Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Meinklang, Organic Urkorn Ale & Organic Dark Lager
The Meinklang farm (http://www.meinklang.at/en/page/page_59.html) produces these two beers not only according to traditional German Reinheitsgebote (and beyond) but also in the worlds first 100 % biodynamic brewery. They work in association with Gusswerk brewery in Salzburg. They use the oldest grains of the world in their beer making, some of them being found even in the possession of Ötzi - the ice man (not Kimi Räikkönen), which makes it a pretty darn old grain already. They even claim that thus has the beer some health effect, such as eyesight improving and cancer-prohibitive properties. Man, I would had tried these beers without the sales promotion but now it's even more fun, knowing that it's healthy!
This pair of bottles, the twins I call them, were caught from grocery store in Turku. The bottles seemed to stand out from the crowd with the picture of cow on them. I personally have never been such a fan or spokesman of the bio-culture. And again I have nothing against that either, it just hasn't been "my cup of tea" to use the expression. This would only mean that I went for the beers with no prejudice, no good nor bad. I also could say that this pair was selected out of curiosity, like if this time would bring something new to the table.
First up was the Urkorn Ale. This Ale is told to have 4,7 % of alcohol (says so in the bottle) but when looking it from the Worlds Widest Web it seems that it holds even more, 4,9 %. I might take this in a way that the bio process is not that stable causing some variety to the alcohol levels but that would be considered as a bad attitude against the subject now wouldn't it. Also the quality standards set would not allow this. The color was left a bit open because I didn't have the glass to pour it to (I was sitting on the assistant drivers seat). Looking through the brown bottle it seemed light in color and considering the backgrounds there shouldn't be too much color in it anyway.
The scent of this beer was constructed on top of the yeasty malt which is a pretty sweet combination. You can also notice some sweet salmiac with the hops (from area of Mühviertel) used. The taste is a light but typical ale with a strong malt accompanied with light hop. This beer has also a distinctive yeast flavor in it which gives also a pretty soft feel to the beer. In the aftertaste you can notice a touch of roasted malt and still the yeast. This makes it a surprisingly complex bio despite the light taste!
Next up was the Dark Lager. Having the same 4,7 % of alcohol as the Urkorn Ale this beer stands out in this duel with no mentioning on the Meinklang web site... Despite of that it exists! The color is dark, and I would even say close to Finnish Home-brew. The beer is also unfiltered which makes it cloudy. The scent is all sweet malts with fruity elements close to raisin (again the raisin is haunting me!). It also smells a bit industrially sweetened... but in an organic beer...? Well, that's what I smelled.
The taste consists of sweet roasted malt and fruity elements. In the aftertaste you can experience some dryness that comes from the roasted malt. Also some elements of coffee and chocolate after a while. There's a nice balance of sweet scent and taste and the dryness of the aftertaste.
To sum it up, both of the beers were a bit pale and I don't mean the beer type but the fact that there was something missing from both. When remembering that we are talking about Organic beers again we can lower the bar a bit and both of the beers rank quite nicely. Both of the beers were also missing some depth in the taste but it might also be a fault of the taster. ;) Considering an Organic beer as an organic beer it can match to any other beer.
So it turns out that putting things into right viewpoint or context you'll get more out of any experience. Now there's the depth missed in the beers! And what a philosophic closing!