If I had to choose one animal that describes me, I would choose NOT a wolf.  Why?  Everyone chooses wolves, everyone sucks, and wolves probably suck as well.  I can’t say I know “much” about wolves, but I can say I wouldn’t be shocked to learn they eat garbage and are racists.  Would you be surprised at all?  Didn’t think so.  But it is no surprise why they’re so popular, what with all the Liam Neeson movies and magical wolf howling at the moon t-shirts.  Not to mention, ultra-cool people like Zach Galifanakis describing themselves as “one-man wolf packs”.  Wolves man.  Wolves.

Woah, got distracted there for a minute thinking about wolves and how overrated they are.  They’re in my head man, just constantly barking on the ol’ Hotdog Highway (that’s what I call my mind [because I’m always thinking of natures perfect food, the hotdog {when I’m not thinking about wolves}]).  A whole pack of lone wolves, I think that’s how the world is supposed to be.  Or at least that’s what this engineering student said when he was trying to get me to read this giant book about trains and business.
That could also be used to describe the line-up of beers at Pedernales Brewing.  Each of bear (or maybe… wolf?) their lupine symbol, and each are a unique beer unto their own.  They have a Pre-Prohibition style lager, an English-style IPA, and even a black lager, which will be the subject of the following review.  The brew is Lobo Negro, or “Black Wolf” in Spanish, a beautiful dark brew.
Lobo Negro is actually a Dunkel Lager, a throwback German style of kinda over-caramelized malt due to a brewing technique called “decoction mashing”.  This gives it the characteristic dark color, as well as a very rich malty flavor.  This particular beer seems to fall on the darker side of the color spectrum of a Dunkel, appearing darned near black, just as the name implies.  Getting a little light in there will show a tad bit of amber color, but it is otherwise near black.  Giving it even a downright tall pour into the center of the glass, it doesn’t rouse much of a head.  Or rather, what little does collect at the top quickly dissipates.  I kind of want to see if this was a common thing, or if my bottle may have been from the top of a tank, skimmed above the collection of proteins and starches that hold a bubble.
The nose this black lager gives off is not something I would have expected; mainly toffee and nuttiness, very similar to a brown ale.  No hop scent, as is expected with a style like this.  The taste, for the most part, follows the scent.  There was definitely plenty of nut to go around, but this time there was more of a coffee roasted flavor to it.  You could even be persuaded to see it as a “bitter chocolate” flavor, with just a hint of that dry, chalky acidity that some dark beers will have.  By no means a bad thing, and really have no effect on the drinkability, but there none the less.  There’s a hint of earthy hop to it, but plays mainly a back note to this wonderfully complex malt profile.