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Friday, June 11, 2010

Strong Beer Fest at Brauhaus Schmitz (Philly Beer Week 2010)

Starkbierfest at Brauhaus Schmitz:

When a German Brauhaus invites you to a festival of strong beers, you'd better bring your A-Game. Featuring beers ranging from 7% to 14% abv, Brauhaus Schmitz provides a festive atmosphere and great food (as well as excellent service) to support those tough missions ahead. Was El Presidente up to this particular challenge? Let's review...

Klosterbrauerei Ettaler Curator 9% abv:
Whoah. Rich and complex, this brew showcases flavors bursting with dark fruits -- tart like dried cherries, but not at all like a lambic. Curator reminds me of a doppelbock that had a run-in with a Flemish sour. Warming, challenging, rewarding.
Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus 14% abv:
Oh... my... God. Just a bit smoother on tap than in a bottle. Perhaps less complex and boozy as well, but enchanting just the same. Red as a ruby, the malty sweetness takes you to another world. Not a beer to take lightly! Sip slowly and enjoy this exceptional beverage.

Brewed once a year on December 6th, Samichlaus is aged a full 10 months before being bottled. And if you have some bottles stashed away next to your cask of Amontillado, they will age with the best of them. I have some from 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. This particular vintage that I sampled on tap at Brauhaus Shmitz was from 09 and it was lovely.

Weihenstaphaner Vitus 7% abv:
This single-bock wheat beer reminds me of the hefe-weiss with a little more malt. It is darker only by a shade and very rich. Strong yet comfortable banana and clove flavors. Nice and rich, sweet but not overly so. This beer reminds me of a dessert bread.

Mission accomplished. Well, only the surface has been scratched, of course. Thanks again to Brauhaus Schmitz for the amazing Starkbierfest. El Presidente was certainly impressed by this international addition to Philly Beer Week 2010.

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