EKU 28

By on March 31, 2007 @ 10 PM (15 Comments)

EKU 28 is a German eisbock – an ice bock.* Like most ice beers it means it’s stronger than normal – this happens to be the strongest of the bocks, which are already pretty potent. The process starts off with a doppelbock and freezes it in order to remove a portion of the water, resulting in an extra strong concentrated bock. Imagine drinking the Coke syrup instead of the Coke (a bad analogy but you get the point).

It comes in an 11.2 oz bottle and is 11% ABV – one of the higher gravity beers I’ve tried. I was able to handle this one better – the last one (a trappist ale) almost put me to bed.

It has a solid pour with a lot of carbonation and a head that goes away quickly. The color is deep orange/amber – a similar color to other doppelbocks. The smell is not bad – clean and sweet with an aroma of roasted malts, honey, molasses and alcohol.

The taste has a strong bite to it – sweet and very malty with honey and molasses, and a touch of either toffee or caramel. No detectable hops. It coats the tongue very well and the alcohol warms it up. Not too thick but it definitely hangs around longer than most. It’s got a decently smooth finish – not a ton of aftertaste and definitely less aftertaste than you’d expect – not unlike a port I recently tried.

It’s like a stronger version of a Paulaner Salvator Double Bock, but not as complex. The alcohol does warm you up, but it may be overkill – it’s tough to see myself drinking two bottles of this, whereas I could with a Salvator. Definitely worth a try, though it probably won’t make it into the rotation.

* Update: Thanks to alert reader xencat for notifying us that the EKU 28 is not technically an Eisbock. Due to the way it’s produced, it’s technically a double bock (albeit a very strong double bock with more alcohol than double bock styles are normally credited with). Though the ABV is in the eisbock range, if you want to associate this at all with an eisbock you could probably get away with calling it an Eisbock-style beer because the resulting beer is very eisbock-like with many of the same characteristics you’d normally find in an eisbock. No matter what the style, EKU 28 is still one of the most potent lagers you’ll ever try!

EKU 28 Rating: 4 out of 10 (?)


15 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. Tony says:

    I was stationed in Germany in the early 80’s and I had a couple of these biers in Munchen and I thought they were really bad. I really like the heffe weisens much better myself.

  2. Dad says:

    Tony thanks for the comment. Being a malt kind of guy I am partial to anything to show that a lager can be almost anything an ale can be. This style shows that a lager can match ABV’s with an ale. I couldn’t agree more that a heffe is a great style and probably my personal favorite. As I understand it the heffes that are imported here are pasteurized and in Bavaria they are not but darned if I can tell the difference, they are just so dammed drinkable and don’t get you all sloppy drunk so quick. Keep an eye on John’s heffe madness tournament in progress now. One note, we are finding that what we think shows the real quality of a beer is the 60 degree test, if the flavor keeps its same profile at 60 degrees it is dam well made. Dad

  3. Person says:

    EKU 28 is one of the small group of doppel/trippel/eisbock style beers that transcend normal mortal beer. Indeed, EKU almost approaches the status of barleywine.
    Indeed, EKU 28 is one of the best of a very small group of great beers on earth.
    Try, savor, and cherish this classic. EKU 28 is one of the very best.

  4. Dan says:

    EKU 28 is the beer you either love or hate. There is no middle of the ground here. Pouring the brew is interesting because of the syrupy texture sliding down the glass forming a wonderful head of foam. I suggest drinking no more than 2 at a sitting. Your tastebuds may not appreciate the explosion of this brew. This, in my opinion, is many, many times better than ANY of the light brews touted in the US. So, if you try it, be aware, there is either a love/hate relationship with this beer. I love it!

  5. xencat says:

    EKU 28 is not an eisbock.EKU is cold fermented so the yeast can survive higher alcohol content and then fermented for a long time. Kulmbach also produces an eisbock which I like a lot, and you may like as well.

  6. John says:

    Thanks xencat for correcting us on this – a lot of times we grab the style from a RateBeer or Beer Advocate and run with it and that’s what happened here. On researching it more you’re spot on – it’s really a double bock. We’ve updated the post to reflect your info!

  7. FRENCHIE says:

    BOY, DO I EVER REMEMBER THIS STUFF….. I was stationed in Schwabach, Germany when a new buddy took me to Rosie’s & introduced me to it. I had been in Germany all of 3 days, used to budwieser, & starting to get thirsty. The 1st one was probably the strangest taste in beer i’d ever had, couldn’t figure it out or decide if I liked it or not. Long story short, my buddy didn’t warn me what was going to happen when i drank 5 more, deciding if I liked it or not. Guess i did, until I fell flat on my face right in front of the guard shack & had to be carried the rest of the way to the barracks!!! Learned a hard lesson about German beer & why you have to be careful about how much you drink. Still say it tastes like something you oughta put on pancakes, but not if you’re really hungry!!!

  8. Doug Ordunio says:

    When I used to drink (I’ve been sober for over 2 years), EKU 28 was my favorite, because it was sweet and delicious.

    As if this brew were not strong enough, I used to drink boilermakers with it, and have it as a chaser to a single malt scotch.

    I was, of course, a complete hedonist.

    Prosit!

  9. Alexander Raywood says:

    I first drank this beer 25 years ago in NYC. A friend introduced it to me said it “was the strongest beer they had”. The first one I thought tasted strange but then the flavor grew on me. It was always hard to find in the U.S.. Hands down my favorite beer. When I find it I buy it all and store it.

  10. Juan says:

    Holy Jesus is this a nifty beer i picked it up on a whim and mmm was it tasty and effective. I would have enjoyed the 6 pack by myself but a buddy whom i let have a sample decided to enjoy one with me.

  11. Rico says:

    It seemed too thick and syrupy for me. Great flavor, but we used to mix it with a heffe weisen with lime to avoid getting hammered to quickly.

  12. george says:

    This is a king amongst beers I used to drink this beer in Brannigans Bar in Manchester UK. in the late 70s early 80s when we had a choice of over 60 European beers, I always had the EKU28 and can’t remember much more after 4 or 5

  13. Phil says:

    I drank EKU GOLD 28 in The Shakespeare in Farnworth and the Wheatsheaf in Bolton back in 1985, on the label I remember it saying ” the strongest beer in the world”, I’ve not read this here in any of the comments, maybe it no longer is?

  14. Phil – in 1985 EKU 28 was likely the strongest, but there have been lots of beers replacing it in the last 10 years. Sam Adams Utopia was one of the first to start the stronger trend, and Dogfish Head has done a few, along with many other breweries. The current strongest in the world I believe still belongs to Brew Dog with their beer “The End of History” (at a huge 55% ABV) which has a great video giving more back story here:

    http://vimeo.com/13537656

    What EKU 28 has going for it is the fact that you can actually find it many places, unlike the Sam Adams Utopia or the Brew Dog The End of History.

  15. Chris Allen says:

    In the early 80s’ after a Thanksgiving Dinner, 3 of us seasoned beer drinkers in our 20’s went for a motorcycle cruise to the beach..we already had a couple of domestics behind us. Stopped and picked up a EKU-28 by recomendation of the clerk. ole Paul chugged that thing down like we just finished balen hay on a hot summer day..next thing you know he’s spewin like a fountain !! Come to find out he really liked the cranberry sauce ! Why do we remember these things?

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