December can be summed in one word, Christmas. Sure there are a few more days on the calendar than most would prefer, but it’s the month of holiday cheer, holiday chill, and holiday warmth. Yes, as we continue to harp on those who still don’t believe, it’s also a time of dark beer, to lighten the spirits, during the holiday. Typically the season is filled with Winter Ales (commonly known in England as Old Ales), Winter Warmers, and even a few dark (Wintery) Lagers.
With that in mind we wanted to remind you of an annual tradition around the Puget Sound. I speak of Scuttlebutt Brewing’s 10 Below Imperial Dunkelweiss.
A true dunkelweiss of course, comes from Germany but for those who can’t make the trip to the land where the Rhine and Danube Rivers flow, this beer comes close. Historically the Dunkelweiss or Dunkel Weizen is a dark beer made with an ale yeast. Traditionally this beer appears dark but tastes sweet with some dark, roasted malts contributing most of the flavor. One could almost assume this beer to be the Fall / Winter equivalent of a golden-colored, Hefeweizen.
History lesson over, we start by popping the top off our twelve ounce bottle, taking in the label with the familiar polar bear, raising a pint to the viewer.
Scuttlebutt 10 Below is a dunkelweiss that pours dark, while allowing no light to pass through. As the beer settles in the glass a medium almost khaki-colored foamy head rises to the top, before resting. As the foam dissipates there is little or no evidence of lacing inside the glass.
A swirl of the glass and one detects hints of caramel, and possibly dark fruit (raisins, dates, figs; possibly from some contributed molasses),
Taking the first sip one recalls, roasted (like toasted bread) breadiness, along with some mild orange citrus, and slight dark fruit character (raisins, dates), overall the beer finishes with a chocolate (almost milk chocolate-like) flavor. As the beer coarses across the tongue one doesn’t pick up much strong body, rather the beer's overall weight feels average.
- Style: imperial dunkelweiss
- Aroma: crisp citrus
- Taste: medium body with a rich chocolate finish
- Hops: mt. hood & american sazz
- 22 ibu’s.
- 7.4% alcohol by volume
You Should Try This. If we apply the term Dunkelweizzen and then amp this up, we can safely say that this is pretty darn close to the a dunkelweizen, but doesn’t quite come off as boozy as one might think (regarding the imperial tag). Either way this beer would go great with a healthy plate of Schnitzel, Pork Chops, or a savory brat. For those who prefer something that came out of the ground you might consider a tangerine salad with baby spinach, raisins (or dehydrated cranberries), mushrooms, and some almonds.
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has not provided me a free sample was used for research, prior to writing this review. The following sample was purchased at Malt & Vine on 16851 Redmond Way in Redmond, WA 98052.