Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Beer: The Monarchy Münchhausen - A Tall Tale of Taste?

Münch·hau·sen (ˈmuenḵ-ˌhau̇-zən) 
 Karl Friedrich Hieronymous, Freiherr von (1720–1797), German soldier. As a retired cavalry officer Münchhausen acquired a reputation as a raconteur of preposterous stories about his adventures as a soldier, hunter, and sportsman. From 1781 to 1783 a collection of such tales was published, with authorship generally attributed to the baron. Only years later in 1824 was it revealed that the author of the English edition was Rudolph Erich Raspe (1737–1794).

When I restarted blogging I decided that I wouldn't do individual beer posts, but here I am back at it again! Perhaps its an addiction... Anyway here we go...

In my March post on the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair I mentioned a visit to the Freigeist Bierkultur stand and how impressed I was by them, so when I spotted this beer in my not-so-very-local offie I grabbed one, as its style of label and even the bottle itself seemed similar to those I had sampled at the festival. The postage stamp-style label, which shows Baron Von Münchhausen astride a hop cone, combined with the blurb that said that this was a 4.8% abv strongly hopped and soured altbier meant I couldn't really resist buying one.

It turns out that this beer is brewed by the same brewer and in the same brewery - Vormann Brauerei in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany - as those from Freigeist Bierkultur, albeit with a different partner. The Monarchy's Sebastian Sauer and Fritz Wülfing create historical beers with a twist, just like the example I had picked up.

A beer like this deserves company so I decided that it would suit an impromptu supper one night last week - a pretzel with real butter, strong Irish cheddar, combined with a few slices of smoked German ham. So I set the stage and got stuck in!

The first impression was of sour cola with a lingering malty, pleasant aftertaste. Carbonation was quite low, just leaving a tingle on the tongue like popping candy and left an almost wine-like mouthfeel. A bite of pretzel with its supporting cast created a salty-malty-smoky-lactic back drop to my next gulp and brought out a tea-like taste to the beer too. Now I was also getting a little funky farmyard - like a chicken coop - plus a little sweetness.

As the beer warmed up and I ate a little more, the subtle complexities of the beer shined through and I realised what a good decision I had made to have food with it, and maybe perhaps this type of food. I wonder if I had drank it on its own would I have liked it as much?

Not that that mattered, as I really did enjoy it although I didn't pick up on the heavy hopping and would have liked the sourness to shine through a little more. I am really looking forward to trying more from the range as well as picking up more of this one.

I'll keep my eyes peeled...

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