25 Feb 2009

Well, look what I found in my files

All the hustle at the end of last year and the beginning of this one, almost made me forget about the selection of German beers that my friend from Chile Catador brought me when he came to Prague.

I hadn't drunk German beers fo a long time. You can find a few in Prague, but most of them are not very interesting, so I was really happy when I saw how diverse the sample was.
Catador lived a few months in Pforzheim, or somewhere around and, of course, brought me two of the local brews, Rothaus Pils and Ketterer Pilsnener. Pale lager-wise, I'm very pampered living in the Czech Republic. These two German Pils, though they had 5%ABV and surely around 12° Balling, where more similar to a run of the mill Czech desítka than to a ležák. They are not the same, I found Ketterer a bit more aromatic and with some more malt, but that's it. They are both fine to have a quick one on a hot day and go on with your things, just that.
The other pale lager I got was Löwenbräu Urtyp. Nasty beer. Though only with 5.2%ABV, I felt the alcohol badly integreated. It reminded me of Staropramen which is not good. No wonder, the Bavarian brewery belongs to AB-InBev, which isn't usually good, either.
I still had three samples left and I must confess I was already loosing faith in the biere. But like in some sort of twisted biblical tale, I opened the bottle of Moninger Bertold Bock and only needed a sip to slowly start believing again. There was mostly burnt sugar in the nose, with a touch of nuts (and something metallic that didn't make me too happy). On the palate it was mostly syrupy with some liquorice notes and a bit of wood. The finish is long and very dry. The 6.8%ABV are felt by the end, but it didn't really bother me, it tasted a bit like a strong tea with a dash of whisky. Very pleasant beer.
It was followed by Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, just like the previous one, it pours dark ocre, topped by a mildly beige head. The bouquet reminded me of roasted apples and pinapple in caramel, very nice and warm. It is surprisingly dry, though, and its 7%ABV show a lot of enthusiasm on the palate. If it had some more fruit or caramel it could be a beer that I could really like a lot. By the end of the half litre, though, it felt like a beer that just wants to be strong and loud.
The one that finally brought back all the faith I had lost was Aventinus WeizenStarkbier. This is a beer that has received tonnes of well deserved praise. It is very aromatic, with a lot of banana dipped in honey or caramel together with spice, almost like some kind of exotic dessert. Banana also dominates the taste, now well ripened, with cinnamon and vanilla notes. The finish is almost sour and refreshes the palate, preparing it for the next, and very welcome it will be, sip. It's whopping 8.2%ABV is wonderfully integrated. Superb beer! There are still some bottles around, you can find them at Pivovarský Klub and Zlý Časy (cheaper here). Not to be missed.
Na Zdraví!

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4 comments:

  1. Hmm,I used to do invoices for Löwenbräu Urtyp. Never actually seen a bottle though, never mind tasted the beer. Nice label though...

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  2. Hmm, i might have to splurge on a bottle of Aventinus from Zly casy, sounds perfect.

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  3. I didn't think too much of the Urtyp myself, and was a bit disappointed with the Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel, but Aventinus is definitely a classic. I haven't had one in ages, but someone just happened to give me a bottle last week. I'll be dusting off my Aventinus glass when I open that one :)

    Incidentally, Rothaus Pils is pretty popular where my wife is from, what with Rothaus being the Baden state brewery. It always seems to make an appearance in 5 litre minikegs at summer parties, which is fine I guess. Could be alot worse! :D

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  4. Andechs was a bit of a disappointment, it's the kind of beer that needs a minor tweak or two to be really really good.
    Oh! I wouldn't mind Rothaus or Ketterer showing up at a party either!

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