The Craft BeerAdvent 2014 Calendar Day #14 – Imperial Schwarze Gams (Austria)

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #14

Imperial Schwarze Gams – Privatbrauerei Loncium, 7% ABV – 330ml., (Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria)

here’s some info I found on the interwebs about this particular style, from www.germanbeerinstitute.com:

A Different Bock for Each Cold Season
There are several traditional types of Bockbier, each with its typical color and strength, which seems to vary almost in rhythm with the season. With the arrival of frost and the shortening of days in early December, the soul needs something more nourishing then a blond lager, especially after a frigid day of shopping for Christmas presents. Weihnachtsstarkbier (Christmas Bockbier), which is popular in the south of Germany, is often a darker version of the regular Bock. Sometimes it is also called a Dunkles or Dunkler Bock. In addition to the rich malty finish, these rewarding Yuletide brews have a slightly chocolatey taste from the addition of some roasted malts.

  • Style: (Dunkles) Dunkler Bock
  • Taste: Sweet roasty toasty barley malt cola crisp & clean
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: solid, drinkable, non-mesmerizing

Visual: Pours clear cola brown, lots of micro bubbles near the surface, thin ringed retention.

Nose: liquid thick barley malt. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: biting crisp-light fizz, incoming malty cola sweet

Mid-palate: (MAIN) toasted barley malt, -> (lvl-8)-sweetness + heavy

Finish: hints of vanilla, cola, caramel light roasted malty sweet + super subtle bitterness in the finish.

Summary: Clean and crisp malty brew, ABV well-hidden, went down smooth and enjoyable. Nice showcase of style, though not thoroughly enticing.

Rieder Lemon (Austria)

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  • My Rating: D+

Rieder Lemon, 2.0% ABV – 650ml, (Austria)

On the back label:

“Biermischgetrank aus 40% Rieder Vollbier und 60% naturtruber Zitronen-limonade, mit SuBungsmittein. Enhalt eine Phenylalaninquelle, enhalt Gerstenmalz. Bodensatzbildung moglich.” (something along the lines of 40-60 ratio of beer-lemonade)

  • Style: (Lemon) Fruit Ale
  • Taste Profile: NeoCitran Lemon -> black tea/lemonade -> tart/artificial sweetener rough finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $3 (after 10% off), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: Lemon beer…sounds very inviting; and with a classy label to show for. Pours cloudy translucent light yellow, virtually no head, a few visible streams, and super cloudy last few drops from the bottle.

Nose: Iced lemon tea on the nose (Nestea), very nice!

Attack: medicinal (NeoCitran) rough lemony mouthfeel,

Mid-palate: 5/10-sweetness, light bitter black tea, sweetened lemonade,

Finish: medium tartness, lingering artificial sweetener roughness

Man this one is not good at all. Both entry and exit are hard to enjoy; STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE.

Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Beer (Austria)

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  • My Rating: C+

Stiegl Radler Grapefruit, 2.5% ABV – 330ml, (Salzburg, Austria)

On the back label:

“Half Stiegl-Goldbrau and half fruit soda from purely natural ingredients for an outstanding low alcohol thirst-quencher. Cloudy appearance due to the added fruit juices including natural grapefruit juice. Part of beer 50%, part of fruit soda 50%. Contains barley malt.”

  • Style: Shandy
  • Taste Profile: fizzy sweetness -> fruity grapefruit/light tart/mild malts/grapefruit peel -> clean lightly sweetened grapefruity finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $3 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: nah
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not quite; it’s mainly for non-beer drinkers

Tasting notes: pours mildly cloudy opulent golden orange, almost no head, thin ringed retention, active streams along the perimeter. Bold, sweet and tangy grapefruit on the nose.

Attack: fizzy, oncoming 8/10-fruity sweetness

Mid-palate: light-med tart, juicy grapefruit, very mild smooth bitter malts, hints of bitter grapefruit peel

Finish: burpy, clean sweet with a very light lingering grapefruity finish.

Drinks much more like a soda than a beer. Not very complex but not intended to be. Quite drinkable but not exciting.

Schloss Eggenberg Doppelbock Dunkel (Austria)

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Doppelbock Dunkel – Schloss Eggenberg, 8.5% ABV – 11.2 fl.oz., (Vorchdorf, Austria)

On the back label:

“Doppelbock Dunkel has a pleasant full and creamy body, with coffeeish aroma. Nicely warming with toffeelike malty sweetness, balanced by a hoppy-bitterness in the finish.”

  • Style: Doppelbock
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: sweet caramel malts -> fizzy/roast/cola -> airy hops/malty/light bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: $5 (after 10%), December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours dark root beer brown with almost no head, lots of activity near the surface. Sweet and dense toffee malts on the nose. Drinks with dense thick caramel 7/10-sweet malts up front, light roast, brown sugar, cola, with a gentle fizzy backdrop, airy hops near the finish, slightly metallic, finishing malty and mildly bitter. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, decent carry, decent drinkability. Pretty straightforward and nothing ground-breaking.

Hopfenkönig – Schloss Eggenberg (Austria)

Hopfenkönig – Schloss Eggenberg, 5.1% ABV – 330ml, (Vorchdorf, Austria)

  • Style: Pilsener
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Dry-hopped bitter malts -> yeast/metallic -> crisp clean light hopped bitter finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek/W.16th
  • How much: $4 (after 10%), Sept 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow, small head, ringed retention, micro CO2, some slow streams, cool pull tab a la Japanese energy drinks. Straightforward malts on the nose. Drinks with a semi-dry medium hopped bready maltiness up front, yeast, silky carbonation, metallic, somewhat watery, finishing clean, crisp and lightly hopped bitter. Low complexity, low-med depth, good transitions, average carry, decent drinkability. Average at best, nothing exciting.

Urbock 23 – Schloss Eggenberg, 9.6% ABV, (Austria) (listed in the “1001 Beers you must try before you die”)

On the back label:

“Urbock 23 is one of the strongest beers in the world, with 23 plato attaining 9.6% alc./vol. It matures in our ancient cellars for 9 months, till it is fully fermented and turns amber in colour. Urbock 23 is full-bodied, with a creamy flavour, well balanced with noble hop bitterness. Urbock 23 is known in many countries as the ‘Cognac of beers’”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: full-bodied and honey-esque
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek, Jan-2012
  • How much: $4.50 (after 10% disc.)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours golden orange, minimal dissipating head, ultra-micro CO2, thin ringed retention, sporadic slow-moving CO2 streams. Heavy malted barley and thick honey on the nose. Creamy 8/10 sweet up front mixed with honey, chamomile, alcohol burn, and a very tingly CO2 sensation on the top of the tongue. Finishes very alcohol heavy and a gentle deep 6/10 lingering bitterness. Medium-high depth, medium complexity, good transitions, long length. The sweetness and high ABV are off-putting halfway through the session.