Paulaner Oktoberfestbier

Brewer: Paulaner Brauerei (Munich, Bavaria, Germany)
Alcohol: 6,0 % ABV
Price: 19:90 SEK per bottle (39:80 SEK per litre)
Packaging: 50 cl bottle
Malts: Unknown
Hops: Unknown
Recommended temperature: 10-14 degrees Celsius

Colour: Clear yellow. Somewhat viscous. Good, puffy head that dies down slowly.
Aroma: Bready with hoppy notes.
Taste: Balanced, fruity and full of sweet, bready malt with a touch of grassy hops. Perfect carbonation and mouthfeel, a smooth, lovely mouthfeel with some butteriness.
Aftertaste: Almost nothing. Hints of white flour and some sweetness.

Afterword: As for the beer, it’s absolutely wonderful, and incredibly drinkable. The only bad thing about it is that it’s seasonal, but on the other hand I guess it’s perfect for the season and it wouldn’t be the same if it was sold all year around.
Short version: Great beer!

Additional story: I picked this fine brew up in Lübeck while on a staff travel. I figured I’d go into a store and pick up a few different kinds to try, but sadly that particular store didn’t carry any of the local brands and I had tried all the others they sold, so I bought about ten of this. At 0,90 Euro a bottle, it was a very fair price in my (Swedish) mind.
When I got home and had the first, I loved it. Naturally, I immediately wanted to buy more before they ran out and checked if they were carried by Systembolaget, the Swedish alcohol monopoly. They were, but the price was 20:90 SEK, or equal to 2,15 Euro – a 140 % increase, and all of it taxes.
I think this is a very telling example of what Swedish beer drinkers have to put up with. Anyone who hasn’t grown up in and embraced the (quite socialist) nanny state will agree that this is simply bizarre. In Sweden, we who see it as bizarre are the minority, and it’s not even considered an issue.

Lättöl – Farliga grejor

För att slippa moralpanik har flera svenska bryggerier börjat sätta varningstexter på sina produkter. På starköl har man kunnat läsa meddelanden som “I trafiken? Avstå alkohol!” och “Under 18 år? Avstå alkohol!” – löjligt att tro att det gör någon skillnad, men det räcker för att tysta IOGT och NTF med flera.

Frågan är om de inte har gått lite väl långt nu, när jag såg “uppmaningstexten” på hästpiss Pripps lättöl…

Lättöl - Farliga grejor

Carnegie Stark-Porter (2007)

Carnegie Stark-PorterCarnegie Stark-Porter Årgång 2007 is a porter that has been brewed after the same recipe since 1836, and quite likely even longer. David Carnegie (the older) was a Scottish nobleman who had been forced to flee the country after the end of the Jacobite Uprising in 1746, and came to Gothenburg, Sweden. D. Carnegie (the younger) was his nephew and after education at Eton he came to Sweden where he bought Lorentska Socker- och Porterbruken (The Lorents’ Sugar and Porter Works) at a bankrupcy sale.

Since then the beer trademark (oldest living trademark in Sweden) and recipe have changed owners several times, and is now incorporated into the Danish-Swedish beverege giant Carlsberg Breweries. D. Carnegie Co. became Carnegie Investment Bank AB, an investor firm true to its legacy.

Sadly, with help from the EU, the Swedish government has managed to justify increasing the alcohol tax on beer. The only difference this time is that the government in office wasn’t red, but that doesn’t stop increasing the alcoholtax on beer! To be fair though, they did lower the wine tax, resulting in beer that costs more than 1 SEK extra per litre and a litre of wine costs a bit more than 2 SEK less. This means that your bottle of wine now costs 98 SEK instead of 100, while a can of beer costs 16 instead of 15 SEK – as a beer lover, I can’t possibly accept this. This constant “need” to take care of us poor Swedes, who can’t take care of ourselves, by raising taxes and making laws. The result is that you get a broke and miserable citizen, but at least the citizen can be broke and miserable a couple of years more!

Anyway, here’s the “review”. Price per litre is now 35:40 SEK, if they have updated the site. The manufacturer actually recommends storing this beer for some years, but no more than ten, which is why it is sold by vintage – the recipe is the same each year (they say). Like all porter, it should not be chilled, or the aroma will not come out right – this is VERY important to keep in mind, or you will never appreciate it.

Name: Carnegie Stark-Porter
Brewer: Carlsberg Sweden (Falkenberg, Sweden)
Alcohol: 5,5% ABV
Price*: 18:40 SEK
Packaging: 50 cl bottle
Malts: Pilsner-, caramel- and “colour”malt
Hops: Unknown, official site doesn’t say
Recommended temperature: 14-16 degrees Celsius
Colour: Not black, but very dark brown
Aroma: Spicy, peppery, burnt but sweet, slight coffee
Taste: Initially thick and musty, burnt sugar, then fresh roasted and ground coffee, chocolate. Very bitter but also sweet
Aftertaste: Chocolate! Lots of chocolate! Some raisin wort bread, a tick of black pepper, slightly roasted

Short version: An absolutely awesome porter, one of the best I’ve tried, if not THE best I’ve tried. It’s a lot like St Peter’s Cream Stout, but a bit sweeter and a lot more taste of chocolate (and quite a bit cheaper!). It’s not something you’d drink on a hot summer day, but as a winter drink it’s great. I could also imagine this being good to drink when the sun has set and with thick chocolate desserts, like Swedish “Kladdkaka” (literally “messy cake”, thick, sticky chocolate cake with incredible taste) or maybe even a chocolate mousse, provided the cacao content is really high. Buy it, drink it, love it – I did!

* In Sweden at Systembolaget, the only legal store (previous posts will not be updated with the new price, from this post and future ones the new price will be used, even if the beer was bought last year)

Picture taken from the official Carlsberg Sweden site, I see no reason they would mind and I still haven’t managed to get the lighting right.