Bad Tattoo Los Muertos Cerveza Negra

Badtattoo_negroBrewer: Bad Tattoo Brewing, Penticton, BC
Style: Light Bock
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 25

Description: This offering by Bad Tattoo is fashioned in the tradition of German Bocks, but with a Mexican twist. This involves dark malts that are fermented using lager yeast and at lower temperatures, but with a shorter fermentation that results in a crisp, dark lager reminiscent of a Mexican dark.

Tasting Notes: I was very much reminded of two Mexican lagers when I drank this beer, the first being Negra Modelo and the second being León – a beer I thoroughly enjoyed while touring southern Mexico in 2006. A dark malt base, which has hints of cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, and a good mineral tang, manages to bridge the worlds of a bock with your basic dark lager, and in a way that is crisp and refreshing.

Appearance: Dark brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, roasted nuts, hint of cocoa, hint of espresso, mild hops
Taste: Roasted malt, chestnuts, hint of brown sugar, cocoa, mineral tang, dry hops
Aftertaste: Lingering mineral tang, roasted malt flavor
Overall: 8.3/10

Deschutes Distelhauser Doppel Dinkel Bock Ale

Deschutes-Doppel-Dinkel-bottleBrewer: Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR/ Distelhauser Brewing, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany
Style: Spelt-Wheat Bock Ale
ABV: 10.5%
IBUs: 17

Description: This imperial Bock was a collaboration between the Oregon-based Deschutes and the German Distelhauser breweries. In addition to Chocolate Wheat, Carared Malt, Pilsner, and Wheat Malt, the beer also features a good dose of Spelt Malt. It is then bittered using a combination of Bravo, US Tettnang, and Citra hops to achieve a rich, malt-forward ale.

Tasting Notes: This brew definitely came as advertised – rich, malty, sweet, and quite strong. Though a bit overwhelming, it certainly did pack an interesting profile, with notes of banana, sugars, and spices. In this sense, it was quite reminiscent of other strong wheat bocks (Aventinus and Dumduminator) and some pretty strong notes of molasses.

Appearance: Deep brown/amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, brown sugar, molasses, allspice, mild herbal hops

Taste: Sweet malt, mineral tang, brown sugar, banana, cloves, spices, mild alcoholic bite
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, minerals, sweet banana, alcohol
Overall: 8/10

Longwood Winter’s Own Weizenbock

longwood_wintersownBrewer: Longwood Brewery, Nanaimo, BC
Style: Weizenbock
Alc/Vol: 6.5%

Description: Longwood’s winter seasonal beer, the Winter’s Own is a German-style hefeweizen that is fashioned from a combination of 50% wheat and barley malt and brewed bock-style to create a slightly darker, stronger wheat ale.

Tasting Notes: This is a beer that has been difficult for me to get my hands on, due in part to seasonal availability and distribution. Luckily, while having lunch at Longwood’s this weekend with my folks (happy birthday Pop!), I managed to snag one. And I was a bit surprised by what I found. Typically, a weizenbock is a smooth, malty, and rich beer, combining the best of a German wheat and bock. Such a beer would certainly be a good winter warmer. However, this beer is fermented using what I can only assume is brettanomyces yeasts, which give it a sour, oaky punch, which when combined with a rather light malt base, leads to an entirely different experience. Not bad at all, just not what I would have expected given the style and the fact that its a winter seasonal release. I think this brew would have been better targeted to summer drinking. Still, good marks for taste and authenticity, but some deductions for missing the mark.

Appearance: Amber-orange, cloudy with sediment, good foam and carbonation
Nose: Light wheat malt, yeasty, sour cherry, apple cider, oak
Taste: Mild wheat malt, tang, hint of sour cherry, tart apple, oak, dry finish
Aftertaste: Lingering yeast bitterness, tang, and sour fruit flavor
Overall: 7.5/10

Two Eggenberg Bocks!

beer coasters, beermatsKind 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:

Doppelbock Dunkel:
eggenberg_doppelbock_dunkelThis 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
Overall: 9/10

Urbock 23o:
Eggenberger_Urbock_23And 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
Overall: 8/10

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?