Kartäuser Doppelbock Dunkel |Memminger, Germany
Finally a dark beer. Kartäuser Doppelbock Dunkel is a very dark Bavarian beer. I finished the Advent Calendar tonight as family gathered in the kitchen to eat after attending the family Christmas Eve service at our church. Mr. Ben had a speaking part in the Christmas Pageant. It was a great way to spend the evening.
Our neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods have lined the streets with luminaries giving the evening a calm feeling. All is well.
And I have finally found a really dark beer in the Brewer’s Advent Calendar. This beer tastes dark but not a roasty toasty flavor. I know about roasting malts but I have to wonder if you can roast hops. I’ve never heard of roasting hops. This doesn’t pick up the caramel and other similar flavors with roasted malts. It has a dry mouthfeel to it. It is bitter on the edges and on the long finish. Almost an earthy or peaty flavor. Can you roast hops I ask again? If you can roast hops this is what I imagine it would taste like. But if you pair it up with the delicious nibbles we have tonight then the bitterness goes away and the malts seem to warm up,
I don’t know if having this last beer being dark is planned by Kalea or not. But it did give me a sense of Christmas. But only a little. This is no Christmas Ale. But it’s over.
The can says it is produced by Egerer again but everyone on the web says its produced by Memminger Brauerei which features this beer on their site but in a bottle. The Memminger website says:
“Distinctive tasty, of high drinkability with a fine caramel touch. Original wort 18,7%, Alcohol content 7.5 vol.%. Taste distinctive, special maltaromatic, high drinkability, a touch of caramel. Fragrance- fine malt aromatic, a touch of caramel, discreet hops tasty.
Appearance-dark, slight redness.
“To maintain the structure of the “Kartause at Buxheim”, the Memminger Brewery has acquired special beer brands especially for this purpose. Distinctive tasty, of high drinkability mild aromatic in taste and of golden colour, the Kartäuser beer brands do meet all requirements of the art in brewing.”
I don’t taste the caramel at all. If I could taste the caramel I would probably move this one ahead of the
Graminger Kirta or the Kraftbierwerkstatt’s Der Schwarze Bock.
So it’s been 24 days. I’ve been avoiding answering two questions about Advent in general. Honestly I can’t fully explain Advent because I’m not a religion or history professor.
What is Advent? What is an Advent Calendar? I turned to Wikipedia which of course lists all the variants of what Advent is. In a nutshell it is the period leading up to Christmas and the celebration of the Christ Child’s birth. But how long that period is and how it is celebrated is as vast as the number of Christian-based religions around the world. I will try and keep my thoughts in the context of where I live since it matches up with my experiences over the years.
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year in Western Christianity, and is part of the wider Christmas and holiday season.
“Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, erecting a Christmas tree or a Chrismon tree, lighting a Christingle, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations, a custom that is sometimes done liturgically through a hanging of the greens ceremony.” I’ve participated in all of that except for the Christingle. Bur then again I could stretch the luminaries we setup as being a Christingle which is defined in Wikipedia as “Christingle is a symbolic object used in the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany services of many Christian denominations. Christingle, from a word of German origin, Christkindl, meaning “Little Christ Child”, is used to celebrate Jesus Christ as the “Light of the World.” The lights in our neighbor are celebrating the “Light of the World.”
Advent in most Christian denominations is not the first 24 days of December. Most Advent Calendars are actually commercial ventures that seize on the 24 days because it ‘s easy and you don’t have to adjust your printing from year to year.
“In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, and the Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Methodist calendars, Advent commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (always falling between 27 November and 3 December), and ends on Christmas Eve on 24 December.
“In recent times the most common observance of Advent outside church circles has been the keeping of an advent calendar or advent candle, with one door being opened in the calendar, or one section of the candle being burned, on each day in December leading up to Christmas Eve.”
Along the way that calendar started to morph from having little Advent lessons behind the doors (often a printed calendar) to little surprises behind the door and finding a bit of candy or maybe a coin. It’s almost like training little ones for the day when they get big gifts on the 25th. For simplicity sake…. and to make the marketing easier… Advent Calendars are the first 24 days of December leading up to Christmas.
Many adults remember remember opening the little doors as little kids to find a treat. We’re adults now. Heck yeah, how about a beer behind that door.
When I finally finished the Man Bag XXL I swore I would never buy another “curated” beer box again. That was before I saw the Brewer’s Advent Calendar at Costco. The Man Bag XXL box shows what beers are inside. The Calendar does not. The box has Christmas scenes and snow. You would think it would have brews fitting for the season. This Brewer’s Calendar just fills the bill for providing a simple “treat” each day. It does not give you anything that adds to the Christmas atmosphere when people like to drink traditional holiday beverages like in my case, Christmas Brews. These are everyday German beers. Almost nothing seasonal about them.
Of the 11 beers in the Man Bag, 9 of them were in the Calendar. I had been working to review them but got delayed. Why bother. I pretty much reviewed it here. The two missing brews were Zwonitzer Rauchbier (this from a modern brewery started in 1997 and is a dark smokey brew, something this calendar really needed) and Grandl Bavarian Lager which I really liked which would have helped “amber” up the many Helles brews.
My favorite of the 24 days was the Graminger Kirta.
Here’s a quick recap and links for the past 24 days.
Advent Day 1: Grantler Hell–Grumpy German Helles
Advent Day 2: Hoamat Weissbier
Advent Day: 3: Alms Hell
Advent Day 4: Husaren Trunk
Advent Day 5: Kraftbierwerkstatt’s Der Schwarze Bock
Advent Day 6: Herrnbrau Zwickl Kellerbier
Advent Day 7: Kurpfalzbräu Helles
Advent Day 8: Egerer Wiener Lager
Advent Day 9: Teisnacher 1543 Festmarzen
Advent Day 10: Käuzle German Pilsner**
Advent Day 11: Marie Hausbrendel Hell
Advent Day 12: Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell
Advent Day 13: Landgang Pils**
Advent Day 14: Flotzinger Hell aus Rosenheim**
Advent Day 15: Perlenzauber IPA
Advent Day 16: Loncium Vienna Style Lager**
Advent Day 17: Turbo Prop Imperial Pil**s
Advent Day 18: Erl Hell**
Advent Day 19: Meine Grosse Liebe
Advent Day 20: Graminger Kirta**
Advent Day 21: Wittmann Urhell**
Advent Day 22: Schlossbrau Rheder Original Pils
Advent Day 23: Fürst Carl Kellerbier**
** Indicates it was also in the Man Bag XXL
I’m going to work toward concentrating on a more traditional Advent, where I enjoy decorating the house and spending time with family and not wasting time reviewing a beer every day. Drinking a nice Christmas Ale here and there would be acceptable or some nice eggnog. But no more Wine Advent Calendars (I still have one from last year with tiny bottles I bought from Publix. I will turn them into vinegar as soon as it warms up a bit), no more Cheese Advent Calendars (we started it but got bored since they just repeated the same cheeses over and over… like they did with the wines in the wine calendar. We finally just opened them all and ate them because the box was taking up too much fridge space).
I feel cheated about drinking 24 summer beers at Christmas. I’m contemplating creating my own 12 days of Christmas Beers possibly starting tomorrow. With that said I wish everyone reading this a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I got presents to wrap.
Brewery: Memminger Brauerei