Samstag, 20. Januar 2018

Baltic Porter Day 2018 Day 0 - Imperator Baltycki - regular vs barrel aged

Imperator Bałtycki
Imperator Bałtycki Sherry 
Oloroso Barrel
Pinta Poland

Even if I really love Imperium Prunum, Imperator Bałtycki has one big advantage. First of all, it is almost as good as Imperium (ratebeer rank 3 and 4), but most importantly you can buy it almost any time you want.
Pitch black, aromatic, hopped with American hops. Very solid coffee, smoked note and thick rich texture. It is rare to get so much for your money.

Sherry Oloroso Barrel gave Imperator additional liquor and praline notes. Nice vanilla finish and very, very low carbonation. Clearly +1 to respect.

Freitag, 19. Januar 2018

Baltic Porter Day 2018 Day -1 - Imperium Prunum

Today a beer that is a legend.

Imperium Prunum from Kormoran Brewery

Imperial Baltic Porter aged with a specific dried plum with a smoky aroma called (Suska Szechlonska)

As an introduction let me cite Ratebeer:

At the moment Imperium Prunum has 292 ratings: 
Overall score 100/100; style 100/100

2016 – Ratebeer Best Award - gold medal – category – Best Beers in the world

If you look in the lists it’s the best Baltic Porter in the World and Polands #2 overall*.

I found it difficult to write about the beer that have been praised so much. There is a lot of hype and hate. But all professional reviewers were amazed when the first batch of Imperium Prunum hit the shelves in 2016. The brewery let us wait for the next one year. And this was the moment when I was also able to get a bottle.

Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed. Aroma of cocoa, chocolate and Belgian pralines. No alcohol detectable, Smoky notes in both aroma and taste. Rich, creamy texture with delicate and small carbonation. Roasted chocolate and small bitter ending. That beer is really a piece of art.

On top, there is this amazing bottle and the box. Just look at the photos. So far, one of the best beer packages I know.

Sadly, Imperium Prunum used to be one of the hardest beers in the world to get. Maybe not as hard as Pliny the Younger (released only in the San Francisco area once per year), but way harder to get than Westvleteren XII. Each batch of Imperium Prunum was about 8000 bottles, released just once per year. Guilty is process of aging (2 years). Whereas the basic price is quite OK (around 8 euro), online the beer got really crazy pricing going way beyond 10x of the original.

Having all these facts – you can imagine that getting a bottle of Imperium Prunum was very difficult in Poland and almost impossible outside.

Here, big thanks my friends from Browarium – Sklepy Piwne who kept a bottle of 2017 for me.

What I have learned this year is that the brewery has heard the clients. This year’s batch is doubled. Plus, they have also decreased the volume of the bottle. Now it is only 0.33. This will result in more bottles and better accessibility for a broader publicity.

Whereas, I appreciate the double batch, I believe that the 0.33 size is bullshit. I will anyway be able to get one bottle max and I will share my bottle with somebody. 0.33 size for sharing a beer is such a nonsense.

Now and important point – is it a great beer or is this a hype.

Why asking?

Because some of the very exclusive beers are more hype than the quality.

You ask where are the high ratings coming from then?

It is simple. Would you dare to give a bad rating, knowing that you had to go to the monastery on a certain day, directly after they call you to pick up the beer? All the effort travel etc. to give a bad rating?

Well, I would.
That is why Westvleteren XII is not the best beer I have ever tried. No doubt, this is a very good quad, but in my opinion, it needs to age. I have been tasting a few freshly from the brewery and the ones that were a year in my basement.
The fresh one is clearly more hype than greatness. Only aged Westvleteren lives up to the expectations.

On contrary Imperium Prunum is clearly the quality over the hype.

Finally – Batch 2018 is being released today. Run, run, run.

* In case you are interested number one is Polish Quad – Buba Extreme, also considered to be the 3 best Quadruple in the world
** yeah, I know all about only being able to get Westvleteren XII from the monks directly from the monastery in limited amounts, and one car cannot come to pick the beer more than once in every 3 months – the truth is that a willing tourist will find more than enough places to get Westvleteren XII in Belgium and online. I even have a bottle of Westvleteren XII in a bar in Toronto area. Price will be high, but you can get it.

Donnerstag, 18. Januar 2018

First review of my home brewed IPA ever - featuring DareQ from Beerstudio (

As most of you have noticed, I have recently restarted my brewing activities. Going through my notices and historical recipes I have realized that one of my original beer actually got reviewed on a beer blog.


I started searching for the blog and the review, and have found that the blogging platform will be closed at the end of the January. Holly cow, this was the last moment to save it.

On top, I have contacted the author – DareQ and got his permission to re-use the text on the blog.

Last problem was that the original review was in Polish. After a few thoughts I have decided to let google translate to do the job and paste the text below WITHOUT any changes.

It is readable and translates the message of the author and then, nobody can tell that I have made the review better.

To put the reviewed beer in the context – the recipe for Pliny the Eldest was originally designed to be a heavy West Coast Imperial IPA in the style of Russian Rivers legendary Pliny the Elder. I really loved the effects and decided to work on it. I have made some fine-tuning and the beer have become – “Double Dare You”. No more a tribute, its separate entity now. You could enjoy the bottle and the label on my Instagram (@beerlander.blogspot)

Below you will find:

English translation
Screenshot from the blog


Today in "Beerstudio" in a sense, "special stage". It is rare that I never write about home beer to say nothing. Beers brewed by breweries have the advantage that they can be easier or harder to get from here, the review may encourage or discourage the purchase of a particular beer or be a contributor to polemics if someone has already done so and picked up the beer differently (and it certainly happens and I think that for completely normal). In the case of this beer, I decided to make an exception, because the history of how it hit me is also unique. Pliny the Eldest is a beer by Beerlander - a blogger whom I met during a beer trip to Amsterdam. One of the conference points was the so-called 'bottleshare session', in other words simple tasting of beers brought by participants. These were usually craft brewing beers, but among various inventions unearthed from the cellars of companions there were also 2 bottles of home-made specimen which can be described as borrowed from the world of music as tritune Beer of the legendary Pliny the Elder from Russian River. How to inspire, it's the best! The first bottle was spilled in a dozen or so of the most persistent participants on the 2nd day of the conference, while the second bottle, to my great joy, was given to me as a gift, for which I thank you very much! I mark out the original Pliny from above, I have not yet had the opportunity to try, that's why there will simply be no links to this inspiration in this tasting.

Beer from the beginning intrigue suspiciously with dark colors. The deep amber color and turbidity combined with the little abundant foam give it the appearance of strong tea and suggest that it may be a 'very imperial IPA'. The feeling did not disappoint! From the first nose very clear tropical notes. Very ripe papaya and mango fruits do the job here. The aroma is really solid, intense and powerful, slightly broken with an alcohol note, but in the end it's not just a nice peanut. The aged Pliny comes with a blow in taste. There is power! The beer is full, with lots of mango and tropical fruit. You can also feel caramel (maybe a bit too much) and the sweetness that breaks the most at the finish. While the smell of alcohol was a bit noticeable in the aroma, the beer is incredibly well-arranged and smooth in taste. For a beer with this power is a big plus. This element was able to support quite a long time before drinking - in the Netherlands I drank it fresh, at home after almost 3 months but it was still great. From a small mouthful in Amsterdam, I knew it would be my fairy tale and the effect did not diminish at all with the whole bottle.

And finally a real firecracker. I assumed that beer on this level is a specific experience and a minimum of a few dozen brews on the account. It turns out that it was one of the first attempts of self-brewing which, given the result, raises really great respect. If it was 3 batch, then the 30th may lack the scale. Thanks to Beerlander! Good luck and keep it up!


Bye Bye Pliny the Eldest, long live 

Double Dare You.

Mittwoch, 10. Januar 2018

"Süßes oder Saures" 3 sour stouts not for everybody

De Molen Verdeel&Heers
BA Imperial Stout Brett
9.8% Alc

t'Verzet Kameradski Balsamico
Experimental Fusion of Oud Bruin and Imperial Stout
12.5% Alc

Lervig/Oud Beersel Black Acid
stout/lambic blend aged
8.5% Alc

It was supposed to be blinded competition. After giving it some thoughts I have decided not to do so. First, because I am the huge fan of Kameradski Balsamico. Second – there is no official beer style for sour stouts, thus a fair comparison is difficult to make.

Finally, I have decided to give you some thought about all 3 beers.

The one from De Molen is quite impressive one – rich aroma of dark chocolate, roasted malts, dried fruits and plums. Flavor is barrel, rum, whiskey, plums. Overall very tasty, very well balanced. One point of the criticism is that I cannot see the Bretanomyces doing the job. All acidic notes may as well come from barrel aging and that makes V&E quite close to many other BA Imperial Stouts. It is not a bad beer, it is just not as exceptional as I thought.

Lervig/Oud Beersel is a different approach. Stout is gone and lambic is taking over everything. Can you imagine drinking a dry beer? Well, it’s the effect obtained here. Kind of like drinking very, very dry wine. I have looked on Ratebeer and some people tend to find there some malt notes and richness. I clearly don’t, it is one sided, acidic and boring. And, yes, I have tried well before the “Best before” date.

Now the Chocolate Stalin – how ‘t Verzet calls Kameradski Balsamico. Whereas it is not a beer for everybody – this is one of the most rewarding beers I have ever tried. Pitch black in color with a brown foam. Smells with malts, coffee and caramel with light acidic notes. Taste is acidic, but balanced with sweet fruits, berries, coffee and chocolate flavors.
For me this beer is simply amazing and the best Belgian beer ever (Westvleteren XII is a joke in comparison). Knowing that it is not everybody’s beer I have tested it on a chosen group of beer lovers. Very polarized reactions – from I don’t like it, to where can I get 10 bottles. For me, another sign of exceptionality – it does not a beer that leaves anybody warm.

Freitag, 5. Januar 2018

The Place and The Beer Part 6: De Bekeerde Suster, Amsterdam

De Bekeerde Suster

Kloveniersburgwal 6
1012 Amsterdam

Back Again in Amsterdam. Seeing a lot of craft (and having to travel a lot for it), I have decided to visit something that is closer to the city center.

House Brewery?

I am in.

And this time I need to start with the beer. At the moment of my visit (Summer 2017) they were having three own beers on the tap: Witte Antonia, De Blonde Barbier and De Manke Monnik (see the photo below).

Now honestly – Witte Antonia and Blonde Barbier are classical examples of Witbier and Blonde that you can get in any proper brewery around Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Poland etc. Nothing to harm, nothing special.

On contrary – De Manke Monnik is over the average of its style. Not the greatest triple of all times, but something worth trying. Nice and golden in color, small head that disappears quickly. Aroma of Belgian hops and flowers. Malt, honey and some grassy hops in the flavor. Nice, smooth and no alcohol detectable.
If you are in the Amsterdam, worth spending a euro or two.

This short description could finish my visit at de Bekeerde Suster if it wouldn’t be the place itself. This time I will not write a lot, just see the photos below. Combination of the wood, brick and copper brew gear just kicks ass. Amazing place. Even if you are not a beer lover, this one is worth visiting just to see that.

Also worth noticing is the fact that they have more than their own beers, bot on tap and in bottles, so every beer geek will find something that makes him/her happy.

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2017

Soiree Polska: bieres et mets polonais; hosted by Fermenthings Brussels, December 9, 2017

Pierre Timmermansstraat 28A, 1090 Jette - Brussel

I am really trying to do my best to follow Poland related events in Belgium (and I don’t mean the debates in the EU parliament), especially if they have anything to do with beer and food. Last time La Louviere (, this time Brussels.

When I have seen that the Fermenthings is organizing Polish beer and food evening I have sked just 2 questions:
-        1. What beers do you have (and I hope that they are different than La Louviere)?
-        2. Do you have enough food this time?

Answer to the first one was not satisfactory – they have originally prepared same beers as David (I think that he was providing them).

Answer to the second one was scary – we have enough food but we don’t have bigos. No bigos, no Polish evening for me.

But, honestly, I wanted a Polish evening to work and be successful thus I have proposed two things – improve your beer stocks using my friends from Browarium – Sklepy Piwne ( On top – we going to provide you with bigos. I was very happy to hear that Fermenthings contacted Browarium and got three new beers for the evening. And my wife has agreed to prepare a bigos.

I will spare you an epic story of bigos preparation – just to say that we have got the real thing, cooked for 3 days, full of meat and mushrooms. Nice and juicy. I believe that this was the first time we have prepared bigos in Belgium, therefore getting all the ingredients seemed very challenging in the beginning, but nowadays Polish shops are everywhere and we have managed.
And The Bigos (yes, I am going to call it The Bigos with a capital “B”) found broad acceptation by local community.

We were also positively surprised to find that the evening has started with a nice presentation made by Cedric, who have visited Poland before and have explored the world of the Polish craft beer. In fact, I was more than pleased to hear that the Belgian beer lover can be impressed by Polish beer scene. Thanks, Ced, you made my day.
I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t comment few things in the presentation. First, I would argue with the lack of Beer tradition in Poland. In fact, we have a big one (that probably would be on the level on Belgian if not the history). See my article here ( I also disagree with the fact that its better and more civilized to have a beer in the .33 bottles. 0.33 bottles are useless for the everyday use. I would be happy to pay a bit more and have 0.5 bottles only.
What I fully agree is that it is good that the size of the tasting glass for the beer festival should be smaller than it usually is in Poland (comment on that here:

Finally, I have to say that Fermenthings did a great job in bringing in some Polish sausages and pickled mushrooms. And we loved smoked cottage cheese.
Below you can see the long line of the beers for the evening – the two first from the right are the new ones. Very likely, we were the first people in Belgium to try them. Thanks, Fermenthings for nice evening
La Débauche / Kingpin Mango Rising

Hoppy sour ale with Mango and Tabasco sounds really brave to me. Polish/French collaboration brew is also interesting. Sadly, this as a beer it was a bit disappointing. It is a nice beer, with hoppy fruity notes, not to sour, refreshing. So far so good – but where is the tabasco? And the tabasco has (mostly) left the building. After drinking more and more of this beer you start to feel on the tongue that there is some spicy addition to the beer, but it is very subtle and could come from any kind of peppery addition. Overall – if you are looking for a nice sour beer – go for it. If you are a fan of tabasco and spiced beers – you are wrong here.

Kingpin Muerto

This pumpkin ale with sea buckthorn was clearly the weird beer of the evening. But positively weird. Clear aroma of pumpkin and herbs, some bitter hops and refreshing sea buckthorns in the taste. Must be the most original pumpkin ale I have had this year, and amazingly probably the most enjoyable one.

Kingpin Mandarin

To be frank, I like beers with the tea addition. If done correctly natural tea bitterness can add very interesting notes to the hops. Most of the beers I have tried had earl grey in it, but Kingpin dared to use green Sencha tea instead. It worked – an outcome is strong, aromatic West coast IPA, with clear tropical aromas, hops bitterness and medium tea in both aroma and flavor. Medium carbonation and a soft texture. Very drinkable.

Birbant El JaguaRIS

Another RIS? I am very RISonable person and RISpect anybody who can brew a good RIS. RISpect to Birbant for this JagulaRIS. Black, low carbonated, strong coffee aroma, dark and roasted. Bitter coffee taste is nice complemented with malt sweetness and hops. Very thick on the tongue, strong but no alcohol. Really good RIS.