Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg “Samichlaus Classic” – Doppelbock – ABV: 14% – IBU: N/A
Drinking “Samichlaus” is a surreal experience, and a delicious one at that.
There are a lot of brews out there for which it can be said, “There is no beer that tastes like this.” And for each of them it is true. But I have yet to taste a beer (which doesn’t have some sort of wacky ingredient in it) that is nearly as unique as this. The first time I drank it I was confused. I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I didn’t know what to do with it. I stared at it with a confused and slightly sad look of embarrassment on my face. I was somewhat frightened and my faculties were in a state of shock. I felt like a golden retriever that just sprung his first BONER. Now that I have had enough experience with this beer I am here to say this: “BRING ON THE BONER”. This beer isn’t for every occasion or everyone, but then again: neither is a boner.
Samichlaus is crystal clear, and its color is deep amber with an orange/brown tone.
The aroma is faint, malty, and offers sweet molasses and a touch of tangy spice. The liquid offers less head than a married woman, and the carbonation is noticeable but minimal. It has absolutely no lacing at all. It sounds like a weak, flat beer, doesn’t it? For some strange reason the head, texture, and carbonation are exactly what a beer with this flavor needs. It’s a doppelbock so it contains that roasted malty, earthy, almond flavor like a good doppelbock should. But this almost seems like a combination of a beer and a liqueur.
The overwhelming flavor profile here is that of maple syrup.
It also has a lovely, poignant combination of malt, molasses, toffee, caramel, almond, earth, and fig, with a very mild booze flavor. At 14% ABV, the moment you don’t respect this beer it will knock you on your ass. At one point during beer history it was the strongest beer in the world. And it is surprising that it does not leave a sticky, syrupy feeling inside the mouth. It is quite cool and refreshing, actually. The aftertaste is not much of a departure from the liquid, but adds a touch of bitterness and smoke. And I cannot stress enough how strong the flavor is. This will have old men retching and sprinting for their Molsen Golden goat piss.
For a doppelbock I prefer Ayinger “Celebrator” (which is one of my favorite beers of all time as well) but this beer really is a work of art. It is pleasantly odd, vastly different than any brew out there, and I venture to say it’s damn near impossible to drink more than two in one sitting. While drinking one I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle more, but when I was finished I craved another. If I could use only one word to describe this brew it would be “seductive”.
Buy this beer if you think you can handle the intensity. But don’t come chasing after me with a chef knife like Michael fucking Meyers if you hate it. It’s strong, weird, and it grips your attention and doesn’t let go. Recommending it is like recommending a David Lynch film: you’re likely to love it if you understand your fair warning and wish to proceed, but you may end up loathing it. And as you can see, I love it, and the boner that comes along with it.
The Deltoid has spoken. BOING!