Tag Archive: Kormoran

Kormoran Weizenbock
Kormoran: Weizenbock (Poland: Weizen Bock: 6.6% ABV)

Visual: Caramel to dark brown. Hazy and with a moderate beiged head.

Nose: Chocolate dust. Raisins. Crushed custard cream biscuits.

Body: Fruitcake. Sour grapes. Malt chocolate. Madeira. Vinous. Raisins and banana. Walnut oil. Sour red wine.

Finish: Madeira. Raisins. Light banana. Glacier cherries. Malt chocolate. Sour red wine. Nut oil.

Conclusion: Ok, true but unfair comparison time. This really is no Aventinus. Ok, we have got that out of the way. I mean I only bring it up as, while it is not in the same league, it does play with a similar style of notes, and at a reasonably lower abv. This is no bad thing.

It plays with lovely raisins and lots of sour vinous flavour against a restrained, grounding, chocolate character. The wheat is present, but very smooth, with none of the evident almost prickle pushed to the front feel of many Weizen and Weizen Bocks. Now I like a big wheat character, but here it works quite well to be rolled around the mouth, leading to a slight nut oil sheen on the way out.

It is too easy to drink for the abv, which is both great and a bit of a curse, and it gives you a good degree of complexity with it. The malt chocolate base is maybe a bit too bit an element of the character – if it was pulled back just a bit to let the banana, raisins and cherries get more play then I think this beer would go from good to excellent.

It really does feel like a smaller Aventinus. Smaller in abv, smaller in complexity, however to be able to be compared to Aventinus, and not collapse under weight of expectations, is no mean feat. In fact it is pretty good going.

The easy to drink Weizen Bock choice, needs a bit of tweaking to reach the big times, but I’m not complaining about the existence of another quality Weizen Bock.

Background: Last of the Polish craft beers I picked up from Independent Spirit, and I saved the one I was most excited about for last. I am a huge fan of Weizen Bocks. Mainly due to Aventinus, which is one of the beers that blew my mind back in my early days. So much so, it is in fact one of the beers I picked when Independent Spirit asked my to contribute to their beer bucket list. Anyway, this was drunk while listening to some “Feed The Rhino ” – “The Sorrow and the Sound” to be exact. Thanks To Dylan Ransom for the heads up on that band.

Wisnia w Piwie

Kormoran: Wisnia w Piwie (Poland: Fruit: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Lovely clear cherry red. Strawberry yogurt coloured inch of froth in a milkshake style. moderate carbonation, head leaves suds around the glass.

Nose: Initial clean lager, then cherries. Black cherry yogurt.

Body: Black cherry and glacier cherry.

Finish: Black cherry. Strawberry milkshake. Red cherry. Light clean lager air.

Conclusion: Ok, this may be short. This is basically alcoholic black cherry and cherry juice. Not really much else to add.

Ok, erm, well, this thing is a wonder on the eye. Seriously so. The head looks like mounded strawberry milkshake and the light plays though the deep red body wonderfully. The weissebrau glass seems to have definitely helped the aesthetic as well.

The fruit is fresh and sweet, though manages to keep away from being syrupy. The only real evidence of the underlying lager is in the feel and general air, it has that smooth edge drinking texture, and just some small thing of lager seems to lightly float over the other elements, hinting at a beer, but never really showing it.

Though, as I hope comes across on this blog, I am not one to decry something as “Not beer” for being different from the usual real ale, but I do like to get something out of the fact I am pouring a mild poison into my body, some extra flavour I can’t get from, say, fruit juice.

This does give a little, it is pleasant, just somewhat simple. It has none of the extra layers of the better fruit based beers, and nearly no hints of the lager. It is kind of like a not crap alcopop. Despite having tried them as a kid, I really don’t get alcopops – they seem to be for people who want to get drunk, but don’t like the taste that comes from making an alcoholic drink. It is pretty much the polar opposite of my worldview, but similarly I can’t get any outrage against them. This feels more natural than those alcopops, less sickly and sugary. So, I can see how it could definitely appeal to those who want to move onto something that tastes a bit better but without the other elements. As a beer, for me, it is not fantastic, however as just a drink it is kind of fun.

So, I would say offer it to people who like the sweeter alcohol drinks, and I’m guessing you could get a few converts, or hey, if you just want a bit of childish glee and fruit with no worries about a complex beer.

Background: Second of the Polish craft beers from Independent Spirit. Erm, not much more to say but that. So, erm, beer. Enjoy beer. Yes I do make several references to drinking as a kid. I drank from very early teens, and now I like to think I have a fairly sensible outlook on alcohol so I have no issues with that. It’s the faux “mature” culture that ties booze and getting pissed to being an adult and some messed up image of masculinity and strength that worries me.

Kormoran Krzepkie

Kormoran: Krzepkie (Poland: Imperial Pils: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Yellowed gold. Large white bubbled head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose: Smooth. Crisp. Wheat hops. Soft caramel. Fresh floral lager character. Cake sponge.

Body: Smooth. Crisp lemon. Palma violet. Moderate hops but low bitterness. Fresh lime. Raspberry pavlova. Floral character. Small treacle like boozy back. Vanilla malt chocolate.

Finish: Custard. Palma violets. Smooth toffee. Hop oils. Some bitterness. Honeyed barley, or maybe golden syrup. Slight alcohol air.

Conclusion: Welcome to some heavy duty lager. This plays the lager style straight, no heavy hop exploration, no fruit infusions, wheat, or any other twists. Just careful brewing and patient lagering for maturation best I can tell.

It has a lovely crisp lager character and noble hop palma violet feel matched with soft toffee and custard sweetness which I take to be from the increased malt load. It gives a thick texture, matched by soft sherbet froth at the edges.

I am impressed, the sweetenss gives an almost pavlova feel at times that reminds me of Schneider and Sohns’ Hopfen-Weisse, in that element alone obviously. The other elements are noble hops pocked throughout that pushes a quality Poland lager feel, just bigger.

It is dangerously drinkable for the abv. It does have an occasional sign of alcohol, a treacle booziness mid body and a spirit air in the finish. Neither are common and they are both a minor flaw in that they mar the flavour, and a saving grace in that they remind you of the alcohol weight,

Overall it is an impressive lager, while it has a few harsh edges, the flavour and drinkability are such that I will not hold them against it. This is a big, malty sweet lager and it tries for nothing else, however it does that very well.

Background: I took a look on rate beer after drinking this, apparently they don’t rate it. collectively speaking. 24th percentile overall, 61st percentile by style, so just above average. Huh. Then again, much as I appreciate them as a reference I do have semi regular disagreements with the consensus. And that is fine, we all enjoy beer in our own way. Anyway, I went squee a bit when I heard Independent Spirit had some craft Polish beers in. It is my shame, that it all the years I have done this, I have never reviewed a Polish beer. Drank a few, but never reviewed. Poland has a great tradition of quality lagers, and now it seems the start of a craft beer scene – they do not deserve to be ignored. So I have redressed the balance with this long matured strong lager. I also gave their American IPA a try – pretty good, not world shaking, but a solid tasty IPA that can stand proud against the crowd. They also do a garlic beer – I have no idea what that is like, I am mildly nervous at the concept. Maybe that means I should try it and face my fears? Drunk while listening to Erocks awesome Sandstorm Meets Metal.

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