If you are in the Dubuque area, enjoy a fine drink, and don’t at least visit Family Beer and Liquor in East Dubuque, Illinois, you are insane. I will always complain about Dubuque and lack of nearly everything necessary to live a full life but one thing we have realized after trying to find quality alcohol outside of this area is that we are truly blessed to have such a classy and well-stocked (and nicely priced) source of quality beverages.
If you drink beer of a more discerning taste, or whisky, whiskey, or wine, go check them out. Really, close the web browser, drive over there, and buy something fabulous.
Every time we are over there, I find something that catches my eye that I need to drink. Something that I need to try…….and then there’s a beer I’ve been meaning for force myself to try out that I hadn’t gotten around to that I pick up, as well. So without further ado, here we go:
We had grabbed what we went over for (Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Irish cream) and I decided I needed to review a beer. Walk over to the beer isles and this jumps out at me.“‘11% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME.’ The description on the neck is in German. Yup, this will do.”
No, I didn’t read anything else about it until I got home. The back does have an English description that basically says it’s what God made for us to make us happy. The website pretty much confirms that.
Kulmbacher Brauerei’s EKU 28
Appearance: It is an amber beer. The head is…well, I don’t fully remember because it disappeared quite quickly. It is a very carbonated beer, with lots of bubbles
I was immediately intrigued because it looks like a beer I should really like, only with more alcohol!
Scent: Not much in terms of hops. Not overly malty. I smell sweet, and I smell that distinct scent that tells you a beer has way more alcohol than a rational beer should. So it smelled really good…
Taste: …and the taste did not disappoint. It is sweet, but it is still beer. I remember Sam Adams had a beer (I want to say White Ale but I can’t remember) that was super-sweet and almost the point of syrupy. This isn’t too sweet; it s just a sweet beer. When I taste for it, I can get a hint of hops and a hint of malt that compliment the sweet. Oh, and did I mention this is an 11% beer? You can taste it, definitely.
Quality: It’s a German beer that is brewed under Bavarian Purity Laws.
Drinkability: Non-beer drinkers who don’t typically drink are going to find it strong. I can’t get around that. If you have never tried a quality high-alcohol beer (no, Steel Reserve doesn’t count), this is a good introduction. If you drink straight bourbon, and you like beer, this will go down like a potion from the gods. If you are a beer drinker of the snob quality, it goes down really nicely.
ALL THAT SAID, it is still a sweet, high-alcohol beer. Some might find it a bit off-putting, some may not like the sweet nature of it. I wouldn’t knock it for drinkability because it is fabulous as what it is, but what it is isn’t always drinkable to everyone.
Overall: “Children, gather around. Uncle Robby is going to tell you a story of a wonderful German beer because I know none of your fathers will teach you how to drink beer like a cultured adult.” Yes, I did just insult all of my brother-in-laws taste in booze. So be it.
This beer is…awesome! I love it a lot.
Unbiased Grade: A, I supposed. I want to say A+ but I don’t think I am qualified to rate a beer that…
Biased Grace: A+. Would absolutely drink again and again and again and again….
There are also beers that you really want to like. For some, it may be wanting to like a weird craft beer that just is too weird. Had a smoked rye beer once – just a bit much for me. Some people may think you can’t be a beer drinker unless you have an unhealthy relationship with Guinness. And sometimes a beer come along that sounds awesome in theory, should be good in practice, and comes from a source you want to produce a good beer.I really want
crap monstrous, domestic beer companies to put out something drinkable. Black Crown wasn’t bad, but not amazing. So I see the Miller Fortune commercials, see the beer in the cooler, and I think, “Maybe…?”
We were over there, I was completely out of beer, it can’t be that bad. As is how I choose my beer today, I suppose.
Appearance: Surprisingly dark.
Scent: Pleasant. It smells like beer. Not like “MERICA! BEER!” but like actual beer. Nice hint of hops, a bit sweet, a bit of malt. I could actually like this beer.
Taste: …I could, but I don’t. I really wanted to; the smell is right, the color is right, it has enough alcohol in it to be real. The taste is….blah. It isn’t skunky, it isn’t bad bitter, it isn’t…much of anything.
Maybe that isn’t fair. I mean, I’m not offended that I’m drinking it. Nora said it best; it’s a whole lot better than most cheap beer. That said, I could get a six back of Fat Tire or Blue moon for the same cost over at Family ($7.99) and I like that a whole lot more. I wanted to like this so much and it’s just not there.
Oh, what does it taste like? Weirdly, like I poured a glass of MGD into a glass of EKU 28 and stirred, and then split it between two glasses. I don’t know; it’s sweet, it’s a bit hoppy, it’s fizzy, it taste like beer. I guess if I found myself in a bar and they only had Miller and Budweiser products and there wasn’t Black Crown, I could drink this.
Quality: No skunk. Not bad bitter. It smells like beer, not ‘merica beer. I’ll roll with it and say yeah, it’s a “quality” beer. If it has the consistency of their other products, I dare say it’s drinkable if I knew it was never going to be any worse…
Drinkability: Black Crown is more drinkable. It’s a “let’s have a few brewskis” beer, where as this is trying to be something higher class. I have to say that it is admirable, but if it isn’t going to live up to that high class (it doesn’t), then making it more drinkable would be good. It’s a slow-drinking beer, which requires more enjoyment to not get left behind.
Overall: I give it a solid, “Okay.” It isn’t bad, and I might be biased, but I just don’t…want to drink it again. Now I will say I’m not nearly as harsh on it as other review I’ve seen but it isn’t as good as the price tag said it was.
Unbiased Grade: B/B-, I think. It’s so much better than anything else Miller has ever put out (sorry Dad, but MGD sucks) but that’s like saying I’m so much better at writing a beer blog than I was when I was 19.
Biased Grade: C+/B-. If I have to drink it, okay, but please buy something better. Please.
My conclusion for today is that EKU 28 is amazing and Miller Fortune is horribly dis….not surprising at all, actually. Please buy something else when you are at the beer store. Like EKU 28!
To good beer…and okay beer, I guess….