Tweet On the home page of his excellent blog, Appellation Beer, Stan Hieronymus presents his "New Beer Rules", a Decalogue that everyone should pay attention to.
I must admit that I hardly ever follow rule #3 "You must drink at least two servings of a beer before you pass judgment on it.". Just like the rest, this rule makes a lot of sense, but in my reality, if a beer has failed to impress me it's very difficult that I will want to drink it again. Why bother when there's so much and so good to choose from?
Such was the case with Merlin, the flagship dark beer of K Brewery, which, according to them, is Stout inspired and brewed with an adjunct of roasted barley. I drank it shortly after it had been launched, during my first visit to Kopyto, in Žižkov. I didn't like it, and I never thought of drinking it again, until the other day.
I was near Jiřího z Poděbrad when I was caught by one of those annoying storms that were such a pain in the arse during the first half of august. I needed some shelter. I was at about 200m from U Sadu, but I didn't have any cash on me and that pub doesn't take credit cards. Kopyto wasn't as near, but they do take plastic and I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to have some decent beer, so there I ran.
I've been going to Kopyto quite often recently. A few times for lunch (food is quite good), but I usually stop by just to have a quick Velen on my way to a class I have nearby (BTW, the wheat beer from Černá Hora is in amazing shape this season, better than Primátor's, I'd say). That day, however, what I fancied was a dark beer and I noticed that they were now selling Merlin at 32CZK/0.5l, instead of 0.3l for the same price as at other places. Without any high expectations, I ordered a pint.
I don't know what they've done to this beer, but they have certainly improved it. There's still not much of a roasted barley character in it. There is a roasted note, yes, but it's not very different from what you can find in, for instance, Herold's dark lager. But regardless of that, the beer was tastier, better balanced, more interesting. I ended up having three and I would have gladly stayed for one or two more had I had the time. I've had it several more times afterwards, and my opinion stays. Good, good dark lager.
All this doesn't mean that from now on I will start following Stan's rule #3, but I do think I will start paying more attention to some of the beers that failed to impress me in the past, I want to see what time has done to them.
PD: If someone at K-Brewery is reading this. No matter how good Merlin might be, it is not especial enough to be sold only in 0.3l measures (both bottled and on tap - Kopyto here is an exception). Distribute it in a man's portion of 0.5l and you'll have me as a regular consumer.
PD2: If someone from Kopyto is reading this. Do something about the fucking music! I'm not complaining about the preprocessed techno-pop rubbish that seems to be the stable soundtrack there, there are many people who like that stuff, so it's my problem that I don't, but don't play it from the fucking TV! (or the radio for that matter) The ads are really annoying! I'm sure you've heard of MP3's, well, do something with them.
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