Samichlaus Classic Bier - Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
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Ratings: 1,466 | Reviews: 979 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Weizenmensch:
3.7/5 rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
330mL brown bottle with silver collar, best before 11.2013. Laughably labelled MALT LIQUOR 11.2 FL.OZ - evidently this bottle came to Japan via the USA.
Pours chestnut-brown with a small amount of off-white head quickly dissipating to a ring around the glass, and some sticky lacing. Some fine-bubble carbonation. Unassuming - something that has undoubtedly startled more than one Samichlaus newbie!
Volatile alcohol dominates the smell, and brings aromas of apricots, dried stone fruit, pear, the nuttiness of cashews and almonds but without their characteristic fragrance and flavour. Grapevines, fruit chews etc. That pectiny fruit stickiness and sweetness is all over the place.
In the mouth it's an intense mix of flavours - one that I unfortunately think is a little unbalanced. It's still an enjoyable beer, but it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming to try and separate them, too, but I'll try: most of all, alcohol on the palate. Along with it comes candied sugar, so sweetness and alcohol dominate (unsurprisingly)! Overripe red grapes. No idea what hops are used - there's no bitterness but there's a hop flavour, although it's odd to say a 'hop vegetable flavour' without the specific impact of the hops themselves. There's more but it's very complex and I'm not a good enough reviewer to separate them all any more! I'll work on my skills and come back to it in a few hundred beers' time.
Mouthfeel is evaporative and leaves a little skunkiness after everything's gone. Drinkability is not good, unless you're after a light refreshment to celebrate success at a vodka-drinking competition.
Overall: My opinion of this beer is that it works hard to be a rich, complex yet drinkable STRONG lager. The appellation of "strongest lager in the world" surely influences the brewing - it doesn't chance upon this title. But why be the strongest? Because you can't be the best? I think this brewery makes a fine beer, but I give it a poorer rating than it deserves mainly because it isn't merely a delicious beer, it's a STRONG beer made for those who appreciate beer but want something more potent.
Having said that, it's very complex, and I may be the ignorant critic here. I may feel it's a little unbalanced today, but come back when my beer-tasting skills are back on track and recognise a whole palate of different flavours that I had missed before. If so, I'll update my review.
I'm not ignorant, and I'm not new to this one-of-a-kind brew; I first had it eight years ago in a house near Mainz and I didn't underestimate its pedigree. But as of this review, it doesn't perform like I expected (and remembered) it to. However, I'll enjoy the rest of it with cashews and pistachios - it's well-suited to nutty flavours.
But call it what you want, it's sui generis; it's not a doppelbock.
REVIEW #2 6/Feb/2010
This is a young vintage - 2008, it's only been available for purchase where I am for a month or two. I've had it before a few times, and it tastes fresh and fruity. At this ABV it will certainly improve with age. I wish I had the foresight and discipline to buy a few cases of this, age it somewhere cool and quiet and enjoy it in a few decades.
When this young, it's pleasant, but not truly impressive. This follows a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout whose complexity I appreciated much more. Nice appearance in the glass, good head retention considering its ABV. Tons of sugary, fruity smells which continue on the tongue. Can be a bit cloying in the mouth too - I won't be drinking this bottle's twin brother just yet. Maybe not the beer I was after for a quiet Saturday afternoon, but I should be grateful that it's even available in Japan, let alone in my small, regional city.
Overall - a complex beer that is a must-try because of its fame and significance... but don't crack open the freshest batch, or you may be underwhelmed. Still interesting and complex, but not up to its potential in my opinion.
Serving type: bottle
02-06-2010 10:31:30 | More by Weizenmensch
More User Reviews:
4.09/5 rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A: Crystal clear ruby body topped with a small head that recedes to nothing quickly. A swirl causes the viscous liquid to leave some legs on the glass. Resembles brandy in appearance.
S: Sweet maple syrup and brandied cherries. A little warming alcohol as it comes to room temperature. Honestly smells like a brandy manhattan.
T: Mostly follows the nose, with maple and sweet cherry leading the way. Brandy, caramel, and hints of sweet vermouth follow. Barely perceptible tingle of alcohol, that 14% is well hidden.
M: Thick and syrupy, with medium carbonation. Mouth coating viscosity.
O: First time having this beer, and definitely enjoyed it. The resemblance to a well made cocktail in both flavor and texture was uncanny. Definitely a sipper, but something I'll be reaching for again next year.
Serving type: bottle
04-08-2014 02:53:05 | More by More_betterness
1.01/5 rDev -74.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
I love high ABV beers, I have an open mind, and I love everything about the brewing craft. But this...thing....candy-coated cigarette ash that has been doused in bottom shelf bourbon. Holy hell I havent had a beer this bad in a long time. Gives me the haunted shivers I got when I tried a sip of bud light chelada. Whoever you are that brewed this batch (or beer in general) there is a special spot in hell for you. Right next to the chelada guy.
Serving type: bottle
04-04-2014 19:59:32 | More by Focusf111
Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
89 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.