Last week was Bad German beer week, inadvertantly, as I suffered through three lagers I picked up recently on the mistaken assumption that they might taste nice. No such luck. All three are from the Weissenoher brewery in Bavaria.
Benedikiter Pils begins innocently, with a big fluffy head on top of a light-looking pale body. In fact, it's really quite heavily textured with only a light fizz to it. The flavour is somewhat concentrated as well. Intense, in fact. It's very bitter, clumsily so, and is full of that big plasticky taste which Barry has led me to associate with hop extract, even though hop extract is not listed as an ingredient. The finish has an unsettling note of stale cigarette smoke. In fairness, the bottle I had wasn't exacty fresh, with only six weeks before expiration, but I don't believe that all of these pungent tastes developed with age: I'd say they're meant to be there. If you're looking for a clean and refreshing pils, this is one to keep at arm's length.
I expected better things of Kloster-Sud Spezial, probably because the name put me in mind of the excellent Pinkus Müller Special. Again, it looks lovely -- a beautiful shade of red-gold -- but the taste is an absolute clanger. The first warning is a musty smell, which comes through in the flavour as a waxy staleness, with almost a note of honey when combined with the massive overly-sweet malt base. This 5.4% ABV lager is heavy, doughy and generally no fun at all to drink.
I've no idea why I thought Eucharius was a wheat beer -- I didn't even read the label before I poured it -- but that's the reason for the inappropriate glassware on the left there. It is, in fact, a märzen, one of the deep amber-coloured ones. It has a lot in common with its Weissenoher brethern, having the same stale nose and plastic waxy flavour. But it's lighter than the Spezial and much more easy-going than either. More manageable, but still not what I'd call enjoyable: where the intense bitter notes have been removed there's nothing but wateriness replacing them.
A disappointing bunch, all in all. Brewed for palates rather different from mine, I suspect.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago