26 February 2009
24 February 2009
Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Following time-honoured malting and brewing traditions, the strong smoky flavour of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer is achieved by exposing the malt to the intense, aromatic smoke of burning beechwood logs at the Schlenkerla malthouse. After the brew in classic copper kettles, it matures in the historic cellars deep underneath Bamberg to become a unique smoky beer experience.
Being a lover of fine single-malt Scotch whiskey, I am quite familiar with the practice of smoking barley with peat prior to brewing and distilling good Scotch, but why would anyone try this with beer? Would it prove to be a unique, tasty beverage, or another nightmare to be sinked? Nervously, I uncapped it and poured it into two glasses. The dark ale was clear and smelled like beef jerky, which gave rise to Rob's cry of "ach, das schtinkant!" Pushing through the smoky aroma, we raised our glasses and drank. This stuff literally tasted like beef jerky soaked in Guinness, with a very long smoky finish. Aside from the novelty of being smoky and "beefy", the taste was extremely one-dimensional, and was reminscent of a smoky OXO cube dissolved in water. The hardest part about drinking this was the smell. While smoky Islay Scotch has a pleasant smoky scent, this stuff reeks like the shell of a burned-out Flint, Michigan housing project. If you can get past the strong smell, it is an interesting novelty but not one I would like to experience again soon. Fans of beef jerky might actually enjoy this, but in my experience this is more suited to daring your friends to chug at drunken frat parties.
12 February 2009
Chanelle, Robert and I poured what remained in the bottle into three shot glasses. In all, we all sampled what amounted to about a half shot each. As we raised the glasses, the smell was initially what caught us off guard. Chanelle remarked it burned her nostrils and "just smelled so bad!" Robert and I concurred that this stuff simply smelled wrong. We prepared a chaser and tipped back our glasses. As this golden liquid flowed over my palate, I thought this must be what tasting white phosphorous must be like. It burned as you tasted it, burned more as you swallowed it and then set fire to your stomach as it finally sat in your gullet. Robert seriously resisted the urge to spit it over the apartment floor. "This tastes like it smells, and it smells like shit." I personally was amazed how half a shot glass could literally seem like gallons. This truly is Scotland's version of Corporal Punishment. Harsh, nasty and unrelenting. A word of caution: 15 minutes afterwards I belched and could still taste The Pinch. The verdict? In a pinch, choose to drink something else.
07 February 2009
We were curious what this one was going to be like. In my experience, most eastern European beers are the most similar to Canadian beers in taste profile, and as such expected this one to be at the very least palatable. Brian, who is actually a big fan of Polish beer, also expected a decent glass of ale. Michelle, on the other hand, was the voice of dissent and expected this to be another vile concotion I brought over just so I could laugh at her trying to force it down. Alas, this was not to be the case. Okocim Mocne pours a golden-amber colour and has a crisp, refreshing flavour with little to no aftertaste. All three of us thoroughly enjoyed it and could easily imagine passing away a warm summer afternoon with a fridge stocked with this stuff. Hard to pronounce but easy to drink, Okocim Mocne will most definately be making another appearance in this man's refrigerator.