Seeing as though there’s already been two growler related posts, I figured I better add my own contribution. As you may already be aware, we had a choice of four kegged beers, but only two stood out for me. It was a hard choice between the Mikkeller Simcoe, the single hop IPA, and this bock inspired beer, especially after we had the pleasure of tasting before purchasing, but after YM’s insistence that he get the IPA, I happily settled with the Frelser (although I use the term ‘settled’ very loosely here). I decided to go for a squealer (1L), rather than a growler (2L), due to the hefty 11% attached to the tag, thinking if I were to go through a whole 2L (even if I did have help), I probably wouldn’t wake up the next morning in time for work.
To set the scene, a family friend from Switzerland was over for dinner on his last night in Perth. He’d experienced cloudless summer days ranging between 30 and 35 degrees (Celcius), allowing him to go to the beach, have a few rounds of golf, and just relax in the sun, while his mates back in snowy Switzerland had to put up with work. I figured I’d help top off this perfect summer holiday by opening up the squealer and treating ourselves to something special.
Taking off the cap gave way to a small wisp of vapor, along with the first exposure to what could be expected from this beer: a beautiful nose of rich burnt sugar and caramel. Upon pouring the beer into a glass, the liquid was a rich dark brown, glistening amber in the light, accompanied by a nice beige head. Having a proper smell of the beer returned the same caramel and burnt sugar that we could smell a foot away from the bottle, but this time it was coupled with soy sauce and a surprising hint of tropical pineapple and passion fruit (surprising in the sense that these aromas were coming from a bock).
Initially drinking it at fridge-temperature, the roasted malts and caramels brought a smooth, full-bodied flavour, turning into a burst of bitterness. I have to say though, despite being 11%, the flavour is in no way imposing, the extra ABV just adds so many more dimensions, which just knocks you off your feet with pure awesomeness (and makes your head spin a bit when you stand up after your first glass). As the beer warmed up (and as I got accustomed to the alcohol), the ending bitterness smooths out, allowing the malt to shine through along with the roasted toffee and slight soy sauce accompaniment.
This is certainly not a beer to attack on your lonesome, especially so when you’re faced with the opportunity to get through 1L (or in the case of a growler, 2L) of this magical fluid. The overall consensus was that this is certainly a beer of beers, a role model for other bocks, a shining light during the night… you get the idea, it’s packed full of goodness that you just have to experience for yourself.
I have to pass on my thanks to the International Beer Shop, because without the introduction of their growler system, I probably wouldn’t have had this beer! This squealer was purchased for $20 (aud), but unfortunately is only available when they get another keg in… In the mean time, you should definitely check out what beers are available in the keg variety by checking out their facebook page.