Check out the incredible artwork on the label!
The artwork was so good that Ludwig himself freaked out the focus on my camera! I kept hitting the beer glass to focus on and Ludwig kept stealing it back and the camera would zoom in, zoom out, and zoom in again. It was freaky!
This beer is a rauchbier where green malts are roasted over a beechwood flame to give it a really smokey flavor. Roy Pitz calls it a dark lager. I guess when it's the 1500's or so and your ruler decides that you are only allowed 4 ingredients in beer, you play around with those ingredients to try and make different flavoured beers.
This is a beautiful tasting beer served at about 50 degrees in that glass that you see there. I don't know it's name, but I can get my nose in there to sniff around while I drink. It's good for dark beers.
The beer poured a brown/black like a porter and maybe a little more translucent with a nice full one finger head of tiny and medium tan coloured bubbles that fades to a ring and a Friar Tuck center cap by the end of the drink. It's lacing was beautiful!
The aroma is of roasted dark and chocolate malts that is slightly bready and maybe a hint of licorice? I read a few mentions of it and I don't know if the thought was planted in my head or not. Either way, it is very faint.
The beer tastes very much the same way starting off mild and sweetly malty with some hop balance and then as you get into the sip the smoke comes through, but alas, not as strong as the few other rauchbiers that I have had. At the end there is a bit of breadiness, smoke and mild to medium hops leaving a sweet but hop balanced finish.
The mouthfeel is just over midrange creamy and sweet, almost "chewy" as some have described it. It's body is lighter than a porter making it quite drinkable. Carbonation is "lively" but not overly so. In fact, I think it's perfect for this beer's profile. It carries all the flavors well through the drink.
I freaking like this beer a LOT! Like I said, it's lighter than the few rauchbiers that I have had, but I think them overly smokey to a fault. I guess that I am not an extremist when it comes to beer flavors. I don't know... Some critics alluded that this wasn't up to the rauchbier name. I don't know about that, but I do know that it does have the characteristics of one, maybe just a little lighter and the beer is NOT going to lose points because of it.
9.5 points out of 10 to Roy Pitz! I love this beer and would recommend it to anyone ready to move on from a light beer to something smokey to see if they like it. I think the body is a little light so I take off half a point. I might take off more (or less) if I had more experience with this style.
Well done Roy Pitz!
Have a great weekend everyone!