Mittenwald, DE – Jager Dunkel 5.2 %, 500ml, £3.15
Mittenwald is a Bavarian brewery that insists on using only local ingredients – malt from the surrounding farmlands, and the finest hops from Hallertau, infusing each into crisp spring water rich with minerals that give the beer an unmatched delicacy and crispness. The brewer also lays claim to the title of “highest private brewery in Germany”, although the effect of that on the finished product is questionable; it’s a nice piece of trivia, regardless.
This week’s beer is from the brewery’s core range, and is their dunkel, ‘Jager’. A wonderful chestnut beer with bright copper highlights, the head is a flash-in-the-pan of butterscotch foam that quickly disappears. The aroma is rich liquorice and butterscotch, with a waft of raw barley providing the background for delicate banana and walnut phenolics.
Rich and smooth, Jager is moderate-to-full bodied with a zesty, bright carbonation that enhances its drinkability, helped along by a crisp, refreshing finish. Malt leads here; toffee apple with a hint of hazelnuts gives way to a sudden onrush of crisp lemon-zest and herbaceous noble-hops in the finish. Truly the best of both worlds, this dunkel is substantial, complex, and eminently drinkable – a wonderful autumnal beer.
• Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS @tremblingmad