Fearful Symmetries

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26 August, 2015

What-Ifs, Maybes, and Might-Have-Beens: Roggen Gold by Schlägl

I'm in media res of clearing out the beer in my basement. Now, I don't mean the big brews aging on a shelf in the corner but rather the other ones on the floor. Occasionally I'll run across a real gem that escaped my mind. It is rescued in the nick of time and a fine gustatory experience is had. At other times I run into beers have eluded me for just too long and they've taken a turn for the worse. What follows is one of these latter cases. Sadly.



I found a bottle of Schlägl Roggen Gold at a Binny's in suburban Chicago back in the past immemorial. Stiftsbrauerei Schlägl is an Austrian brewery while their Roggen Gold is a rye ale.

I absolutely love rye in beer. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I love rye in beer styles that I like. Aw hell, it even makes IPAs palatable – Founders Red's Rye IPA is a great beer. I feel so ashamed that this beer got lost in the shuffle. This being the case, I have written not a review but a tantalizing glimpse of what may have been.

Roggen Gold pours a gorgeous light copper. The beer is aesthetically pleasing on its own but it gets bonus points because I've been drinking so many beers that are yellow in color lately (Goses, Berliner Weisses, Helleses, a Zwickel) and this stands in stark contrast. The beer was hazy and there was lots of particulate matter floating about. Oops. Despite the beer's age, it was still rather effervescent. I got a decent head that managed to last a little while and there was a goodly number of bubbles going up.

The aroma was all malt. There was bread dough, honey, and then the earthy rye. The taste was very similar with a pronounced honey sweetness and some spicy rye goodness. The finish was rather sweet with just a touch of spicy hop flavor in there.

For whatever reason I think of roggenbiers as being weissbiers with rye. I was wondering if it would taste anything at all like a weissbier and it didn't. But I have to admit that I'm not sure if this is because all the esters/phenols dissipated over time along with any semblance of hops or because those banana/clove flavors had never been there in the first place. Roggen Gold had a nice medium-light body and I couldn't help but think what this stuff must have tasted like had it been fresh(er). The rye was prominent here in both the nose and on the tongue. I dream that it was the same lo those many years ago.

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|| Palmer, 8:04 AM

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