Eggenberg Samichlaus Classic

Well I wouldn’t have thought a beer review would be written tonight…but as I looked at the contents of my fridge this bottle was calling to my very soul. A shining beacon of excess begging to be scrutinized…I digress.
First of all this is a very special beer, I can tell from the label alone. It’s special for me in a personal way because it reminds me of my Father. He used to explain to me how St. Nicholas was eventually shortened to Santa Claus due to the way it sounds. Samichlaus sounds like it’s in between the two and the portrait on this bottle looks strikingly similar to Santa Claus. Long story short, that’s why I am reviewing this brew even though I had not expected to review at all tonight.

Upon further inspection it notes some very interesting points. A bold claim lies daringly on the front: “The World’s Most Extraordinary Beverage” A bold claim indeed! This brew is not just claiming superiority to all beers, no, it claims to be a class above all beverages. So move outta the way Root Beer Float and get outta town Arizona Green Tea! A new contender is claiming the crown for all beverages. I must say I cannot wait to test this claim.

Now this is actually a Malt Liquor, not my usual choice but what’s life without variety? A daunting 14% ABV stares me firmly in the eye, I believe this will be my last beer tonight. I am intrigued enough to check our friend Google…let’s see.
Ah, this brewery has a history. The Eggenberg Castle dates back to at least 999 AD. Now that is truly astounding. I’d recommend trying this beer once based on that fact alone. This specific brew is based on a recipe created in 1979 and is one of the strongest lagers in the world. The name is also Swiss German for Santa Claus, ah ha! I knew that somewhere deep down. Enough research now…we have been patient enough.

The brew pours a dark amber, just barely red with a very small thin layer of head. It’s pretty expectant of malt liquor to have little to no head. Since I’m such an advocate of head, I cannot help but feel a bit of longing. No matter! This beer leaves many great qualities to be discovered. Speaking of which…

Wow..the smell is incredible! I really, really didn’t expect it to smell anywhere as nice as it does but I actually had to set the beer down just now because I was so surprised. It does smell very Christmas like. It brings the phrase “roasted chocolate” to mind. I don’t know if there is such a thing as roasted chocolate, but there most certainly should be! What amazes me more than anything is the lack of alcohol in the smell, where the hell are they hiding this 14%?? Let’s see if I can find it, shall we?

Complex….complex, complex flavor. Did you all get that? That’s 3 complex’s…pretty damn complex here. I’m going to take another sip and explain in order what I am tasting.
Initially I want to say it tastes very nutty…ok go ahead and laugh but it really does. It reminds me of an almond/peanut mix with a slight sweetness to it. There is a coffee like aftertaste as you are swallowing (remember, maturity please) and if you really search for it you get that bitter alcohol. There’s a chocolate tone over the whole taste as well, as I said it is truly a christmas flavored brew. The body is malty, expected from a malt liquor of course, as well as extremely smooth, which is not so expected from a malt liquor. The bite is very minimal on this brew. I must admit I won’t be having this one again for a while, it is a bit too sweet for my taste. But it is definitely a nice brew for a special occasion, oh say around December or so.

Overall I am glad to have tasted some beer from one of the Oldest breweries in the world. It’s a very unique beer with a hell of a kick that’s overshadowed by the sheer amount of flavor in this brew. It’s a bit on the sweet side but I’m sure that’s right up someone’s alley.

Until next beer, this is Brian G. Signing out.

Categories: Beer, Doppelbock | 2 Comments

Birra Moretti La Rossa

Here were are yet again, but something is a bit different today. Today I am having my first Italian beer! I’m extremely excited about this brew so let’s get right to it! It pours very nicely, but more on that in a bit….let me pull up our good friend Google and see what we can find about this brewery.

The brewery Birra Moretti was purchased by Heineken in 1996, let us hope they left the methods intact! I suppose that was a cheap shot at Heineken, shame on me. I haven’t had one since I gained an appreciation for beer, I’ll have to give her a fair chance before I go making assumptions. Anyways…back to the beer at hand.

La Rossa is a Doppelbock. It won the Silver in the World Beer cup for German-Style Bock. Ah, so a German style brewed in Udine which is in northeastern Italy. I have had quite a few beers brewed in another countries style and they tend to add their own local twist, often with quite pleasing results!

It pours a dark amber with a 2 fingers width head that dissipates over 40 seconds or so. It leaves no lacing and a thin layer. I really like the way it poured, I can’t wait to taste it…but alas I must smell it first. These are the rules and I cannot break them even if they are self-imposed. Let’s give her a good sniff shall we?

Ah, very light smelling for a Bock style. I’d say it smells more Belgian than German with a hint of dried fruit and a very light feel to the nose. Extremely pleasant to the olfactory sense for sure…OK I won’t use big words like olfactory anymore I promise! On to the part I’ve been waiting for. Drumroll please….

Amazing…my first thought. This is like a middle ground between a Belgian Dark and a German Bock. The body is medium, not as heavy as a typical Bock. I’d say charmingly plump rather than frighteningly heavy. The taste is heavy then light. A very very complex taste. It speaks of dried fruits and chocolate with the ever so slightest hint of alcohol. The carbonation is barely noticeable but is a nice compliment to the taste.

Overall I’m extremely impressed. It seems when a country attempts another’s brewing style they add their own style the result is something new and exciting. Not only would I say this brew is no exception, I would be so bold to state it is a prime example of this theory! Please, give this one a try, it is superb!
Brian G. Signing Out!

P.S. At 7.99 a six pack this is some great beer at a modest price!

Categories: Beer, Doppelbock | Leave a comment

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