones playing at the tip of my tongue, and the almost sharp, understated, acidic hit towards the back. This beer is going down a real treat.

NB: The photo to the right is a bit misleading. I took it in poor light and didn’t realise the photo came out so poorly until the film was back from the chemist. It is a light, yellow-ish beer but not the urine colour as depicted.

Knappstein Reserve Lager - Glass


I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – It loses a little flavour when tasted from the bottle, but it is still an amazing drop that I am very impressed with. In fact, every sip seems to get better. It has a slightly noticeable carbonation level but it certainly isn’t offensive.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

A word from the wife: ‘Would be nice in front of an open wood fire…can definitely taste the fruitiness’.

She gave it a taste rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I am thinking this would be a great accompaniment to a seafood dish – perhaps an imaginatively cooked soft shelled crab. Although ideally, a full river trout would be great. I guess that’s the influence of the ‘Sauvin hops’. 

Best season to appreciate: The fruity aspects of this beer makes me think it’s a predominantly Summer based beer, while the wheaty full body of this tasty lager leads me to imagine it as a great Winter accompaniment. Good all year round.

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes.

All-nighter beer? Definitely – and I even have a feeling that this beer would leave me feeling good the next day (TBC).

NEXT WEEK: Murray Honey Wheat

  1. Gordon says:

    Sounds like a cracker – must go looking for that one. As a humble suggestion can you add a ‘price guide’to your review?That way we know roughly what we can expect (that one looks expensive)


    • BargeDave says:

      It’s around the $4-5 per stubby, but I always find that buying a craft beer as a single in addition to my usual 6-pack means I’m not spending too much to enjoy some amazing beer. When you think about the fact that even Belgian ales brewed by Trappist monks are generally available for under $10 per stubby and compare this with what you’d pay for an expensive glass of wine, great beer is also amazing value.


  2. BargeDave says:

    Just sampling one now. Really clean, light fruitiness/sweetness, good lager flavours if you are partial to sweetness. I recently introduced this beer to the most major beer wanker I’ve ever met (is US-based mostly these days) and she agreed it’s a rare example of a really good Aussie lager, even by global standards. You have to like it a bit sweet, though. Fans of sweeter-but-still-a-bit-dry white wines will approve.


  3. GK says:

    Ah at long last, nice one Mason glad you liked it.

    Yes, works well during a long drinking session as you don’t feel like crap in the morning. And compliments a BBQ nicely too.

    6.5 from the wife though… ouch… each to their own I guess.


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