Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Polish Trinity



One of my "go to" beers last summer was Radegast (a fine, yet inexpensive Czech lager.) Alas, I have found no Radegast this year. So while at Binny's recently, I thought I'd try some Polish beers that I haven't seen before. I picked up three 500-mL bottes and recorded the following tasting notes last night:

Lezajsk
Very clear, straw pale. Bright, white head rises quickly and falls almost as quickly and cleanly, leaving no lace behind; just a minimal collar of foam. Cereal grains in the nose, along with a subtle, vegetal spiciness. Served a touch too warm. Very light and smooth. Crisp. Late kick of bitter hops in the dry finish. Extremely drinkable stuff and at 5.5 percent it is indeed sessionable. The light body and smooth mouthfeel of Lezajsk easily qualifies it as a summertime quaffer.

Tatra
Clear and straw-colored with a quickly rising head that settles more slowly than the Lezajsk, leaving a little bit of lace behind. Neutral to grainy aroma. A little more malt character and body than Lezajsk. Probably about the same IBUs, but in a stronger beer it tastes like less bitterness. Lacing is in rings now, adding to its good looks. Since the Tatra is stronger, I would describe it as more a winter beer, or given the geography of its namesake, an alpine beer. This is definitely sweeter than Lezajsk.

Zamkowe
Okay, here we have an even stronger straw-colored beer that produces a pretty rocky, white head, that shrinks rather dramatically from all directions. The aroma is slightly talc-like. Very smooth and more than a touch sweet. We're well into dangerous pale bock territory here. The foam on top of this beer is persistent; after a few minutes there's still a quarter-inch of head. Unfortunately, this beer is pretty plain tasting, it has complexity, but it is what it is; a Strong Euro Lager. There's not much here to write home about except lots of malt, hops to balance the sweetness and alcohol. However, the sweetness is twinged with a honeyish character that makes this beer a little more satisfying.

I think the most interesting information I ran across while searching the Internet about some of these beer was this place.

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