Cusqueña MaltaJuly 1, 2000 Cusco, Peru
Imported by: Eclipse Imports
The Cervesur brewery in Peru is sited at Cusco, the ancient capital and gateway to the Incan ruins of Macchu Picchu. Cervesur is the leading exporter of beer in Peru.
Bitterness: 20.3 mg/l
Original gravity: 1046
Malta Cusquena, as the Hispanic title shows, looks like, tastes like, acts like a stout—so why doesn't it call itself a stout? The good thick, rich head almost demands a stout label. The smooth, mellow flavor essences separate it from its more aggressive top-fermented relatives, which probably makes it a bottom-fermented and lagered stout. This is a bit on the sweet side, but it is still very good on the palate and quite drinkable. If regular stout tastes harsh and angular to your view, then this might be just the thing, and if you are searching for a fine beer to go with that special chocolate, then search no more: this is the beer for you.
- Fred Eckhardt
The beer pours reddish-brown, disappearing into black and supporting a thick tan head. The aroma is malty with dark treacle and toffee. On the palate, it’s startlingly sweet with very little bitterness or genuine malt flavor. The sugary character trails off to the finish. This beer tastes as if it’s been brewed with quite a bit of sugar and reminds me of some Caribbean and old English stouts. I would guess that this is basically a beer blended with sweet malta before bottling. Not my kind of beer, but I could see pairing it with desserts.
- Garrett Oliver
Dense, well-retained head. Dark brown color with purply highlights. Hugely malty aroma. Sweet, cookie-like. Hint of chocolate. Raisiny, sugary finish. One to serve with chocolate chip or raisin cookies. This is labelled in small type as a malta. In Hispanic countries, this term often means a malt-extract drink, but this Peruvian brew is a medium-strong (4.5 per cent alcohol by weight; 5.6 by volume) lager.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.