Nov 092011

Bakalar Dark Lager

The Bakalář Dark Lager label off my bottle. Notice the bachelor's attention skewing to the important things in life.

Fall is ale season. As the Pacific Northwest skies darken, rains commence, and temperatures drop, I transition from the lightness of refreshing lagers to a more grounded feeling of darker brews. This could spell doom for Lager Field were it not for the assortment of heavier lagers available on the local market. I found Bakalář Dark Lager (Tmavý Ležák) from Pivovar Rakovník (Brewery Rakovník) at the Belmont Station beer store.

Though I’ve learned to enjoy ales over the years in America, I approached Bakalář Dark Lager with skepticism. Even though they historically preceded light lagers, I hadn’t been fond of dark lagers, or dunkels, back in the home country because of their exaggerated sweetness. Bakalář Dark Lager turned my skeptical palate upside down.

Like the bachelor on the beer’s label I sat down to drink it with a book (George R.R. Martin’s “A Clash of Kings”). Like the bachelor, I quickly got distracted by the brew. Bakalář Dark poured beautifully out of the bottle: as the gorgeous creamy head crowned the porter-like brown of the brew, it created, for a moment, the sensation that things were just right the way they were.

The scent of Bakalář Dark was the olfactory equivalent of the mid-fall spell of warmer days. You catch a glimpse of the previous summer embedded in the turning leaves, and you know that despite the cold, murky months ahead, you will be alright.

Bakalář Dark is, indeed, a malty, sweet brew. But the sweetness in the middle lingered only for a moment. The finish melted away nicely into a pleasant aftertaste, leaving my mouth free of the gooey stickiness I remembered darks for.

As Bakalář Dark laced down to its end, I realized I found a dark lager worth drinking again.

Word from the Brewer

Dark lager is one of four brews in Pivovar Rakovník’s lineup:

Dark lager has caramel sweetish taste; here you can find slight scent of burnt malt. Its taste is full and the foam dense. This brand is immediately intended for refreshing the humankind’s neater half. 12° dark, 4.8% ABV.

American Robotnik’s Brewrating

  • Lowdown: If you’re a lager lover who has a hard time keeping up when it gets cold and who can’t quite get into ales yet, Bakalář Dark Lager is a sensational in-between. One will be enough to sweeten a gloomy fall day.
  • Grade: A-

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