I recently found that Riley's
had some gose from the Fatherland in stock - Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose
. I just had to try it and bought one of the half liter bottles.
I'm not exactly sure where Ritterguts is brewed currently but, according to Ron Pattinson
, it was originally brewed in 1824 in the eponymous establishment. The name comes from that of a country estate called "Rittergut Döllnitz" which was in the vicinity of Leipzig. Leipzig, in turn, was ground zero for gose production in the 19th century. Pattinson says that one Johann Philipp Ledermann began brewing gose at Rittergut Döllnitz in 1824 and that he had been a brewer in the town of Goslar, the ancestral home of the gose.
I apologize again for the rather lousy photography. That's two (or more) posts with sub-standard photography in a row. Apologies aside…prepare for unapologetic, sub-standard writing!
When writing these reviews I sometimes wonder if I should bother to define the style. I mean, if you were to write multiple reviews of gose beers in a short period, you wouldn't bother to write that gose is a sour wheat beer flavored with salt and coriander in every one, would you? This is exactly the type of situation that prompted someone to invent paralipsis, I suppose.
Ritterguts is a brilliant yellow that is slightly hazy. My pour resulted in a nice white head but, unfortunately, it didn't last very long. Truth be told, there are times when my glass just looks perfect. It's got a great head and there's effervescence everywhere. I click the button to take a photo only to be told by the camera that there's no memory card in it. By the time I go find the card in one of my computers and insert it into the camera, the beer is no longer ready for its close-up – the head has gone. This, however, is not one of those times. The head really dissipated very quickly. There was a smattering of bubbles going up the beer. Another insider's secret: I've been reviewing so many Berliner Weisses lately that there are times, such as here, when I look at the beer and see it as being under-effervesced. "So much for being a 'Champagne of the North'," I think to myself. Then it dawns on me that the beer at hand is, in fact, not a Berliner Weisse and can have whatever level of carbonation it damn well pleases.
I got some lovin' good vibrations upon taking a whiff. The expected tartness was rather low on the nose and so I caught bread, the coriander, and even a bit of salinity. Ooh, I could just tell this was going to be a full-flavored premium gose. That lemony/citrusy tartness was much more prominent in the taste than it was in the smell. Having said this, Ritterguts was by no means an extreme beer in this regard. The sourness was happy to let you know it was there but I could, joyfully, taste the coriander. I've tasted more than a few goses where either the coriander was indiscernible or buried by fruit. Here there was neither too much nor too little. Just the right amount. I was also surprised by the amount of salt in Ritterguts. It wasn't salty per se but one could definitely taste how the bread-like/crackery malt flavors as well as the coriander were enhanced by it. The beer had a light body but I think the salt gave it a slightly heavier mouthfeel as it amplified some of the flavors. There was also enough carbonation to lend a little dryness.
This beer is not filtered and so there was a fair amount of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. Had I been paying attention I would have noticed that there are instructions on the label saying to gently shake the bottle so as to mix the yeast into the beer. This I did not do and so my terminal pour was quite yeasty. I rather liked how the yeast brought its own slight tartness to the beer and complemented the lactic sourness.
Ritterguts finishes slightly dry. The tartness slowly fades while the dryness from the carbonation lingers for just a bit. I could taste no hops.
Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose is one of the best examples of the style I've tasted. I loved how the yeast abetted the sourness while the salt highlighted the malt and coriander. The interplay of the flavors here was just wonderful. There's nothing extreme with each flavor getting its turn to shine. Everything was in correct proportion and in its place. Ausgezeichnet! I suspect that it was fairly fresh which goes a long way. It is 4.7% A.B.V. and I gleefully drank the whole bottle in a short time.
Junk food pairing: Pair Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose with Ethiopian chechebsa. Chechebsa is flatbread fried in clarified butter seasoned with berbere. (Think Buraka's doro wat.) Dip in yoghurt for added tartness.
Labels: Beer, German, Gose, Rittergut Döllnitz