Tweet What a great beer month April was! I tasted several completely new beers for me, some of them very, very good. Also, I found a new favourite place where to drink them in Zlý Časy, a pub I will sure visit very often.
So it was hard to decide which would the beer of this month. The new ones also had to compete with some old friends like X33, in its new batch, Tmavé 14° from U Bulovky and my dear Svijanský Rytíř in its bottled version (if you like hoppy golden lagers, this one is sure to please you).
So, allow me to make a round-up of the new beers. At least the ones that I liked the most. Starting with Vandorf Rauchweizen. I didn't know what to expect from this beer, but I loved that it wasn't trying to be a copy of Schenklerka Rauchweizen. It is a completely different beer, and a very recommendable one at that, though I would have liked the smoked notes a bit more intense.
Pivovarský Dům presented us with, not one, but three novelties (well, two and a half). The desítka, brewed on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the famous brewpub in Ječna. Something like their wonderful Ležák's little sister but with a personality of its own, lovely. The second one was the Original Stout. A very dark top fermented beer with a great body, as it should be. It had a very dry taste dominated by intense roasted cocoa, all supported by almost ethereal coffee and caramel notes. Superb. The second and a half was the much awaited Křižíkova 17°. The name is not capricious, it refers to the address of Pivovarský Klub, and was only tapped at the Temple in Karlín. It had been already two years since it had been last brewed. I was quite excited about it since it was the first beer I drank on that day when I went into the Klub for the first time. A rich golden beer with a compact head. In its aromas I felt tropical fruit, syrup to the point when it starts to become caramel and some cream. A lovely body and mouth-feel dominated by fruit and some vanilla notes. The finish is dry, bitter and long. It stays with you as if wanting to take you for a walk.
By the end of the month I was able to taste Dobřanský Dragoun, from Pivovar Modra Hvězda Dobřany. An amber brewed at 16°balling that would go down a bit too easily.
But of all of them, the one that really blew my mind was Kavové (coffee) Speciál from Harrach. A dark amber fermented at 13°balling. Its nose is dominated by black coffee, very strong and with a lot of sugar. The taste is, I could say, complex; a caleidoscope of fruit, citrus and herbs that never manage to overwhelm the bitter coffee notes, which is what remains in the finish. Simply and wonderfully delicious.
Of course, I can't forget the Italians, specially that wonder of craft brewing that is Chocarrubica. A beer that really fascinated me and that I would love to drink again some day.
But not everything was sunny. Pepřové Pivo from Opat could have been something innovative, maybe brilliant, but it was only halfway there. Pivovar Broumov comitted a sin common many Czech breweries that want to start using non traditional ingredients, timidity. I'm of the idea that if a consumer decides to order or buy a beer with honey, spices, fruit, herbs (as was the case with Černé s Puškvorcen -black with calamus- from Zábřeh), that is what they want to feel in their beer, and not just an aroma or a mild note. As attempts, they are always welcome, but they should be a bit more daring.
Which one then to choose as beer of the month? Well, I should certainly give the award to Chocarrubica. However, as the good adoptive nationalist that I am, I can't give it to an imported beer, so it goes to Harrach's Kavové Speciál.
April was impressive in quality, but in terms of quantity it was a bit modest. I only had 21 different beers. Which brings the total for 2008 to 133.
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