Plank Road (Miller) Icehouse

Total Score: 4.9/10 Corn1Barley1CutGrass1Stein1

First off – this is an absurdly large can at 24oz (or 709ml to everyone not from the US/UK) and I thought when I saw it “Plank Road, must be a new craft brewer”… it’s not: It’s Miller of SABMiller fame. Ironically Miller released this beer under the Plank Road pseudonym to fool hipster craft drinkers like me, well played Miller. This beer is an Ice Lager – brewed like an Eisbock with water skimmed off the beer while it’s frozen to produce something bolder. For a 5.5% ABV brew this seems a bit of a redundant process, but hey let’s give it a go bro.

Poured from a 709ml can into a stein.

A: Clear pale golden body with a reasonably tight 1cm white head on top. Looks alright for a Lager – head sticks around well. 7/10.

S: Aroma is a bit of a trip down Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) lane with sweet corn and boiled cabbage characters. Background notes of sweet malt grains and a touch of grassy hops round out an aroma that is nothing fantastic but likewise nothing horribly offensive (unless you have a sensitivity to DMS which some people do). 5/10.

T: Quite sweet for a Lager (do Americans like overly sweet Lagers?) with sweet corn and cereal grain characters (actually tastes like a box of barley flake cereal). The sweetness is unbalanced – there’s not enough of a hop presence to keep it in check. After taste as a result is a bit of sticky rice syrup and a mealy/grainy note. 5/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with that sweet stickiness mentioned above and a fairly active carbonation that made me burp a bit… just let off another one then. This needs less gas. 5/10.

D: Perhaps if it was colder it wouldn’t taste borderline sickly sweet, however I did drink it ice-cold (my fridge is cold enough to freeze vegetables so it should be cold enough for beer, possibly too cold). Anyway the colder you have to drink a beer to enjoy it the cheaper the beer is IMO. Speaking of cheap – at $8 a can it is not. Granted Australians pay a premium for beer, especially imported beer, still $8 for a can of cheap Lager with little going for it? Just buy an Oettinger 6 pack of 500ml cans for $14 instead if you’re that desperate for a buzz. I do like this 709ml can idea though… 4/10.

Food match: Look you’re not exactly eating caviar and lobster with this brew but a foot long hotdog with Dijon mustard isn’t the wurst thing in the world now is it?