One of my colleagues who originally hails from Franken, near Nurnberg, very kindly brought six different beers back with him after his Christmas holidays for me to try. Well, one was not from the area, but he clearly has good taste as that was an Aventinus, a beer I used to love but haven't had in a long time, even though I have one of the proper glasses.
I brought three of them home with me yesterday and drank one while I transferred my barley wine to a secondary vessel for a lengthy period of maturation. The beer I chose was the Winkler Bräu Kupfer Spezial, simply because I'd never seen a beer described as copper before. And if this is copper, it's of the most luscious, dark, old varnished variety with a dirty beige head. Not much on the aroma stakes (but then I was steaming oak chips at the time), but it does have a sweet, juicy, loaded with malty caramel flavour. Luckily not overly sweet. There's a very very slight edge there, reminiscent of toast and a delicate mandarin-like bitterness that comes into effect on the back of the tongue after half a glass. It's not life-changing, but it's nice enough. It might be a bit sweet for some, and it does feel a bit flat after a full bottle, but still, I could drink another. Cheers Rupert!
Actually, there was talk of sampling them on Friday evening after work, but I'm far too selfish. I'll bring in some Glacial Amber instead. Although Ingo said he brought back a crate or so from his recent trip to Bayern. Hmmm...
By the way, the barley wine has hit a gravity of 1.028, so it's currently at 10.4% ABV, and it feels it. The predicted final gravity from Beertools was 1.027, so hopefully it will drop a little more than that. I've put 5 litres on light American oak in a demijohn with the remaining 8 or 9 litres into 10 litre demijohn left plain. The mouthfeel is very oily and full. It has a most definite alcohol warmth and a strong hop flavour that is sorbet-like with a ginger bitterness and fresh black pepper aftertaste. Promising! Lets see how it fares after a few months in secondary.
Tomorrow I'm off to Luxembourg for two days (one night), assuming I don't feel as shit as I did yesterday. Still time to do some beer research, but I'll definitely be picking up some Belgian beers if I spot any hanging about.
Winkler Bräustüberl looks like a nice little family business.