Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mikkeller In May
20. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel 10.9%

I'm afraid that this isn't going to be a review, this is going to be an experience. Mikkeller's Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is possibly one of my favourite beers, if not the favourite. Please indulge me. I will try to be objective, but ...

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, the name is simply wonderful, is an Imperial Stout brewed at the Nogne O brewery in Norway using Vietnamese ca phe chon coffee. For those that don't know, that is coffee cherries, the red epigynous berries or fruit of the coffe plant, that have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (hence the weasel on the label). The flesh is digested but the beans are passed through the animal, having been partially broken down by its digestive enzymes. This gives the coffee a strong taste and aroma, making it very prized and quite expensive. Incidentally  a packet of this coffee was Stephen Fry's wedding gift to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

So, to the beer. It pours a deliciously silky deep dark brown, oh so nearly black, sucking the light out of the surroundings but also reflecting all around it. The head is a whipped chocolate mousse brown, blooming and fading until a small creamy disc remains nestling over the darkness. The aroma is a vanilla edged dark chocolate, but that's not all, there's some milk chocolate and coffee with a ghostly pine peering hrough the middle of it all. Beautifully smooth, it flows sweetly over the tongue before a stab of sharpness roars at the back of throat. The flavours are astonishing. First comes some milk chocolate, but this is immediately overwhelmed by rich dark chocolate, this is not cheap dark chocolate either but the more expensive and intensive 80% chocolate, possibly with the faintest cherry edge. Then comes a vanilla coffe sweetness, quite boozy, the alcohol is really apparent here, with a really light, and I mean really light tropical fruit whisper. There's a touch of chewy caramel that is wonderfully rounded if a big gulp is taken that I hadn't previously noticed when gently sipping this beer, and given its strength it really should be sipped. The finish is pure milky coffee but with more alcoholic vanilla, coating the tongue and it just won't let go.

This beer is so well crafted it's almost magical. I've said this before about Mikkeller beers, but this more than any I think takes it's style and raises it to a wonderful zenith without any rough edges. It's simply sublime. Get some when you can.

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