Posts Tagged ‘dunkel’

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.)

Ueli Robur Dunkel

November 19, 2015 2 comments

Rating: 3.75

My second ever Swiss beer now, following on from the macro pale lager Feldschlössen Original, this was another beer that I managed to sample on my first day in Basel recently when I stopped by the brewpub having made a point of finding it on my trip. This one differs from the pint of Feldschlössen I had before it in that this one is more of a craft offering and is one of the first beers the Fischerstube brewery produced when it started operations back in 1974. Like all the brewery’s beers, this one falls under the ‘Ueli Bier’ banner and I opted for a large glass of this one on-tap when I spotted it in the menu since it had been a while since my last dunkel; I also managed to try some of their weizen offering when in the pub (a review of the bottled version of that beer will follow shortly).

Ueli Robur Dunkel

Appearance (4/5): Copper red and cloudy with some orange touches and a one centimetre tall, foamy white head on top that is slightly rusty with great retention over the opening couple of minutes.
Aroma (7/10): This one kicks off with plenty of sweet malts and a solid caramel backing, there is some nice sugars thrown into the mix as well and toffee notes that follow on from that. Whilst not being the strongest smelling beer out there, the beer is definitely a sweet one on the nose with some roasted malts and a few dark fruits making themselves known towards the end.
Taste (7/10): Following on closely from the nose, this one is again quite a sweet beer with a good combination of caramel and toffee malts that are backed up by some sugars and a good, malty base. There’s a few dark fruits sitting in the background and the toasted malts, biscuits and subtle bitterness all work together well.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a medium body and lightly carbonated, this one is very sweet and malty on the palate with some nice bitterness towards the end as well; the balance of the beer was particularly good as a result with it going down very easily indeed.

Overall (15/20): This one was quite a nice, easy going dunkel that was a major step up from the only other Swiss beer that I’ve tried to date (Feldschlössen Original) and the fact there was actually some flavour to this one was definitely a plus. There was plenty of sweetness throughout but it didn’t seem overdone and the balance was quite good with some pleasant bitterness towards the end as well.

Brewed In: Basel, Switzerland
Brewery: Brauerei Fischerstube
First Brewed: circa. 1974
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Draught (500ml)
Purchased: Restaurant Fischerstube, Basel, Switzerland
Price: 6.80 CHF (approx. £4.41)

Laško Dark

October 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

The final beer from those I managed to try over the summer on my visits to Croatia, Slovenia and Italy and a good one to go out with, a dunkel from Slovenian brewer Laško and one that I only stumbled across in a restaurant in Rovinj on the last night of my holiday. The beer is one that I knew existed but I had trouble finding it after being unable to locate a bottle on my brief visit to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana so I was happy to try it with dinner in Rovinj when the chance presented itself. This one follows on from the first Laško beer I tried back in 2011, their Zlatorog offering I first tried back in 2012 and will likely be the last review of a Slovenian beer I add for quite some time.

Laško Dark

Appearance (4/5): This one pours a dark, chocolate coloured brown with an opaque body and a large, three-centimetre tall head that holds better than I would have expected over the opening couple of minutes before eventually halving in size.
Aroma (7/10): Dark roasted malts and quite a lot of chocolate kick this one-off, there is some sweetness off the back of this though and I could also detect some light grain and some subtle sugars. The beer was quite a dark one with some lactose towards the end and coming through with a nice balance overall.
Taste (7/10): Matching the nose well, the taste kicks off with some dark roasted malts and touches of grain but there is slightly less chocolate coming through than there was with the nose. I managed to get some sugars and there was a nice milky taste around the middle before some caramel and nutty flavours made themselves known nearer the end.
Palate (4/5): A smooth and quite a creamy beer on the palate, coming through with a medium body and a pleasant amount of sweetness from the sugars and chocolate in the taste. There was a good balance throughout and the touches of grain were kept to a minimum with some light bitterness seeing things out.

Overall (15/20): Quite an enjoyable beer from Laško and one I’m very pleased to have tried, there was a very nice dark roasted malt flavour with good sweetness and the odd milky taste coming through that all worked well together. The balance of the beer was a good one and it proved very easy to drink, it’s definitely one I’d order again when in the region.

Brewed In: Laško, Slovenia
Brewery: Pivovarna Laško
First Brewed: Brewery since 1825
Also Known As: Laško Temno
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.9%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Moneo, Rovinj, Croatia
Price: 25 kuna (approx. £2.42)

Union Temno Pivo (305 of 1001)

September 18, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Finally a new review from a beer that features on the 1001 beers list now, a bottle of Union Temno Pivo that I sampled in Ljuubljana last month and my first from the list in quite some time; mainly due to the fact that I had already reviewed both Croatian beers on the list a few years ago and this one is the only Slovenian beer listed. Due to the fact that this one was the only Slovenian beer on the list to try, this one was the beer that I was most anxious to try on my vacation this year despite the fact I didn’t think it would be a particularly good offering; thankfully that wasn’t the case though and it actually proved to be one of the better Slovenian beers I managed to try on my travels; it was also my seventh Union beer alone and the last review of one from me for quite some time now.

Union Temno Pivo

Appearance (4/5): A mahogany brown colour with some red tinges and an opaque body that is one centimetre tall and quite foamy looking with also has creamy spots. It sits a light tan colour on top of the beer with good retention over the opening couple of minutes.
Aroma (7/10): The nose of this one starts off with some dark roasted malts and an earthy bitterness that features some caramel too. There’s a few darker fruits making an appearance along with some sugars, bread and a touch of toffee. It’s not an overly sweet beer but there is some throughout with some subtle hops sitting in the background to round things off.
Taste (7/10): Earthy malts and sugars kick off the taste of this one, there is some caramel malts not far behind though and these add to the sweetness of the beer a little. Next up is some background fruits and a slightly grainy taste with some subtle hops from the nose making another appearance here. Touches of toffee and a various roasted flavours come through at the end to finish things off.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation, the beer has some slight grains coming through alongside a decent amount of sweetness from malts and caramel. It was quite an easy beer to drink with a good balance and no alcohol showing.

Overall (15/20): This one was a surprisingly enjoyable dark lager from Union, I say surprising since so many of the beers from them that I’ve reviewed here recently have been fairly disappointing offerings but this one was quite a pleasant one. The beer was well-balanced and smooth with a nice amount of sweetness coming through along with some darker, roasted flavours and a few background fruits. It was an easy one to drink as well with enough variation to keep things interesting.

Brewed In: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Brewery: Pivovarna Union
First Brewed: 1989
Formerly Known As: Union Baron Black/Crni Baron
Type: Dark Lager
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Premier Pub, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Price: €2.80 (approx. £2.04)

Ožujsko Rezano

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.35

Another from my time in Zagreb now, I’m very slowly making my way through the backlog of beers I tried over the summer that I’ve still to review here. This one will be my sixth beer from Zagrebačka Pivovara and is actually a mix of two beers from them that I’ve reviewed here previously. After trying this one I discovered that it is made up from a mix that consists of 60% Ožujsko Pivo and 40% Tomislav Pivo, the later of which I’ve been a fan of ever since I first tried it in Split a few years ago. I had initially assumed when I picked this one up that it’d be similar beer to Tomislav Pivo, especially since they’re both from the same brewery but it seemed something at least a little different when I tried it which is always nice when travelling since pale lagers make up the bulk of the selection available.

Ožujsko Rezano

Appearance (4/5): Caramel brown and slightly lighter than I’d expected, the beer looks a lot like a Vienna style lager and comes with a clear body that is topped with a foamy, slightly off-white head settling to thin surface lacing after about a minute.
Aroma (6/10): This one starts with some caramel malts and a little toffee that accompany some burnt sugars and give the beer a sweet aroma. There is a few medium strength malts and touches of grain around the middle before some faint background fruits make an appearance. The beer wasn’t a bad one on the nose but I felt it would have benefited from being a little stronger.
Taste (7/10): Matching the nose well, this one starts with a caramel malt taste backed up with plenty of brown sugars and a few roasted malts. There was some burnt flavours and toffee coming through after that and I managed to detect some subtle hops and sweetness towards the end.
Palate (3/5): There was some grains to this one but for the most part it was quite a smooth beer with a sweet feel and a decent balance. There was a slight tang to proceedings and carbonation levels were about medium, sitting on top of a light-medium body and coming just before a dry, slightly bitter finish.

Overall (13/20): Not quite as dark a beer as I’d been expecting when compared to some dark beers I’ve tried of late, perhaps down to it being 60% Ožujsko Pivo. There was some nice caramel notes and flavours coming through alongside a decent amount of sweetness but it’s not one that struck me as being a classic beer and I’d probably opt for a Tomislav Tamno over this one everytime.

Brewed In: Zagreb, Croatia
Brewery: Zagrebačka Pivovara
First Brewed: Brewery since 1892
Type: Dunkel (Dark Lager)
Abv: 5.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Prehrana Trgovina (Zagreb)
Price: 7.99 kuna (approx. £0.77)

Velebitsko Tamno

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Another Croatian beer now, this one is a dunkel from Gospić in the Lika region of the country and is one that I tried a couple of times whilst in Croatia recently. I first picked a bottle of the beer up from a Spar supermarket in Zagreb early on in my trip after being intrigued by the fairly old styled label on the bottle and that fact that is worked out at under 80p when I bought it. The beer is from the Ličanka brewery which was founded in 1997 and comes in at a respectable 6% abv. having been 5.1% up until 2010. The beer is brewed following the Reinheitsgebot and is one of two main beers from the brewery, their pale lager being the other but I never had am opportunity to try that one this time round sadly.

Velebitsko Tamno

Appearance (4/5): Dark chocolate brown with a finger-sized, tan brown head that turns into a foamy surface layer after a minute or so and has the odd patchy spot as well.
Aroma (7/10): Lightly roasted malts and some caramel give the nose a fairly sweet start with some darker, ripe fruits following soon after. There’s a few sugars making an appearance and I could detect some faint coffee and subtle hops around the middle and towards the end. There was some burnt toffee towards the close and the balance seemed to be a good one.
Taste (7/10): Roasted malts and some dark fruits kick things off before some caramel comes through an imparts some sweetness. There is some burnt sugars and earthy malts around the middle before some toffee sees things out.
Palate (4/5): Creamy, smooth and quite rich on the palate with a good balance and some nice sweetness throughout. The beer was easy to drink with some touches of bitterness and subtle carbonation levels on top of a medium to full body.

Overall (15/20): This one was a very nice dark lager, there was a good roasted malt taste and plenty of sweetness throughout as well as some nice bitterness to help balance things out. The beer had plenty of flavour but thankfully didn’t overpower and it was easy to drink, part of the reason I picked it up more than once whilst in Croatia.

Brewed In: Gospić, Lika, Croatia
Brewery: Pivovara Ličanka
First Brewed: Brewery since 1997
Type: Dunkel (Dark Lager)
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Spar (Zagreb)
Price: 7.99 kuna (approx. £0.77)