Unlike some of the English pale ales, Czech pils and African lagers, Samichlaus is unquestionably a beer one must try before one dies. This 14% abv. Doppelbock is brewed every year before Christmas, on December 6th, aged 10 months before bottling, and delivered to the stores on time for Christmas. It ages beautifully, too. We held a vertical tasting of this beer back in 2011 in our Hebrew blog, with 2004 and 2010 bottles. I just started writing tasting notes then, and that session can be summed up as good and meh, respectively.
Last year The Beer Greek held bi-weekly tastings at work, to our colleagues who work with beer: the lovely product developer, the now deceased brewmaster, and the marketing crew. Being a part of the tasting panel of the brewery and generally someone who has a clue, I joined them. When it was time for the strong beer session, I donated a 2009 vintage bottle we had at home for comparison, cos The Secret Agent really doesn’t care about Samichlaus. This bottle was added to the 2011 and the then-newest 2013 bottle The Beer Greek brought.
Here are the tasting notes:
2013: Clear dark copper, small head. Cherry tomato, then raisins in the nose, very sweet, liquor-like taste. Smooth texture, full body and no carbonation. Long, raisins aftertaste.
2011: Same appearance. More raisins and chocolate aroma, deeper, more alcoholic taste, full-bodied, vinous finish.
2009: Deepr colour. Cherry tomato aroma again but also lots of chocolate. A little sour and a little sweet taste, vinous finish, smooth, no carbonation and long liquor and chocolate finish.
As I remembered, it gets deeper and sweeter as time goes by. I actually liked 2013 vintage the best in this tasting.
Samichlaus is Beer #433 I must Try Before I Die.