Well I figured I would be the guinea pig on this, since I couldn’t get people to commit to stopping by this weekend. My impression:
I can barely tell the difference between the two - it is more subtle than I would have thought. This Munich Helles was brewed on 9-12-20 and has the following grain Bill: Barke Pils (10lbs.), Proximity Pale Ale Malt (8 lbs.), Goldswaen Hell Malt (1 lb.) and Ireks Acidulated malt (1lb.). 1 oz. Magnum FWH and 1 oz. Mittelfrüh at 1 minute. Lutra fermented at 74-76F over 3 days, then racked to keg and cold crashed to 34F; S-189 fermented at 54-56F for six days, then racked to keg and cold crashed to 34F. Force carbed and My first sample was drawn today, 10-11-20.
Appearance is identical in color (lightly burnished gold) and yet clarity - I give it slightly to the Lutra at this point, though they are both very clear. The S-189 batch was moved from the original lagering chest to a serving chest a few days ago - so that may be significant as the Lutra did not move after first placement into the chest.
Aroma - both are very lightly aromatic with S-189 being a bit more bready and Lutra being just a hint of lemony citrus. Very neutral tones overall.
Flavor - S-189 is more subdued giving a clean lager crackery white bread flavored upfront and minimal aftertaste sounding in a slight graham cracker sweetness. Lutra is slightly sweeter up front and a lingering honey note. Not a lot of difference, though.
Mouthfeel is pretty identical, though S-189 has a bit more lager crispness; whereas the Lutra is more rounded again, the difference is very slight.
Overall impression- very similar beers- with selecting a style that is pretty “bland” and low hopped, so that yeast is the only significant flavor provider, I expected a greater difference between the two. I have to admit, this is a very clean Kveik. I wonder if the fact that it is a repitch (first repitch) has made a difference of significance? I wouldn’t say I am astounded, but Omega sure picked some clean traits on this strain. Yes, I used the word clean, because I cannot deny it. I honestly think I preferred it. I had doubts and would have given big odds against that outcome.