Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘double bock’

Samichlaus Bier

Posted by jwpiper on January 29, 2009

Charles Street Liquors has a reputation for a rather decent beer selection, so I decided to check it out – looking for some beers which have trouble trickling their way to Ohio. I found a handful, including some Shelton Brothers imports which I can’t seem to find, and some beers which exceed our 13% ABV limit. Passing on the Shelton Brothers imports (Struise Tsjesses to be precise) since I’ll be in Belgium just next week and may still find it there, I picked up a couple of the high ABV brews. My first pour was Samichlaus Bier from Brewery Castle Eggenberg in Austria, formerly brewed and conceived by Hurlimann Brewery in Zurich Switzerland. I’ve heard quite a bit about the cellaring potential of this beer, and I wanted to try it fresh. Well, fresh with this beer means it was lagered for 12 months and stored on wood for another 12 months. So the date on the bottle was 2007. I split it, poured it at cellar temperature, into two wine glasses.
Appearance
4
The doppelbock pours an amber, coppery brown with a thin off-white head. There’s plenty of light coming through for a doppelbock – on the paler end of the spectrum. Looks more like an old ale the 14% ABV enforces this thought.
Smell
3.5
The aroma is actually a bit musty, which was unexpected and a bit off-putting here. Definitely boozy on the nose, there are also rip fruits (prunes), caramel, and some smokiness.
Taste
3.5
The booze is better masked in the flavor than it is in the small. It is very rich and sweet with flavors of burnt sugar and prunes. It is a little bitter on the finish. I’m a bit underwhelmed with this beer.
Mouthfeel
4
It is definitely thinner than I expected, not cloying. It’s smooth and a bit creamy.
Drinkability
3.5
This is a sipper. Both the bitterness and sweetness has the potential to slow you down with this beer.
Overall
3.65
This was a little bit of a let down, but pretty good. I won’t be stocking up on these, but I can definitely see how this would improve substantially with age.
Price
$5.45/330ml. At this price (and availability for me), I could see myself buying a few to cellar and see what happens, but I could also see this being the last time I have this beer… and I wouldn’t be too disappointed. I don’t think I’ll be having this again without some additional age on it.
Advertisements

Posted in Beer, Beer Review | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Aventinus

Posted by jwpiper on January 2, 2009

My brother-in-law, Kenton, bought me some glasses for Christmas. Along with my now workhorse Spaten Optimator Krugs, he bought a pair of Aventinus glasses. It was a perfect addition since I’d been looking for this beer to try.
Appearance
4.5
A wonderful hazy caramel brown with a pillowy white head which recedes to a thin layer. The lace is a little sticky on the glass, leaving spots of white foam as the glass is emptied.
Smell
4
A very nice smell, dominated by sweet and tart fruits – red apples. There are notes of caramel with a grainy base.
Taste
3.5
The red apples are on the flavor as well. Less sweet than the aroma. Actually quite interesting and balanced. An especially whole-wheat bready finish which cleans up the tart flavors and the gentle hop profile.
Mouthfeel
3.5
The palate is a bit thick and heavy on this beer. The carbonation is present, but the beer is chewy.
Drinkability
3.5
I found this to be an interesting, fairly easy to drink beer. When I poured it, I didn’t really feel like drinking a whole pint, but I wanted to try this beer. After getting into it, my attitude was turned around. The heavy palate, however, made it a bit tougher to get through.
Overall
3.8
A good change of pace beer. It is a bit difficult to find where this beer will fit in. It’s not a session beer, and with 0.5l bottles it’s not an apéritif or an interest beer.
Price
$16/4pk ($4/0.5l). For a good beer like this one, the price isn’t too painful. But given that it’ll be a little more difficult for me to find a reason/scenario which demands this beer, it’ll be tough to justify having it on hand.

I tried paring the beer up with some Ghirardelli 72% cacao chocolate which seemed a reasonable attempt. The beer didn’t really unfold much flavor-wise from the chocolate (except perhaps a little additional bitterness), and the chocolate flattened the beer while perhaps emphasizing the tart flavors. It wasn’t a terribly compelling pairing.

Posted in Beer, Beer Review | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Celebrator

Posted by jwpiper on January 1, 2009

My wife and I enjoyed a classic tonight, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. Funny that this beer seems more or less impossible to find, even in Munich – even in the Ayinger brauhaus. This seemed to be true for anything darker than a bock. Unfortunate for them – we enjoy this in the US. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Celebrator 0.3l glass.
Appearance
4
Dark brown with caramel around the edges and a white head. The head quickly dissipates to a slight ring around the edge.
Smell
4
Smell is strongly of roasted malts – chocolate with lesser amounts of toffee and coffee. There is a slight fruity component (raisins) to it as well. Very, pleasant.
Taste
4
Taste is more of the smell, roasted chocolate malts with caramel and toffee. There’s a bit of a tootsie roll flavor to this beer. There is just a hint of bitterness at the back end to balance, but the roasted malts shine through. The finish is moderately long with a slight spiciness to it.
Mouthfeel
4
Smooth and a bit sticky. Medium bodied.
Drinkability
4.5
This beer is just a touch too decadent to be a session beer. But that’s not its fault. I sip it because I don’t want to plow through the 330ml bottle, not because it’s a sipper. I could down several of these and not get tired of it.
Overall
4.05
A wonderfully balanced malt bomb. Definitely one of my favorites and a perennial stand-by beer.
Price
$12/4pk ($3/330ml). A reasonable value. Less than a year ago it was $10/4pk. I’m not sure what’s going on with that.

Posted in Beer, Beer Review | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »