Thursday, January 24, 2008

Samichlaus, "Ich bin ein überbier!"

Okay okay, so Samichlaus is brewed in Austria, not Germany; but I was unable to find an English-to-Austrian online dictionary, so I figured that German was close enough. Cut me some slack?

Behold! From the master brewers in Eggenberg, Austria, I bring you Samichlaus! At 14% ABV, it is without a doubt an überbier, often known in the US as an EXTREME beer, along with the likes of Dark Lord Imperial Stout (13% ABV) and the ever-publicized Samuel Adams Utopias (25% ABV, if you can believe that!).

“Samichlaus” beer is brewed once a year, in each case on December 6th, and stored and matured afterwards for over 10 months before it is bottled.
- Schloss Eggenberger

This probably explains why this single, 11.2 fl. oz. bottle cost me a pretty $4.00, so it's certainly not an everyday beer. As a seasonal treat, however, it's a beer that's hard to beat.

There she is. Beautiful, no? Sami pours a warm, dark amber, and with only a little head to start with, that dissipates quickly. The first thing I noticed upon my first sip is just how sweet the beer is; so mush so that I was unable to take more than a sip at any time. The flavor is, in a word, Christmasy, with flavors of honey, molasses, spices, and even a soupçon of toffee. I also noticed that though the alcohol was very much there, it remained in balance with the other flavors, and wasn't overwhelming.

The mouth-feel is quite heavy, almost like a thin syrup. The heaviness gives the beer a smooth and creamy texture, and a medium finish. The carbonation is minimal, and exhausts itself soon after pouring, leaving only a hint of its ghost on the tip of your tung. It reminded me of Guinness, in that way.

The brewer's website suggests storing the beer away, as one would wine. Aging the beer is said to enhance the creaminess and warmth of the beer. I may heed this suggestion, myself, and pickup a few bottle for next Christmas.

I liked the beer, to be sure. Like I said, it's definitely not a beer I'd drink regularly, but it would be a perfect ending to a cold Winter's day, sitting in the living room with friends, enjoying the warm glow of the...TV (I don't have a fireplace).

If you can find yourself a bottle of Samiclaus, you should give it a try. It way not be your thing, but hey, how many of your friends can honestly say they've had a beer this strong?

Just don't drink too much of the stuff, you'll get wasted waaaay too soon. ~_^



coldhitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coldhitz said...

Tom , that looks pretty damn tasty. I'm going to get some booze this weekend , and will be sure to look for this beauty. It's gonna be fine with my chili and cornbread on Easter.

Anonymous said...

They speak German in Austria as well... guess you're in luck. Austrian is not a language.

Dean said...

Clearly, I should've read this post before I sent a comment full of facts on the previous post.