Broken Bow Brewery - Imperial Small Arms Dealer (RBC Exclusive)
- ABV: 8%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 38–45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner, Tulip, Teku, or Nonic
We’re pleased to be able to offer Broken Bow’s Imperial Small Arms Dealer as a Rare Beer Club exclusive this month. This will be available only to our club members and through the brewery’s taproom in Tuckahoe. We thought an imperial pilsner from Broken Bow would be the ideal big beer for the summer months: it’s up there in impact, at 8% ABV, but this beer’s overall framework with breadiness and toast and crisp maltiness of that German-style pilsner baseline keep it super drinkable throughout. Our favorite release to date from Broken Bow.
Imperial Small Arms Dealer pours a hazy golden-yellow color, capped by fine-bubbled white foam that leaves solid lacing around the perimeter. This stays nice and bright and honeyed in the glass. Aromatics definitely hint at an amplified German-style pilsner, with breadiness and crispy malt toastiness leading, along with some lemony-herbal hops. The 8% ABV stays well tucked away, even after this has warmed up in our glasses. The well-layered, balanced aroma of Imperial Small Arms Dealer emphasizes toasted bread and honey throughout.
This imperial pilsner shows a medium-full body with a lively cushion of carbonation. Tiny bubbles and a slight effervescence provide welcome lift. Initial sips highlight an impactful, bracing bitterness that the aromatics didn’t quite capture. Extensively toasty, bready, honey-laden notes alongside crystalline sugars form the structure of this beer, while that bitterness from the firm hop character keeps this fresh overall. While there’s a layered malt character increasingly apparent as we allow this to warm, there’s always welcome hop bitterness and spritzy carbonation balancing things out. A nicely-made well-appointed imperial scale-up of their German-style pilsner, Small Arms Dealer, preserving a ton of that drinkability, balance, and crispness.
The 8% ABV does give this a bit of sturdiness in one’s cellar, but the overall delicate balance of fresh herbal and mineral hops and rounded, crisp maltiness make us inclined to enjoy this on the fresh side. Those zesty hops will slowly diminish, and overt caramelization isn’t what this beer’s built for. For pairings: we’d put this alongside Belgian frites and steamed mussels, cheesy garlic bread, or just as easily toasted bread and fresh burrata. There’s hop bitterness and carbonation to this that help to balance the fatty, palate-coating nature of the pairings.
Broken Bow Brewery is situated in the small village of Tuckahoe, New York, in the state’s Hudson Valley. This is southern Westchester County, a little over 15 miles from midtown Manhattan. Tuckahoe’s name, since you asked, translates to “it is globular,” and was used by Native Americans to refer to the area’s bulbous roots. We’re super excited to showcase Broken Bow Brewery, which opened its doors in August 2013, to our thirsty Rare Beer Club members. We’ve been digging everything so far from these folks, from the core Broken Auger Lager and Broken Heart Stout to their more potent barrel-aged stuff. This month, we are able to offer up a Rare Beer Club exclusive from Broken Bow Brewery, showcasing what we think they do particularly well, with their Imperial Small Arms Dealer imperial pilsner, an amped-up take on their highly popular 5%-ABV German-style Pilsner. It seemed a perfect high-impact summer beer from this impressive brewery in the Hudson Valley.
Broken Bow founder Mike LaMothe started homebrewing around 20 years ago, back in Stamford, Connecticut. The homebrewing interest sparked a business idea around building a brewery within the family, and today many of Mike’s family members work in different parts of the company, including his parents and siblings. (The brewery’s named after the town in Nebraska where Mike’s mother was brought up.) Distribution of their core line of cans has been slowly expanding across New York, and the brewery’s a short train ride up from NYC./p>
For those curious to visit the family brewery and tasting room over at Broken Bow (maybe to check out their Great American Beer Festival-medal-winning Old Split-Foot strong ale), they’re currently open 2–8pm Monday–Thursday, 1–10pm Friday, 11am–10pm Saturday, and 11am–8pm Sunday. The brewery’s located at 173 Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe—readily accessible via either the Bronx River or Hutchinson River Parkways, or an easy walk from train stations nearby. Leave some time in your visit to spend in Broken Bow’s beer garden (usually open April through October, weather permitting). Play some cornhole, snag some empanadas or pizza from a visiting food truck, and enjoy some pints at one of the finest up-and-coming breweries in the beer-savvy state of New York.
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