Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? And its a lovely thing when you find a brewery that produces not one, but two types of beer that is renowned for being just so lovely. In this case, that brewery would be Schloss Eggenberg, an historic Austrian operation that dates back to the 10 century and is hence one of Europe’s oldest. I was fortunate to chance on these during one of my regular visits to Cook Street Liquor and decided that they may serve well for my upcoming beer class. But of course, having not tried them yet, I had to get myself a few bottles of each and sample them quite thoroughly before I could make an informed decision. Here’s what I found:
This double-fermented brew is one of the brewery’s regular lineup, a testament to the long-standing Germanic tradition of Bock beer, and the silver medal winner of the 2007 “World Beer Cup”. Dark brown in color, clear, and with a light, creamy head, it has a rich malt profile that comes through with plenty of caramelized sugar and baked bread. In terms of taste, it is sweet and very malty, containing lots of notes sugar, molasses and dark fruits, and a finish that is sweet and tangy, with mild hop bitterness and herbs. Considering just how smooth and malty this beer is, it’s hard to imagine that it weighs in at heavy 8.5% alc/vol. And after three bottles, I think its fair to say that its a top contender for educating my class on this historical style of beer!
Appearance: Dark brown-amber, clear, mild foam retention and medium carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, baked bread, burnt sugar, mild hops
Taste: Sweet, heavy malts, molasses, brown sugar, dates, raisins
Aftertaste: Mild tang, sweetness, hint of herbs, relatively clean finish
And here we have their other variety of bock, a highly special release is named according to the of its malt, as rated on the Plato scale. At 23 degrees, this beer is denser than just about anything on the market (typical beers range from 13-16), and at 9.5% alc/vol, its the strongest beer in their lineup. In terms of color, taste and smell, it is highly reminiscent of a Maibock, being light, sweet, and quite tangy. In terms of color and appearance, it is golden amber, slightly cloudy, and produces little foam or carbonation. The nose is rich in malts, reminiscent of honey and sugar, and has a slight hop presence. This continues into the flavor department, which is sweet, tangy, and heavily malty, and lingers on as such for some time.
Appearance: Golden/amber, slightly cloudy, mild foam and carbonation
Nose: Tangy malts, mild hops, sugars and honey
Taste: Pronounced tang and strong notes of brown sugar and molasses, mild spice
Aftertaste: Linger malt sweetness and spices
Not a bad tour of the bock variety, and certainly not a bad sampling from Eggenberg brewery. The only question is, what will my class have to say about it?