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If you're in Finland over Easter you might get some Mämmi served. Mämmi is made out of rye flour, rye malt and molasses. It tastes like licorice, is very sweet and very strong in its taste. It is usually served together with milk or cream and sugar. The stakes are high now: Will this beer taste as unique as Mämmi?
Once poured in from the bottle the white foam went away fast. The beer has a brown amber color. Looking at the label it states 78 EBC which is impossible, as 78 EBC is nearly black. It is more in the near of 24 EBC. Perhaps they mixed up some values.
Its flavour gives a strong malty chocolate, licorice marzipan smell. In the lower end you will find some citric. This gives food for thought. Though, how will the beer taste like?
Starting with some sweetness and ending with a strong carbonation and some bitterness this beer is very thin and even boring. There is nothing more to add because there is nothing more available. The question is: Where did the strong sweet taste of Mämmi go, or was there ever one?
This beer doesn't live up to the expectation it sets. I'm now heading for the real stuff - I mean the Mämmi of course.
There are some things in Finland that are very traditional. One of them are Reino & Aino shoes. Reino are for men Aino are for women. Both are handmade in Finland and loved by the Finnish people. The Reino shoes have a distinctive design and this is where we come to beer.
The pattern of the can looks like the shoes. And that's where the story ends for the first part. Poured into a glass the white foam (little) stays for some time and than vanishes into thin air. The color itself is perfect golden.
First nip goes down well. Thought about an export style beer. It's smell is clearly malt, caramel and floral. The caramel part is hidden behind the malt and takes some time to break through. The floral part is only recognized in traces.
The body is a little too little for my taste but still ok for an export. It's the typical style thought at universities as „slim beer“. Carbonation is perfect in the middle of possibilities. Bitterness could be more emphasised without that astringent harshness.
A basic beer for an evening at the TV or a party consumed together with crisps. Don't expect too much. The Reino shoes have a cult status where this beers fame won't last for long.
Ever lived in a monastery? No? A friend of mine once decided to be a monk and went to the nearest monastery. One week later he came back and decided that he never will be a monk. We never talked about the “why”.
Monks usually wonderful brewers . The German and Belgian have showed that more than once and continue to do so to this day.
Todays beer is from the Weltenburger Kloster. They are in fact the oldest monastery brewery in the world – they've been brewing since 1050. The beer I chose is a German Dunkles. Its color is dark amber and the foam stability is ok.
The beer has a malty, even burnt smell; you can also get a whiff of caramel. In the background hangs some leather.
Its taste is sweet, little powdery and warming. Bitterness at the end stays for a little time – as you would expect from this kind of beer. Carbonation and body are paired well. In the end the mouthfeel was surprisingly dry, but I found the dryness actually gave it an interesting ending.
I'm now heading for a huge salad and perhaps another bottle of Dunkles.
Last Christmas is gone since long but I still have some „Weihnachtsbier“ [Weihnachtsbier = German for Christmas beer] in my stash. Actually this one I'm having now was a Christmas present from my dad.
What would you expect from a „Weihnachtsbier“? I guess it would be strong in alcohol – a bock – and of course lots of sweetness and a malt flavour.
With 5.5 % ABV this isn't a bock but derived from its color it ain't be a Helles. The first impression brings up its malty character. Below the malt is some burnt smell as well. I even noticed some kind of „Kellergeruch“ (does someone know a translation for Kellergeruch?)
The Huppendorfer Weihnachtsfestbier is very sweet. The bitterness at the end stays only for some seconds before it vanishes into thin air. From that point on I think its a Märzen.
The body is well balanced. Carbonation is in accordance with the body. I'm now heading for cheese. Seems like this beer made me hungry - for more.
Neumarkter Lammsbräu is a traditional Bavarian brewery. The only difference which distinguishes them from the other breweries is the fact that they produce organic beers. They are sold with the seal of Bioland and are available at Basic supermarkets.
From time to time I buy one of their beers. This time it’s the Schwarze - a dark unfiltered wheat beer. [Schwarze = German, means black] I had to pour it in very slow as the foam building was that strong that being too fast led to over spilling. Once in the glass I first noticed the yeasty smell, which reminded me of a fermenting cellar I used to work in. (Some stories made their way up to my mind, but they will have to be told on another day.) I took another deep breath and got some more flavours: strong malt, caramel, fruity and floral.
The first nip brought a refreshing, sweet, little sour taste with a slight bitter note at the end. The refreshing part was perhaps a little too much as I expected more body.
It’s a standard dark wheat beer which goes well with a German brotzeit.