Žatec, Czech Republic
Imported by: Merchant du Vin
The Žatec region is home of the hop variety known in English as Saaz. Brewing records in the town of Žatec go back over 1,000 years.
Original gravity: 1058
Žatec Bright’s quite good, so much is expected here, and we get it. Dark brown, ruby-tinged beer under a cap of light tan, with a fresh, appetizing scent of malt and bread. A crisp side-slice of roasted malt and coffee accents the understated sweetness of malt in the mouth. The dry malt and gentle bitterness in the finish whispers “Let’s do that again.” Or, as my wife said, “Ooo, yummy.” Do we have to pair food? I just want to drink this.
I’ve long been a fan of the darker side of Czech brewing, even if the old timers in Prague would insist them to be “ladies’ beers,” and this is an excellent example. Deep brown in hue, like a light porter, the nose of this beer is gently sweet, floral and a bit nutty, with dry hints of cocoa. The body follows a similar line, with a sweetish, chocolaty start tuning drier and counterintuitively richer in the body, adding a touch of roast and some toasted nutty notes before a faint bitterness creeps in on the finish. Perhaps a bit sweet to be a true session beer, but I can think of few occasions in which this would not be welcome.