This is our first ever schwarzbier, which is just a fancy German way to say black beer. It’s brewed in the lager style by Kralovsky Pivovar Krusovice (The Royal Brewery of Krusovice) in the Czech Republic. Dad picked this one up at Gomer’s in Lee’s Summit for $1.69 a bottle on a recent trip to see Grandmother and Uncle Beer Love. This was a 1/2 liter bottle – a great size for a beer bottle – and the born on date was 09/27/2006 – hopefully these things keep well.
We used a Weizen glass for the test, which was a good thing because we got a large 2 1/2″ foamy light brown head when we poured it. Beer temperature came in at 55.4 F and the ABV on this bad boy was a little on the light side at 3.8%. Nonetheless it’s an impressive pour and we even got a fair amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly into the ruby brown body below. The carbonation was fairly soft and though the color was dark it wasn’t really cloudy like you’d expect.
Aromas came in as caramel, coffee, molasses, roasted malts, cola and dark fruits – dates, prunes, raisins and a possible dark cherry. Not a bad list of smells to kick off the schwarzbier opening day. The tastes are quite intriguing – the main two things that come through are the coffee and the roasted malts. The coffee isn’t just coffee though – it specifically tastes like coffee with real sugar in it. The bottle says that artificial sweetener is an ingredient – may it’s aspartame? Either way it’s good. Initial flavor notes are a light sweet and light bitter and on the finish it stays the same with the bitterness moving up ever so slightly to a light/moderate. No body lacing to speak of but it’s got a watery mouthfeel, a short to average finish and on our patent pending malt to hop scale it comes in a little to the left of balanced – meaning it’s slightly malty.
Krusovice Cerne is a pretty tough sounding name for a beer. You want to say it loudly in a Russian accent even if you aren’t quite sure how to pronounce it (and yes we know it’s Czech Republic and not Russia, but who can do a good Czech accent? Russian is much easier because we all saw Rocky 4). It’s a good beer, not as good as say an Amber Bock, but good in it’s own way. It’s pretty simple, not too complex, but nothing is overdone and it’s wildly drinkable.
We think this is probably a perfect example of a session beer (that is a beer you can drink multiples of in one session without falling down – see Beer Advocate for further explanation). We marked it as repeatable, drinkable and something we would buy again – perhaps that’s The BeerFathers litmus test for session beers. One recommendation would be to do it colder than we did (we were in the mid 50s). We’d recommend trying it in the lower 40s and seeing what you thought. We feel the need to reiterate that we loved the 1/2 liter size for this beer and we’re thinking all dark lagers should start to come in 1/2 liter sizes, mandatory in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. All in favor?
Krusovice Cerne Rating: 4 out of 10 (?)
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