Skip to main content

What a start!

The beginning of 2008 was impressive. From the first sip of the superb Florenc 14:14 to the delicious 11° from Berounský Medvěd that we drank yesterday with dinner, it was a wonderful month of January.

Down also went the brilliant Dopple-dopple Bock, not to mention švestkové and the always lovely OldGott Barique from U Medvídku. But that was not it. Pivovarský Dum had as their beer of the month a žitní (rye) ale, an amber with fruit and honey notes on the nose, and a nice well balanced flavour with tropical fruit and caramel and a short rather citrusy finish. I really liked it.

The best of the month was probably the opening of Pivovar Bašta, with their cheap and very good beers, specially the bavorské. Each sip was like a bite of home made cake. I hope they will have it again soon.

But there is more. Those who have been to Pivovarský Klub these days had the chance to taste the marvelous Rambousek Dyňové. A beer flavoured with pumpkin that, as expected from that artist that Mr. Rambousek is, is just gorgeous. Intense amber, thick head, with scents that are a mix of fruit, herbs and something a bit strange but really nice just the same. When drinking it we feel yeast with the bitterness of the hops perfectly balanced with sweet fruity notes. The finish is complex, with caramel and licorice notes. A work of art.

Together with it, it was finally possible to have a go at the much expected and untraditional Tokaj 16°. It is said that Tokaj is the oldest wine D.O.C in the world. They come from the Tokaj region in Hungary and they are mostly sweet and drunk as dessert wines. Their most distinctive characteristic, however, is the way they are made. The cellars are carved in volcanic rock and their natural climatic conditions allow for the wines to be aged almost indefinitively. Some wineries claim to have 300 year old bottles in their cellars that are still better than good for drinking. I don't think such ancient wines were used to brew this beer, but the result is quite interesting all the same. It is an amber with sweet apple and honey notes on the nose. And honey is what predominates when drinking it, with mild touches of smoked wood and tropical fruit in the back. It would be an extraordinary beer if the sweetness was a bit less intense. As an experiment, it gets an A, but I was expecting something a bit more radical in its flavour. On the other hand, as a dessert beer, it could be really good.

And I was almost forgetting about Trubač, that delicious dark beer from Městský pivovar Štramberk, as Evan Rail says very well, one of the nicest in its category.

But the award goes to Chýně and its spectacular 14° tmavé. A beautifully dark beer with a creamy tanned head. The nose is a lovely mix of sweet coffee and cocoa. When drinking it, the coffee becomes more intense and bitter and the sweetness goes to the caramel. The finish is like a good Italian espresso, saying that it is delicious is almost insulting it.

I tasted a total of 52 different beers in January. I wanted to write down the list, but I don't think it'll be of much worth. Anyway, I still want to keep count and see how many will there be at the end of the year.

Na Zdraví!!!

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.