|Bernard Brewery, Dark (Czech Republic) |
(RP) The Bernard brewery has the advantage of its own floor malting where the finest Moravian barley is used floor malting are considered to produce the sweetest grain for brewing. Brewing water comes from a well on site with water from the Moravian highlands while piny and floral hops are sourced from the world-renowned Zatec region Saaz in German.
Bernard Dark is brewed with five malts, including pale, caramalt, Munich, black and roast. The beer has a creamy malt, roasted grain, chocolate and coffee aroma, balanced by floral hops. Chocolate, cocoa, roasted grain and hops fill the mouth while the finish is dry with good gentle hop notes, balanced by dark grain and continuing chocolate and roast notes. Its a delicious and refreshing beer. It comes in an attractive flip-top bottle popular with home brewers!
Malt: high. Fruit: medium. Hops: medium.
5.1% ABV, 50cl, £1.99, Tesco.
|Bohemia Regent, Czech Golden Lager (Czech Republic) |
This golden lager has a light to medium colour and thinish white head. The nose is hoppy and gently malty, with nutty warming notes and a tiny suggestion of something herbal. On the palate this is a cleanly made beer, with a decent balance of hoppy, vegetal character and toasty malt. The finish is quite spicy and has a little bite, but this beeer is somewhat lacking in the mid palate, where it seems rather watery and touch weak. 5.0% ABV, 50cl, £1.59, James Clay, Easywine, Beersofeurope.
|Bohemia Regent, Dark Lager (Czech Republic) |
A 'dunkel'-style dark lager, this pours a very dark garnet/tobacco colour with a moderate off-white head. The nose is malty and biscuity, with a dark stewed fruit quality and a touch of chocolate. On the palate it is medium- to full-bodied, and there is an initial attack of sweetness, that is joined by a juicy sourness. Bitter hoppy notes come through, with a pithy lemon quality and the sweetness of the malt just fillling in on the finish. There is a slightly muddy quality to this beer, with the flavours not quite well enough defined, but it has decent character and length in the mouth. 4.4% ABV, 50cl, £1.59, Easywine, Beersofeurope.
|Bohemia Regent, Prezident Premium Lager (Czech Republic) |
This Czech lager is new to the UK (imported by James Clay). It pours a medium, solid gold with a moderate white head. It has a powerfully aromatic nose, with plenty of herbal, hoppy notes, some floral character and a touch of biscuitty richness. On the palate it is full-flavoured and has plenty of oomph (6% ABV), with a big, hoppy, spicy presence, and a real sweetness at its core. Some may actually find this a little too sweet, but there is a mass of hoppy bitter flavour in the finish too, and real kick of cinammon-like spice. 6.0% ABV, 50cl, £1.79, James Clay, Beersofeurope.
|Braník, Firebrand Premium Czech Lager (Czech Republic) |
At little more than 50p a bottle, this branded lager made exclusively for Thresher in the UK is cheap. It tastes pretty cheap too, but is as good as many of its type at half the price. It pours a pale- to medium-gold, with a fast disappearing white head. The nose has a little malt and some gentle hops that are nettly and quite grassy. On the palate it is clean and has a touch of hoppy bitterness about it, a touch of sweetness, though it is fairly neutral and rather weak in terms of flavour. Chilled well it serves its purpose, if little more. Good value. 5.0% ABV, 33cl, £13.99 X 24, Threshers.
|Budweiser Budvar, Dark (Czech Republic) |
(RP) I was bowled over by Dark, with its deep flavours of roasted grain, coffee and bitter chocolate underscored by a firm hop bitterness. Dark has 22 units of bitterness. In common with the classic Budvar light lager, it is conditioned in the lager cellars deep beneath the brewery for 90 days. Dark is brewed with carefully selected hop varieties from the Zatec region of the Czech Republic to give the beer a firm hop bitterness that would balance the richness of the malt and avoid the sweetness of older dark lagers.
4.8% ABV, 50cl, £1.59, Belgianbeerclub.
|Budweiser Budvar, Premium Lager (Czech Republic) |
Medium gold colour with quite a persistent white head. Slightly soapy, perfumed floral note on the nose at first, before a gentle, grassy hoppiness emerges and just a hint of toast. On the palate it is mellow and smooth, with quite a creamy texture and moderate, subtle hop bitterness. There's an orangy tang of citrus acidity in the finish of this elegant, very drinkable lager. 5.0% ABV, 50cl, £1.39, Majestic, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, widely available.
|Herold, Bohemian Black Lager (Czech Republic) |
This "Schwartzbier" pours a black colour, with just a glint of ruby at the core. It is topped by a high-rise coffee-coloured head, that collapses quite quickly. On the nose it is all roasted coffee bean, chocolate and dark, liquorice malt with just the merest suggestion of something vegetal. On the palate there's a big mouthful of stout-like burnt caramel and espresso flavours, with a nice, if slightly metallic, sharpening edge of hops (all Saaz hops in this brew) adding a nice bite. A very tasty dark beer indeed, and has some complexity too. 5.2% ABV, 50cl, £1.45, Euro-beer, Peckhams.
|Nymburk, Gold Bohemia Lager (Czech Republic) |
This beer has a medium gold colour and thinnish white head. On the nose there is a delicious and tantalising aromas of honey that strikes one immediately. The aromas are very pure and fruity, with sweet malt and hop notes present, but all subsumed within the rich, honeyed character. On the palate it has lovely presence. The mouth filled with plenty of slightly sweet, fruity flavours of orange and ripe pear, all wrapped in that trademark honey note. It is medium-bodied, and a streak of peppery, green hops begins to bite into the finish, where some biscuity malt supports and leaves this satisfyingly rich, yet refreshingly clean. 5.0% ABV, 33cl, £1.59, 1516 Beer Co, Onlyfinebeer, Pierhead.
|Urquell, Pilsner (Czech Republic) |
Brewed since 1842, Urquell lays claim to being the first golden beer, brewed in the Czech town of Pilsen, that gave its name to this style. Quite a deep, golden colour with a thick, foamy white head, this has a clean, hoppy nose that is grassy and fresh, but has a pleasant earthiness too, and a sweet suggestion of malt. On the palate it is smooth and quite full, with plenty of herbal, hoppy tang, but again that underlying richness that lifts above boring lagers, with citrus, spice and a grippy bitterness in the finish. Very good. 4.4% ABV, 66cl, £1.79, Majestic, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, widely available.
|Waitrose, Czech Lager (Czech Republic) |
Other than the fact it is brewed in Prague, little is given away on the label of this medium golden beer with a white head that diminishes fairly rapidly. The nose is very attractive, with a fresh, new-mown hay aroma and juts a tiny band-aid, wheaty note. In the mouth it is crisp and hoppy, with quite a broad-based, slightly sweet character that is easy-drinking, but not without interest. It is quite creamy and full, and has decent hop bitterness on the finish. Pretty good beer at the price. 5.0% ABV, 50cl, £1.19, Waitrose.
|Zatec, Pivovar (Czech Republic) |
Though distributed in the UK by Coors, Zatec (pronounced Jhatet) is brewed in the town of Zatec, in a brewery that sits within the walls of Zatec Castle. The beer pours a fairly deep, brassy gold, with a moderate white head. On the nose there is a deal of malt, and a grassy and lemony hop character, in quite a clean style. On the palate the malt is to the fore, giving a biscuit and lightly toffeed character before cool, lemony fruitiness on the mid-palate. Some nice hop bitterness does add interest in a decent, if fairly straightforward lager. 4.6% ABV, 33cl, 24 X £28.59, thedrinkshop.com.