Monday, 21 September 2009

Neuzeller Schwarzer Abt

It's funny. I'd read bits about Klosterbrauerei Neuzeller and was intrigued by the range of beers they produced, and the long struggle they had to allow Schwarzer Abt to be called a beer, in defiance of the Reinheitsgebot, and in which they succeeded (in 2005 I believe). So, it was with genuine gladness that I got a chance to try some while visiting family down in Baden-Württemberg, as my sister-in-law's boyfriend had bought a crate of the stuff.

Schwarzer Abt (Black Monk) pours a dark, ruby-tinged brown. The aroma is sweet fudge with a little chocolate and a lightly roasted backdrop. On first sip, I got lightly rounded flavours; a little fruity, like raspberries, but then a sugary sweetness that just marched over everything that might have been under it. My sister-in-law described it as a woman's beer, and I was surprised, as she actually drinks all sorts of fairly decent beers. And it wasn't the first time I've heard that kind of description, as the same was applied to the Lausitzer Porter by my neighbour. Schwarzer Abt is a light beverage at 3.9%, and tastes like over-sugared weak coffee. I can't help wondering what the underlying beer is actually like. The aroma suggested good things, but it's painfully sweet having been over-dosed with invert sugar after fermentation. I have to admit I was almost beginning to side with the 'gebot after this.

I do, however, look forward to getting my hands on their other beers, in particular their Porter, which sounds like the real deal! Time will tell...

8 comments:

Russ said...

Once while drinking in Baden-Württemberg I ordered a Köstritzer Schwarzbier and was told by the waitress that it's a woman's beer. I couldn't tell if she was serious or if she was just messing with me because I was American.

Barry M said...

It's funny how often I've heard that kind of comment about dark beers, particularly from people from the former East. However, in BW you should have ordered a Schwabenbräu Das Schwarze, she probably wouldn't have commented then :D

I have a soft spot for Köstritzer.

Russ said...

I was studying in Reutlingen (near Stuttgart) at the time so I enjoyed plenty of Das Schwarze--in fact, I have fond memories of lugging a crate of it from the local Getränkemarkt back to the Fachhochschule. I think I ordered the Köstritzer precisely because it was rare around those parts... and now that you mention it, that could very well explain her comment.

Barry M said...

Ah, I didn't realise (or I forgot!) you'd spent time here. Nice part of the country down there. My wife really wants us to move south, where there's some sort of relief in the landscape :)

Velky AL said...

Ah, the Neuzeller Porter - a very nice beer idea - ideal for those drawing in winter nights. I had a few sips of their badebier a few weeks back, would love to be able to tell you how it was but it got kind of lost in the barley wines, double IPAs and other assorted hop bombs.

Thom said...

Doesn't sound like my kind of beer, but then I'm all man.

Schwarzbier for girls? I find that surprising.

TIW said...

The Neuzeller Porter is glorious. A beer that really stays with you. Not very common in the UK. alas.

Barry M said...

That's it. I've a new mission: find that bloody porter locally. Failing that, it'll be ordering it from their website. Thanks for the comments!