Country: Australia Style: Sticke Altbier ABV: 6.5%
Appearance: Pours clear dark copper colour with a sizeable off white head that laces to the glass. Filtered and not bottle conditioned.
Aroma: Very sweet. Smells a bit like a Belgian Triple to be honest. Very dominant berry/bubblegum note. Some damp straw and sweet dark toffee. Some spiciness (cardamom?)
Taste: Altbier is a style of beer that is quite hard to come by (at least in Australia). It is one of over 220 styles of beer (not joking!) that call Germany home and originates from the Lower Rhine region around Düsseldorf. It is a very malty, sweet and fruity beer. “Sticke Altbier” literally translates to “Secret Altbier” and is a seasonal beer that is brewed in small batches usually around Christmas time. They typically have a higher alcohol content and a bigger, hopier flavor.
From the first sip you are greeted with a big,rich, full-bodied beer. The level of flavor and body of this beer seems to punch well above its 6.5% ABV, tasting closer to 8%.
Starting with a sweet, slightly creamy Vanilla malty backbone with predominant fruitiness. Think one of those tarts with lots of berries on top and custard underneath with buttery short crust pastry and you get the picture! The beer then is almost perfectly balanced out with an assertive but not overwhelming bitterness. The savoury piny/orange rind hopyness of this beer balances out what would otherwise be a very sweet beer.
Because of its balanced flavour, this beer is very drinkable with no one flavor overwhelming the others. I wanted another after I finished this one!
Their may be other beers out there that are more complex, but when it comes to beers that have a delicate, almost elegant balance of flavours, this brew takes some beating! In fact it would be a great match with a traditional Christmas lunch or Dinner.