Friday, November 30, 2007
Winter gives us two things: dark beers and the ability to more easily lager beers. The best of both worlds, a dark lager, is up for today's offering.
Many of the contributors here meet up on Thursday nights at a friend's house who has a kegerator. You chip in some cash, and by the tiome we drain it, he's got enough to buy a new keg. Normally, he takes his trips to Michigan Brewing Company. I've done a slew of out-of-state and foreign beers, I figured it was about time to highlight a Michigan beer from what I think is a consistently good brewery.
Every Thursday for the past month or so (we are clearly not drinking fast enough), Greg has offered our group of nerds Michigan Brewing Company's Bavarian Dark. It is an absolutely lovely Munich Dunkel.
Out of the keg, this deep, smokey offering pours a dark mahogany color with beautiful ruby highlights. It has a 1- to 2- finger head with retention that lasts almost the whole glass, and leaves a sticky, lovely tan lacing all the way to the end.
The aroma suggests a very drinkable beer; it is balanced towards malt, for sure. Bready, more like toasted bread crust. A scant hint of chocolate and a surprising (as it is not common for the style) smoke smell; not "camp fire" like a rauchbier, but just smokey. A tinge of hops makes an appearance towards the end of the nose, but definitely the malt dominates.
On tasting, I got some big-time toasted malt, not of the sweet variety but more of the bready/toasty variety with some sweetness. I get some chocolate, some nuttiness, but I also get this really beautiful smokey taste under the malt. It's like a smoke/coffee flavor that I found to be tasty and perfectly complimentary to the overall beer without overpowering the malt. It's there, but it's not the most prominent. I don't really expect that taste for this style of beer, but again, I think it enhanced it. Very subtle (but not weak) hops.
This beer has a nice medium body to, thickened a bit by the dextrins from the malts. It is a great, clean lager taste, accentuating the breadiness of the malt. This is definitely a "session beer" as I find myself downing one after another every single Thursday.