Switzerland On My Mind
Before we take off to a new adventure, a short recap of last winter’s Swiss beer loot. It’s past midnight already so yes, it’s last winter we’re talking about – welcome, spring!
Locher Appenzeller Hanfblüte is a nice, refreshing lager that’s brewed with hemp. It is a hazy beer that looks a little greenish. Not like Saint Patrick’s green beer, mind you; like greenish gold – quite fits its contents. Hemp oil, pine needles and lemon are apparent in the nose, followed by a fresh hempy-lemony taste. The beer is light-bodied, fizzy and has a malty finish. Based on Appenzeller stuff we had, we didn’t have high expectations, so this one surprise us.
We did, however, held high expectations from BFM La Meule, if only because of its name, as meu’lè in Hebrew means excellent. This is another herb-beer, this time top-fermented and brewed with sage. This beer is strongly influenced by Vallonian beer tradition. 6% abv., cloudy piss-colour with a frothy white head (and a flip top!) and strong herbal aromas: sage, that’s supposed to be the main attraction of this brew, hides underneath layers of nutmeg, olives and coriander.
However, it reveals itself in the mouth, along with delicate sweetness. Also, there’s something fruity about La Meule, that becomes more dominant in the finish. It feels chewy and has medium body. And it’s a fine beer – a good deal, isn’t it?
Whereas these two spice-girls above are nice thirst-quenchers, Appenzeller Schwarzer Kristall is simply wonderful. You may ask, what there to be wonderful about dark beer. Well, based on previous tastings of Appenzeller beer, we weren’t hoping for much. However, that oily, opaque, black liquid bore great roasty, chocolate syrup (or maybe chocolate liquor?) aroma with hints of liquorice. It has rich, sweet flavour, faintly wooden, faintly dry. The body is full, there is hardly any carbonation and this makes sipping smooth and enjoyable. Other than the crafty Bad Attitude brews, Appenzeller Schwarzer Kristall is the best Swiss beer I have tasted up to date.
Appenzeller Hanfblüte, BFM La Meule and Appenzeller Schwarzer Kristall are beers #201, #202 and #203 I Must Try Before I Die.