Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Darling Suds of May

Having failed in my attempts to get seasonal beers over Easter, with the sole exception of the mad rabbit one, May brings plenty more opportunities to drink seasonal here in Germany, as breweries turn loose their Maibocks. I have to admit, I didn't even buy any of the below, as they were left as offerings at my door, and one on the lawnmower as a thanks for cutting the grass and getting one of my neighbours out of potential trouble with his significant other. It's nice having a reputation as a beer geek, sometimes.

Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock was the grass-cutting offering, and having read TheBeerNut's notes shortly before drinking it, I wasn't relishing the thought, but actually, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a crystal clear, orangey-amber with a fruit and toasted malt aroma, but little in the hop department. It fared better with me, as I liked the bready-caramel backbone and the herbal infusion of hops with a moderate spicy bitterness. There's definitely a classic German resinous touch that can crop up in some of the stronger beers that can often turn into a plasticky experience, but this didn't reach the levels that turn me off. It does, however, get a little sugary near the end. The finish lingers with a lick of honey sweetness and mild spice. It's comparable with the other two regular Ur-Bocks in a general sense, but I'd probably have to do a side-by-side with the Hell to see how it differs.

Haake Beck Maibock, which always puts me in mind of the old Shake 'n' Vac ads, is really quite pale with an almost greenish hue. It has a light, apple-like fruity aroma with a touch of caramel sweetness deep down, but it's certainly not the most aromatic beer in the world. Despite the 7.2% tag, it has a surprisingly light-touch, though havign a sweetness that put me in mind of a dessert wine, with light pear, apple and a touch of cinnamon. The lasting impression is also of a light spice with a brush of sourish hops. Not bad, actually, and I've got a few more taking up cellar space.

Herforder make a pretty grim Weihnachtsbier, so when this bottle landed on my doorstep, I wasn't expecting too much from it.  Despite being only 6.6%, Herforder Maibock delivers a hit of alcoholy booziness in the aroma, but that's about it, as it's pretty thin. It shares some of the flavour characteristics with the two previous examples, giving a light fruitiness, but to be honest, that's as far as it impacted on my little mind.

There's still plenty of May left, so let's see what else I can get my grubby paws on before the month is out.


BeerReviewsAndy said...

are these the ones you were drinking as i was chatting to you the other night???

Barry M said...

That'd be them. Did the Shake'n'Vac remind you? :D

The Beer Nut said...

Yeah, I think I'm just very sensitive to that bitter German hop flavour. Other people rarely seem to have a problem with it.