A man can not live by Kolsch alone.....I think that's a famous saying......if its not it should be. I love Kolsch, but Germany has so many great different types of beer, so in the last week I have gone out and picked up two very different, but very German beers.
Kostrizer Schwarzbier: Schwarzbier is what we call Black Lager. If you think Guinness is dark, you've never seen a Black Lager, truly dark, truly amazing beer. This beer weighs in at a nice 4.8% alcohol. It pours a deep inky black, with good carbonation and a thick tawny foamy head, it looks almost like a cola. Nose is thick of roasted malts, caramel, cola, a bit of chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick for a lager, you get copious amounts of caramels, chocolate, toasted malts, great carbonation, helps spread the toasted characteristics around. Very good beer.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier: Rauch in German is Smoke, so this is a smoked beer, something we don't get to often in the states. The most popular brand in the states is the Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter. Smoked beer uses smoked malts, instead of roasting the malts. Think of the smoked peat that is used in Irish Whiskey or Scotch. The beer pours a dark cloudy brown smokey color with a nice half inch brown head. The nose is a mix of dried burning leaves, and the smell of a just put out camp fire, and at the very end is just a bit of floral notes. The mouth is full of smoked meats, its like drinking a brisket (waaay better than it sounds I promise). After the initial shock of smoke comes some malty sweetness, with a bit of bitterness at the end, but this beer is definitely all about the smoke. Its an amazingly complex and completely different. I don't think I could drink a six pack of this, or even more than one in a sitting, but to go with a meal, and as a special brew this is incredible. I can't stop talking about how different this beer is.