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 (berstudio.blog.pl)











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.

Amazing.

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

GOOGLE TRANSLATION

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.