So, there I was a week ago, thinking about one day getting my hands on the only abbey beers brewed in Central Europe, and here tonight, I am about to drink one. Many thanks to Juliette, who just came back from a quick trip to Prague, where she visited Pivovarský klub to pick up the three Želiv Monastery Brewery beers for me.
The label design on these three beers needs a bit of work, I’d say. And the peel-away plastic cap covering cheapens the image. But it’s what’s inside that’s important, so, time to crack one open...
Tonight, I’m trying Gottschalk, Želiv’s black label product. The colour of the beer is a pleasing dark amber. The initial whiff is a bit pongy though. I’m wary.
The first taste is sweet. Actually, I’m immediately hit by a flashback to 1970s Christmas parties with the extended family. There used to be these boiled candies on the table at my aunt’s house -- pillow-shaped, hard and shiny white, with little red and green stripes on them. The taste is lightly minty and sweet. Just like this beer.
This is actually not a good thing from my point of view. I never did like those candies.
Part of the problem may be that I’m just expecting too rich a taste. This is not a bottle-fermented brew, and comparing it to a Belgian abbey beer or a Trappist beer really isn’t fair.
But still, there are two more offerings from the Želiv Monastery Brewery here to try, the yellow and the red labels, and Juliette says the yellow one is good. I’ll save that for another day.