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Posts Tagged ‘1001’

Mahou Negra (352 of 1001)

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.1

This one is only my second review of a beer from one of Spain’s biggest brewery’s, Mahou and follows on from their Mahou Cinco Estrellas that I sampled on-tap in Glasgow back in March. This one is the brewery’s flagship dark beer and is actually one that I’ve been on the lookout for over the past year and a bit, having previously tried to pick it up last year when I first visited Barcelona but surprisingly I was unable to locate a bottle. I also attempted to have family members get me a bottle on their trips to Spain but finally I managed to find it in a Carrefour supermarket on La Rambla on my recent trip to Barcelona; better late than never I guess. The beer is another from Spain on the 1001 beers list that I’ve be able to check off and means I only have three more from the country to try and a review of Montseny Lupulus will follow in the coming days, so technically I only have two more to pick up now. As for the beer itself, this one is a dunkel style lager that was first brewed back in 1908 and it wasn’t really one that I held out much hope for before trying it, I really only wanted to check it off the list and had assumed it would be much easier to find than it proved to be. Anyway, here’s what I thought of the beer when I tried it at the start of the month.

Appearance (4/5): Copper brown and semi-opaque looking, the beer is topped with a centimetre tall head that is foamy and tan brown in colour with okay retention but it eventually turns slightly patchy after a minute or so; it’s certainly better than I had expected though.
Aroma (5/10): Dark malts and some caramel notes opening up proceedings here, there is some roasted notes as well but it wasn’t really anything that I hadn’t been expecting. I managed to detect some spice nearer the end but overall it was quite a one-dimensional beer on the nose and not overly exciting sadly.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicked off in a similar fashion to the nose with some basic malts and roasted flavours before a nutty taste started to appear nearer the middle followed by some hints of caramel along with some light spices. There was a few bread malts following on from this with hints of toffee adding to the sweetness from earlier on which meant that this was a slight improvement on the nose but still not exactly a classic.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied with a slight tang and quite an easy to drink feel to it, the beer was quite basic and one-dimensional but not off-putting at least. There was some sweetness from the caramel and toffee flavours but the main point to note was the roasted, nutty feel to the beer that dominated throughout.

Overall (12/20): This one was quite a basic beer on the whole and pretty much what I’ve come to expect from mass-market beers like this, although it was relatively easy to drink. The beer kicked off with some nutty flavours and a touch of caramel to impart some early sweetness to proceedings. There was a strong roasted bitterness to the beer throughout with touches of toffee nearer the middle that helped add to the earlier sweetness, a few burnt flavours managed to sneak in too though. It’s probably not a beer I’d go back to again, even if it was more readily available to me but it was at least another off the 1001 beers list and it remained drinkable throughout.

Brewed In: Alovera, Spain
Brewery: Mahou S. A.
First Brewed: 1908
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Carrefour supermarket (Barcelona)
Price: €0.85 (£0.75 approx.)

Bock Damm (350 of 1001)

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.9

The second ever beer brewed by Barcelona’s Damm brewery and introduced way back in 1888, this beer is still one of the most popular dark beers brewed in a country those beer scene is almost completely dominated by pale, blond lagers. This one is a beer that features on the 1001 beers list and as a result is one that I’ve been looking to try on my last few trips to Spain but was surprisingly unable to find it one previous visits before finally stumbling across it at the tail end of last month when returning to Barcelona. The beer is actually available in a number of pubs and some supermarkets in the city which makes it all the more odd that I wasn’t able to pick it up sooner but I eventually sampled a pint of the stuff in a local bar just off the Placa Reial in Barcelona city centre just over a week ago. Despite the name of the beer, this ‘bock’ is actually much closer to a Munich style dunkel lager and due to it’s lack of bitterness was in the past aimed at female drinkers in its advertising campaigns while the bottle itself features the image of a goat which was added as a play on the fact that the word ‘bock’ translates from German as billy-goat.

Appearance (3/5): Dark mahogany coloured with an opaque body and quite a thin head on top that was a foamy texture and slightly off-white in colour; there’s was some touches of lacing on the sides of the glass and the surface was covered well too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite nutty on the nose initially with some basic roasted notes and malts coming through in the early going, there was a touch of caramel in there too. The beer turned out to be lighter than expected on the nose which was surprising given it was such a dark beer but some hints of sweetness did manage to appear alongside some grassy touches nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): The taste started off in much the same vein as the nose with a lot of nutty flavours and some lighter caramel sweetness backing it up, there was faint biscuit and some roasted malts in there too. Around the middle I managed to get some lighter grassy flavours but there was no sign of any hops or bitterness and it came across as quite a basic offering.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and moderately carbonated, this one was a semi-sweet offering thanks to the touches of caramel coming through at times. There was a fairly basic feel to the beer and it seemed a lot lighter than expected too but the balance was a decent one and it proved easy enough to drink without being an overly enjoyable one.

Overall (10/20): Quite a basic dark beer that wasn’t quite as strong or as pronounced as I’d been expected with the majority of the taste coming through the roasted malts and faint caramel that featured throughout. There was no sign of any bitterness or hops to the beer which sadly made it seem quite bland and basic but the light sweetness off the back of the caramel was at least somewhat enjoyable. It’s definitely not a beer to go hunting for but it’s always nice to check another beer off the 1001 list even if it’s not a great one.

Brewed In: Barcelona, Spain
Brewery: Damm S. A.
First Brewed: 1888
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Cerveceria Canarias, Barcelona, Spain
Price: €4.60 (£4.01 approx.)

Rothaus Tannenzäpfle (349 of 1001)

Rating: 3.1

A new beer from the 1001 list now and the last of the relatively few on there that I tried when visiting Berlin last month, I had been hoping to check a few more off but it seemed that it was the same ten or fifteen beers in most shops I visited over the course of my weekend in the city. This one will be the 349th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is the second Rothaus offering from it, it follows on from their Hefeweizen that I tried back in November and quite enjoyed. My second in total from the brewery, this is a beer that I almost reviewed twice as it is sold under two different names in German with Rothaus Pils and Rothaus Tannenzäpfle seemingly used interchangeably (the 330ml bottles are Tannenzäpfle and the 500ml ones are Pils), hence the reason the photo attached to this post doesn’t use the Tannenzäpfle name. The beer itself is another that I picked up from a local shop in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin when I visited over Easter last month, although I do believe that I’ve spotted it on occasion back in the UK so it probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to get round to finally trying it.

Appearance (3/5): This one was quite a light looking beer that sat a straw gold colour in the glass with a very clear body and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly; not the greatest of starts but far from the worst too.
Aroma (6/10): Fairly light on the nose with some corn and a faint sweetness kicking things off before some touches of hay and the odd grassy hop started to come through. The nose was quite balanced and some freshness appeared with clean lager malts nearer the end but it was definitely edging closer to the basic side of things.
Taste (6/10): Corn and light malts again open things up here, there was some grassy hops that carried on from the nose but some touches of citrus also made an appearance here as well. I managed to detect some bread malts and a faint sweetness towards the end but again it wasn’t exact a complex pilsner.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied with quite a fresh but ultimately light feel to proceedings, there was a nice earthy bitterness to the beer with moderate carbonation and a nice balance that made it an easy one to drink for the most part but it definitely wasn’t anything special.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite an average pilsner overall, definitely nothing special but quite an easy-going and sessionable one that went down quite quickly despite not being a stand out in the style either. It was quite a fresh offering with a lively feel and a basic sweetness that kept things ticking along. It’s probably not a memorable offering and I much preferred their Hefeweizen but it was an okay lager and it’s always nice to check off another beer.

Brewed In: Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus
First Brewed: 1956
Also Known As: Rothaus Pilsner
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.40 (£1.21 approx.)

Weihenstephaner Pils (348 of 1001)

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

Yet another beer from the 1001 beers list now, this one being my fifth review of a beer from it in a row now and this one is another that I managed to sample whilst on holiday recently. I picked this one up on keg at the Weihenstephaner Beer Hall in Berlin over Easter earlier this month, having visited the pub because I knew they’d have this beer available and because it is the last of the two beers from the brewery on the 1001 list that I still had to try, having first tried their flagship Hefe Weissbier back in May 2011. This one is actually a beer that I’ve been keeping my eyes open for since then and have found it online a few times already but every time I’ve attempted to place an order for it the beer has quickly sold out; finally I got my chance to try it in Germany though. The beer will be my 348th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is one of only two new beers from the list that I managed to try in German on my recent visit, a review of Rothaus’ Tannenzäpfle should follow shortly after this one.

Appearance (4/5): A light to golden amber colour that has a very clear body and quite a large, foamy head that sits about two inches tall in the glass initially. There looks to be a creamy texture to the head and it is bone white in colour as well as having good retention over the opening few minutes, with only a touch of the initial height lost and there is plenty of good lacing on the sides to make up for this anyway.
Aroma (7/10): Not an overly strong beer on the nose, not compared to the brewery’s wheat beers anyway but there was at least some good malts and lager notes in the early going alongside a few grassy hops and some citrus. There was a faint bitterness nearer the middle of the beer before some subtle sweetness showed itself but overall the beer was quite light and fresh on the nose with some spice and the faintest of coriander notes seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the taste is quite a fresh one but it is also quite light with some grassy hops and a touch of citrus opening things up. The coriander from the end of the nose is again present but shows itself earlier this time, there is some lemon coming through too but there wasn’t much in the way of a standout flavour really; it was still quite a nice beer though.
Palate (5/5): Smooth and very crisp, this one was exactly as a pilsner should feel with lively carbonation and a great balance that was helped by the fact that none of the flavours were particularly strong. There was some fizz and a slight hint of bitterness from the middle on which made it an incredibly easy beer to drink and one that was quite effervescent too.

Overall (16/20): Another excellent beer from Weihenstephan and up there with some of the best pilsners I’ve tried, mainly due to the fact that the beer looked good and had an excellent palate; the taste and nose weren’t bad either but nothing was really a standout from them. The beer was incredibly easy to drink with an excellent balance from the start and some nice sweetness at times that worked well with the subtle bitterness that featured throughout the beer. It’s a beer that could probably have benefited from being just a touch stronger, particular with the nose but it was very pleasant from the start and one that I’d definitely have again.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: 1908
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Weihenstephaner Beer Hall, Berlin, Germany
Price: €4.60 (£3.90 approx.)

Okocim Mocne (347 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

My second beer from the Okocim brewery now, having been founded back in 1845 it is also one of Poland’s oldest brewery’s and dominates the local market alongside the likes of Żywiec. This one follows on from their Okocim Mistrzowski Porter that I reviewed here recently as the final of two beers from the brewery that I managed to try while visiting Warsaw last month; this one is also the final review of the beers that I had on that trip. The beer also marks the fifth from Poland to feature on the 1001 beers list that I’ve managed to try now and leaves me with only three more from the country that I’m hoping to try in the near future, hopefully my trip to Kraków later this year will allow to check another couple of those off as well. The beer itself if a strong pale lager that comes in at 7% abv. and whose name translates as ‘Okocim Strong’ in English although it is listed as a malt liquor in some US states and to be honest it wasn’t one that I was particularly looking forward to when I picked this one up but it thankfully turned out to be much better than expected.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber and clear bodied, this one had quite a few bubbles rising to the surface and settled with a nice, one centimetre tall head that was foamy and white, holding well over the open minutes too.
Aroma (5/10): There wasn’t too much in the way of a strong nose from this one in the early going which was a slight surprise given the strength of the beer but I did manage to detect some basic adjuncts and the odd grassy note. There was some vegetable notes and touches of grain nearer the middle before some malt sweetness started to sneak in together with some sticky malts; it was surprisingly light throughout on the nose but at least it wasn’t a bad-smelling offering.
Taste (6/10): Much like the nose, the beer wasn’t as strong as epxected here with some corn sweetness and basic adjuncts again opening this up nicely. There was some subtle vanilla flavours and the odd herbal touch nearer the middle with faint bread malts and butterscotch coming through nearer the end. There was an alcohol base to the beer that could perhaps have been lighter and some grassy flavours seen things out but it was quite a basic offering overall.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite clean on the palate with a crisp, medium body that had a nice balance and moderate carbonation levels but one that was easier to drink than expected too; nice stuff so far.

Overall (15/20): This one was quite a surprising beer and one that I found myself enjoying much more than I thought I would. There was a lot of early sweetness that was coupled with a few sticky malts and some pleasant vanilla flavours; excellent stuff for the style and one I’d have again.

Brewed In: Brzesko, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Brewery: Browar Okocim
First Brewed: early 1900’s
Type: Strong Pale Lager/Imperial Pils
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (500ml)
Purchased: 1 Minute Shop (Warsaw)
Price: 4.05PLN (appox. £0.81)

Łomża Export (346 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

My third review of a beer from the 1001 beers list in a row now, this one being another Polish offering that I managed to get hold of when visiting Warsaw last month but it’s taking me some time to get round to adding it here. This one was the third of four new Polish beers from the list that I managed to try on my visit to the country and follows on from the recent reviews of Żywiec Porter and Perła Chmielowa on this blog. This particular offering is another I picked up on my last afternoon in Warsaw after stopping off at several convenience stores hunting for this or one of the other beers to feature on the 1001 beers list from Poland. The beer is brewed in the town of Łomża, located roughly ninety miles from Warsaw but even then it wasn’t the easy of bottles to get hold of despite it being one of the most popular beers in the northeast of the country. It is a beer that has managed to win a few awards over the years too, including a bronze at the Australian International Beer Awards in 2009 and a gold medal at the Monde Selection in Belgium the same year; not bad for a brewery only founded in 1968 as a government-run enterprise.

Appearance (3/5): Quite a light and clear bodied beer that was amber coloured and had a lot of larger bubbles rising to the surface in the early going. The head was quite a thin and disappointing one, starting about a centimetre tall as a bubbly white one before fading to a fraction of its original size and turning patchy around the edges.
Aroma (5/10): Fairly light on the nose with some early skunky notes and a faint grassy hops making an appearance alongside some hay and basic adjuncts. There wasn’t really much coming through but I could detect some bread malts and a basic sweetness with subtle citrus notes seeing things out.
Taste (5/10): Similar to the nose, the taste kicks off with some basic adjuncts and a couple of bread malts that carry on from the nose, there was a little sweetness in there too though. This was followed nearer the middle by some grassy flavours and hay as well as a slightly sticky tasting biscuit flavours. Towards the end the adjuncts and hay start to become more pronounced on what was already quite a basic offering but it certainly wasn’t the worst tasting beer out there.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied and fairly basic throughout, there was some subtle grassy hops and a slight bit of fizz on top of quite a sweet base to the beer. Sticky patches from the sweet malts featured at times but on the whole it was quite a bland and unexciting beer that wasn’t very complex either sadly.

Overall (11/20): A better beer than I’d been expecting going in, but in truth that is only half the story since I definitely wasn’t expecting much from this one and the fact it came in a 660ml bottle didn’t help matters. Appearance wise the beer got off to a poor start but things picked up a little with the nose and taste at least without really excelling. It remained quite an easy one to drink with a nice balance that made it better than quite a few other Polish beers I’ve tried but I’m still not sure I’d put it in the 1001 beers book to be honest with you.

Brewed In: Łomża, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
Brewery: Browar Łomża
First Brewed: 1968
Type: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Abv: 5.7%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Żabka Supermarket (Warsaw)
Price: 3.49PLN (approx. £0.70)

Saku Porter (345 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

Only my second ever beer from Estonia now, this one follows on from the bottle of Viru from the country that I reviewed here way back in June 2013 having been impressed with the nice bottle design but ultimately being disappointed with the beer itself so I was hopeful this one would be better. The beer is a Baltic porter that appears in the 1001 beers list as one of only two Estonian offerings featured so I fully expected this one to be a decent offering when I picked it up on my last day in Warsaw when visiting the city last month. Brewed once a year as a winter seasonal, this one was originally brewed in the town of Saku before production was moved to the Aldaris brewery in Latvia in the winter of 2009/10, since both are now owned by Carlsberg but naturally I’ll still list this one as an Estonian beer. It was at this point that the beers alcohol content was reduced from the original 7.5% to its current 7.0%, although the bottle I picked up came in just under that at 6.9% abv. for the winter 2016/17 edition of the beer.

Appearance (4/5): An opaque offering that was a dark brown to mahogany colour and came with a few red tinges running through the body as well. There was a light beige head on top that started off quite bubbly, sitting about a centimetre tall before fading to leave a slightly patchy lacing after about thirty seconds or so with the odd bubble rising from the base of the beer too.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a malty offering with a lot of chocolate notes coming through in the early going alongside some vanilla sweetness and touches of caramel. It was a sweet beer but some earthy bitterness featured early too which helped to give the beer a nice balance on the nose, some coffee smells featuring too but they were definitely more subtle. It was quite a strong beer on the nose with some grain and hints of alcohol coming through nearer the end but overall it was a pleasant smelling beer.
Taste (7/10): Starting with a combination of sweet malts and chocolate in the early going, there was some dark malts and caramel sweetness too with the odd sticky flavours towards the middle. I could detect some liquorice and an almost cola like taste with plenty of sugars coming through soon after and then a couple of roasted malts down the stretch before some hints of alcohol seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium to full-bodied with quite a creamy, smooth feel to proceedings and plenty of sweetness too. The beer was syrupy and sticky at times with plenty of malt bitterness and the odd touch of alcohol towards the end giving it a slightly warming feel that seemed stronger than the 6.9% abv. of the beer.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a big, strong beer that opened with a lot of sweetness thanks to the chocolate and caramel flavours sitting on top of a sugary base and some warming alcohol nearer the end. There was a nice complexity to this one as well as a good balance, I felt it was slightly stronger than a 6.9% beer should be but it was still highly drinkable and one well worth trying; I’d go as far as to say that I’d have it again if it was more readily available in the UK.

Brewed In: Saku, Harjumaa, Estonia
Brewery: Saku Õlletehas
First Brewed: circa 1990
Type: Baltic Porter
ABV: 6.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Carrefour Express (Warsaw, Poland)
Price: 9 PLN (approx. £0.80)