Okocim MocneMarch 1, 2006 Brzesko, Poland
Available: FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NC, ND, OH, SD, TN, UT, VA, WI
Alcohol (vol.): 7%
Color: Deep Golden
The slick label, printed on gold foil, gives a global look to this beer, owned by Danish brewer Carlsberg. Though the label claims “traditional Polish taste,” that seems faint praise, considering the lackluster slightly deep-golden color, quickly diminishing head and faint aroma. On the palate, the beer is fresh, clean and well made—but not particularly malty, hoppy or memorable. Though this Pole lacks polish, we enjoyed it with apple wood-smoked ham, pickled beets and pumpernickel bread! What’s not to like?
- Charles Finkel
The original Pilsner brewery, in Bohemia, set the style for Okocim, which was established three years later, in the district of the same name, near Cracow, Galicia. At the time, both Bohemia and Galicia were provinces in the Austrian Empire. Today, the former is in the Czech Republic, the latter in Poland, though this brewery’s biggest shareholder is Carlsberg, of Denmark. “A traditional Polish taste” is claimed on the label of this brassy-colored, aromatic, strong lager. The bouquet—rooty, with a suggestion of liquorice—may well arise from the Marynka hop, of Lublin, Poland. The palate is appetizingly malty, like fresh (ciabatta?) bread. It develops a creamy, vanilla-like, character, and finishes with a tang of lemon-grass.
- Michael Jackson
An intriguing aroma—honey, sweet cream corn, grassiness and spicy alcohols—does not prepare you for a harsh blast of alcohol on the tongue. Some may find the unrefined punch, and unapologetic bitter finish, appealing. However, I prefer the Okocim Porter. This one is a beer to make friends with over a bowl of beet soup when it’s 40 below outside.
- Stan Hieronymus
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
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.
Editor at Realbeer.com, a professional journalist for 40 years and amateur brewer for 15, Hieronymus is the author of four beer books, including Brew Like a Monk.
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