Erdinger Pikantus

erdinger_pikantusBrewer: Erdinger Brewery, Erding, Germany
Style: Dark Bock
ABV: 7.3%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This dark bock beer is a seasonal Spring beer, but one which is equally enjoyable during the cold, winter months. It fashioned using a combination of wheat and barley malts which are then subjected to a longer than normal maturation process, thus resulting in the venerated bock style.

Tasting Notes: This is the next sampling in my Erdinger pack that came in honor of Oktoberfest. And so far, it is my running favorite. Smooth wheat malts and barley malts are accented by notes of brown sugar, dark fruits, and a gentle hint of herbs and a spicy yeast base. And yet, much like all Erdinger beers, it remains very smooth and drinkable. Reminds me of why I love bocks!

Appearance: Dark brown, translucent, fluffy head and good carbonation
Nose: Rich malt base, subtle notes of herbs, brown sugar, spices, yeast
Taste: Smooth malts, hints of brown sugar and molasses, dates, raisins, mineral tang
Aftertaste: Lingering smooth malt, sugars, spicy yeast and minerals
Overall: 8/10

Bomber Marzen Amber Lager

bombermarzenBrewer: Bomber Brewery, Vancouver, BC
Style: Marzen Lager
Alc/Vol: 5.5%
IBU: 20

Description: This Spring seasonal beer, originally launched as a draught-only product, is now available in bottles for limited edition release. Consistent with the Bavarian-style of “March” beer, this beer is a darker, heavier take on the traditional lager, employing what I can only assume are Vienna Malt and Zaltec Hops to create a malty, dryly hopped amber lager.

Tasting Notes: I’ve been a fan of Marzen’s for quite some time, due to the fact that they are both clean drinking and refreshing as well as rich and malty. Bomber’s take on this was certainly faithful. In addition to the clean drinking quality of a lager, it had rich malts, a slightly sweet taste, viscous mouthfeel, and a nice, dry hop finish. Not a bad intro to this brewery either!

Appearance: Amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Slightly toasted malts, syrupy sweetness, grassy hops
Taste: Rich malt, slight tang, hint of syrupy sweetness, dry hop finish
Aftertaste: Lingering malt, tang and sweetness, clean and dry
Overall: 8.5/10

Aventinus, Found At Last!

Rejoice, beer snobs, for this is great new indeed! After years of fruitless searching, trying in vain to find a supplier of beer that carried the venerated Schneider und Sohn Aventinus Heffeweizen Doppelbock, I was about ready to give up. Be it a private liquor store or the province-run BCL, again and again I was told that they either did not carry this product, that it was not something I was likely to find in BC, or they just looked at me blankly like they didn’t have the slightest idea what I was talking about.

But after six years of searching and waiting, I finally found someone who came through! And would you believe it, it was a restaurant of all places! Yes, the good folks at The Rathskeller Schnitzel House here in beautiful Victoria BC that were able to procure a shipment of this premium Bavarian beer. And good on them, since this is something that beer drinkers all across the province should be getting their hands on. A dark, double-fermented, bock-style wheat beer that boasts smooth, rich malts and a fruity, spicy palate with hints of chocolate and bananas, this beer remains one of the best I have ever had! The only one to do better no longer exists, so I guess that makes this beer my number one favorite 😉

I can remember fondly being introduced to this beer roughly a decade ago. It was my first time walking into Vineyard Bistro, located in the heart of the Bytown Market in Ottawa. Unfamiliar to the territory and still only a beer snobblet, I asked the barkeep for something tall, dark, German and strong, emphasizing that I was talking about beer. He immediately handed me a bottle of this and a tall, fluted glass. It took me a few samplings to appreciate the taste of the bock-style wheat, but once I acquired it, I was hooked!

Since that time, I never miss an opportunity to pick up an Aventinus whenever I find myself in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario. You can’t imagine how crestfallen I was when I first moved to BC and found that it simply didn’t exist here, a fact which still makes no sense to me. Schneider-Weisse, the more well-known wheat beer that is brewed by the same brewery, is readily available in BCL liquor stores. So is their Eisbock for that matter. That seem right to you?

So… expect a full and complete review to be coming just as soon as I can get out to the Haus and pick me up a case! Though I have raved long about the virtues of Aventinus, I don’t think I’ve ever described it any real detail (not the four point breakdown at any rate). And if you get a chance, get out to Rathskeller and ask them for a bottle. You won’t be sorry 🙂