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.
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?