You've probably seen these pretty bottles from Privatbrauerei Höss around the place. I saw them in my local drink market, and thought, "meh, looks touristy, especially that Neuschwanstein one". Then I was passing though Munich airport and saw the box set, and thought "meh, I was right". But when back home and getting lost between the stacks of crates I thought "meh, why not?". They are kind of attractive as a set, and my wife particularly liked the Doppel-Hirsh label.
Their Holzar-Bier -- nach Urväterart, no less -- is a healthy-looking amber-tinged brown, has a sweet, raw malt aroma. Pretty simple so far. The flavour is just the same, verging towards malzbier territory with a slightly thin sweetness. Virtually no hop prescence apart from a slight herbal backdrop that does not build up. A bit weak, it doesn't taste like a 5.2% beer. Although watery, it's not all that bad, if you like malt juice that is. If you look closely, you can see from the photo that I had this around Christmas-time (I don't normally have a tree in the livingroom), and it went just fine with sugared almonds and gummi bears.
Neuschwanstein. The picture postcard image of Bavarian castles. Aren't madmen great! This is the label that turned me off the most to be honest. A pale, hay-like gold, it has a sweet, bready/biscuity aroma with a few handfuls of hay thrown in. It's quite sweet on initial taste. Like it's sibling, it's a little thin, and quite malty. It has a reasonable level of carbonation that at least gives a bit of feeling to it. A slightly citric, grassy hop gives it a bit of character, turning it into a very easy drinking lagerbier that is actually juicy and refreshing in a totally non-challenging simple way. A session beer even. I didn't expect to like this at all, but I'd happily have a few.
The Doppel-Hirsch Allgäuer Doppelbock pours an attracive, dark chestnut brown. It has a rich, thick aroma of heavy malts, dried fruits and vanilla. With a short-lived head, it has a low level of carbonation and indeed, it's light and smooth on the tongue. The malt and dried fruits continues in the flavour, along with nutty and roasty elements, and although this particular bottle ended up completely flat in double-quick time, it was a grand sipping beer, which at 7.2% might not be a bad thing.
This item has been brought to you through the miracle of scheduled posts. As you read this I'll be in sunny Palm Springs, andlooking forward to having some quality American beers after a year without.