Brewery: Munkebo Mikrobryg
Type: Scotch Ale
I have heard a lot about this beer. A homebrewing championship winner and the one everyone always mentions whenever Munkebo Mikrobryg comes up. Alstærk has a lot of hype to live up too. I just recently started to get into the scotch ale style. It's a style I had a few bad examples of early on, and never gave much of a chance. Now after having a few great examples in a row (old chub, dirty bastard) I am ready to jump in with both feet. Can Munkebo's lauded scotch ale stand up to the kilted titans from across the pond? Guess I will see right now.
Alex translates the label: "The horses årvågen and ålstærk pull the sun wagon across the heavens. They are chased by the wolf Skoll, who wants to eat the sun and bring about Ragnarok (Armageddon)"
Pours a dark amber or brown color, depending on the light. The head is a sparse bubbly tan. A distinct malty scotch ale aroma. Instead of dark fruits and caramel, which I usually associate with this style, I get a lot of licorice. Licorice and a hint of sweet malty darkness. Surprised to not find a hint of that 9.4% ABV at all in the nose. Tastes strongly of licorice, much more so then the American interpretations I am more familiar with. Other sweet malty flavors are to be had as well. Caramel and a touch of spice smooth everything out into a pleasant sweet malt party in the mouth. Big body to the beer with a chewy semi syrupy character. The alcohol is pretty well hidden but you can definitely feel it. A beer to have after or during a good meal for sure. Like I said, scotch ale is not one of my favorite styles. That being said this is a good example, probably the best I have had in Denmark certainly. The flavor is nice and dark and complex. The beer is also supremely drinkable, which is rare for a beer like this, I usually find scotch ales and other malty styles (besides big roasted stouts) harder to get through. I quite enjoyed Alstærk. It was a pleasure to drink and a good example of the style. It will be added to my short list of approved scotch ales and I will be grabbing a few more bottles to put a little age on.