19 Oct 2008

Redeemed

A couple of months ago I lamented the massive drop in the quality of the beers of Pivovar Bašta. It seems now that it was just a hiccup. Shortly afterwards friends started telling me that they had been there and the beers were really good. That 15° the people from the Nusle brewpub presented at Slunce ve Skle somehow confirmed the good news. Yet I still had to go there and see by myself how general the improvement was.

And there I went. I was glad to see they were tapping to beers I hadn't tasted before, a pšeničné and a nakouřované. I started with the former, the wheat beer, that unfortunately only comes in 0,3l glasses. The first one vanished in an instant. It was lovely! A bit darker and less cloudy than others, in the nose I noticed mild cinnamon and clove, yeasts, herbs and some banana, everything very subtle, like a good parfume. The flavour was a game between banana and peach, both spiced by clove. The finish starts up sour, but not agressive, and ends in a more ležáky note. Fantastic.

I couldn't wait to have a go at that nakouřované, the smoked beer, which Iain, one of my readers, had commented that it was very good. He wasn't wrong. It looks just the same as the poltomavé. In fact, to me it is basically the polotmavé, only a tad stronger and seasoned with smoked malts. In the nose the smoked notes are rather shy, sharing, or rather leaving, the stage with subtle wood, caramel and herbs. The smokiness is still mild on the palate, like a well used spice, bringing up the subtle caramel notes that I like so much in this kind of beers. The finish is intense and pretty bitter, a fine contrast. It paired wonderfully with the grundle (depp fried small fresh water fish).

I left very happy, those problems Bašta had had in summer had been solved, perhaps partly thanks to less demand. Whatever the reason is, it was very good to see that the exception weren't those very good beers in the early days, but the not so good ones in june-july.

Na Zdraví!

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3 comments:

  1. I have only been to U Bansethu a couple of times, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. It would seem though that Rauchbier is becoming all the rage with Czech microbrews - and a good thing that is too. Plus they have a magnificent goulash!

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  2. Wouldn't it be great if kouřované pivo became a staple at least at brewpubs? It seems to be quite succesfull and not only among beer enthusiasts like us.
    When I was at Bašta the other day I shared the table with a group of two ladies and one bloke, all in their late middle age. They all loved that smoked beer, which in a way surprised me, I must say. They liked the wheat one as well.

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  3. Yes, i was there 2 weeks ago and the smoked beer was amazing, but the Polotmave almost topped it, goulash great but only snack size really.
    Seems Zly Casy takes some beating for variety at the moment, Joe,s garage chestnut-honey beer, Sentice Kvasar and the amazing Bzenec all in a week.
    U radnice coming up closely with different beers every day it seems.

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