Sunday, 5 December 2010

Open It! - Day Two - Löwenbräu Triumphator



So here we are on day two, or should it be three?, of "Open It! Weekend", and the next beer for me to open is another one from the Fatherland. This time it's Triumphator from Löwenbräu. I must admit this particular bottle hasn't exactly been gathering dust at the back of the cupboard. On the contrary, I only acquired it last month, when my son's friend Will, brought it back for me following a trip to Munich. Seeing as he generously bought me a couple of bottles, it seemed a good idea to open one now and write something about it!

Now to start, Löwenbräu are an industrial sized brewery; one of Munich's "Big Six" brewers. Seasoned observers though of drinking in the Bavarian capital, will know that really there are now only four breweries in operation as, not only do Paulaner brew Hacker Pschorr beers, but Löwenbräu now brew Spaeten beer bands. (Takeovers, consolidations and rationalisations, are no longer exclusively a phenomenon of the UK Brewing Industry!). That said, to the outside world, Löwenbräu are probably the best known of the Munich breweries, and whilst their core range might not be particularly challenging, they have still managed to come up trumps with Triumphator, a strong, Doppel-Bock style beer, available on draught for a limited period during March, (Starkbierzeit) but in bottle, all year round.

So how about the beer itself? After chilling overnight in the fridge, the beer is dark brown in colour, with a thin white head when poured. The nose of rich toffee and caramel notes from the dark Munich and Melanoidin malts is immediately apparent as the glass is raised to the mouth, and these intense flavours continue and linger on the tongue as the beer is drunk. The fullness of this strong beer, with its rich maltiness and the comforting warmth from its 7.6% abv strength, makes it the perfect drink for the cold weather we are experiencing at the moment.

The brewery describes it as their "dark, strong beer speciality", and state that it is "spicy and full-bodied in taste". I find it hard to disagree with their assessment, and think it proves that large breweries can, on occasion, brew some truly excellent beers. I am sure that Triumphator would be even better on draught, and it would be well worth making the journey to Munich to try it during Starkbierzeit.

2 comments:

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Been enjoying your site for a while, these latest posts leave little choice but to become a follower. You love of the good stuff really shines through, in an honest no nonsense way which is refreshing. The name 'Triumphator' is probably the best I've ever heard. Can't wait to sample some. Great work.

Paul Bailey said...

I thank-you for your kind comments, Hearty Goodfellow, and am glad you are enjoying reading the blog.

The name "Triumphator", follows the German tradition of adding the letters "ator" to the name of a Doppelbock beer. This is because the original Doppelbock, brewed by Munich's Paulaner Brewery, is called "Salvator". Other breweries acknowledge this by adding "ator" to the names of their own beers brewed in this style. Thus we have such examples as "Animator", "Maximator", "Operator", "Speziator", "Unimator" and, what has to be my favourite name for a strong beer, "Alligator"!