Thursday, 1 January 2015
12 Beers Of Xmas - Day 7
The Twelve Beers Of Christmas
Weltenburger Kloster - Barock Dunkel 4.7%
Last man standing.
It's 1st January 2015, and I've set myself up to do two posts today despite the usual New Years Eve excesses. In fact it's actually because of the celebrations that I'm putting myself through more double bloggery. Unfortunately I had to go into work yesterday and from then on to a party at a friends house which meant I had no time to do a beer review, so to get me back on track for my Twelfth Night finish it has to be two today.
Yesterday was also the last day of the official Beer O'Clock Show #12BeersOfXmas posts, of which this is part in my own dis-jointed way. If you follow this link and follow it down you'll be able to view all of the participants and links to their blogs. I urge you to do so if you haven't already as the diverse selection of beers drunk and written about it true testament to the healthy state that the UK beer scene is in at the moment.
So, am I the last one left? That may be so, but I did get a groundswell of support led by Greg on twitter to make it the #18BeersOfXmas so that I wouldn't be drinking and blogging alone. If anyone is still with me than I really appreciate it, if not then I don't mind that either, reviewing a different beer each day for twelve days is no mean feat.
This afternoon's beer is German, and it is one of some pedigree and renown despite not being that easy to obtain in the UK. Claiming to be the world's oldest dark beer still in production, it is brewed at the Weltenburg Abbey on the banks of the River Danube. Founded in 1050, the abbey has a long running dispute with Weihenstephan Abbey as to which is the oldest monastery brewery in the world. Their Barock Dunkel, which I shall shortly be drinking is a multi-award winner, having won the World Beer Cup for best Dunkel in 2004, 2008 and 2012. If you would like to know more about this brewery and it's beer then please follow this link to the website, making sure that you select the English option in the to right-hand corner. It came to me via a rather circuitous route, having been brought back from Lapland by a work colleague after she had been on a very recent trip to visit Father Christmas with her family, and it is for this reason I feel it rather deserves to be one of my twelve beers.
It pours a dark amber, nearly brown but not quite, with a good off-white head that sinks to a low foam fairly quickly. The aroma stays big though, with a big waft of soft dark brown bread crusts, a surprising hint of Marmite and some malty chocolate notes providing a rich-smelling base layer on which it all sits. Full and immediately flavoursome over the tongue, the relatively low level of carbonation corrals some deep milk chocolate, creamy and silky, offset by a real caramelised beef gravy bitterness running alongside it, the two flavours converging and merging as they take you toward the delicious conclusion. The finish is sticky, sweet and a little salty, like a milk chocolate covered salted caramel fudge sweet, pronounced, exquisite and quite delicious, and this lasts a long time, which is good news if, like me, you like to take the time to savour every nuance of a beer right through to curtain-fall on it's final act.
If you're wondering if it deserves its many accolades I can assure you that it does, and I can't recall ever having a Dunkel quite as good as this. If it's boast as the world's first is correct then the others are really just pale imitations as this is truly a wonderful beer.
In buoyant mood I shall return later on this evening with my second post of the day, let's hope that beer can match the quality of this one. I hope to see you then.