Session #11: Ayinger Celebrator

Earlier this week, my wife was reminding me that she would have to be at her store later than usual on Friday night. The Main Street association sponsors a night every month with different kinds of events like bands, the Christmas tree lighting, barbecues, and so on. It’s a great way to draw people to the downtown who would otherwise not go. Of course, local retail business owners take part in the festivities, in no small part because of the extra foot traffic. These events are called “First Friday” and take place on the first Friday of the month.

Session logoHoly crap! It’s the first Friday!

I’ve been really busy lately, and now the Session has snuck up on me again! I missed it last month; I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss two in a row.

But what to do? I don’t have a doppelbock in the house. Do you think if I recycled my tasting of Troegenator last summer anyone would notice? No, better get something new. So, I bundle up my two kids and leave the wife at her store and head over to my (current) favorite candy store.

Almost immediately my eyes land on the very last bottle of Ayinger Celebrator. Well, that seems appropriate; the holidays are finally over. Let’s celebrate. Besides, it’s got a little goat medallion around the neck.

Ayinger CelebratorThe kids are in bed. The house is quiet. It’s been an exhausting week. I deserve this beer.

That’s dark. Very dark. I can see ruby highlights under a well-formed, tan head. It has a thick, malty aroma, with a hint of some spice. I want to say nutmeg, but that’s not right.

It’s very smooth, with just a bit of a bite from the alcohol. (6.7% ABV) Hops are virtually non-existent, but it’s very full and malty, with a slight roasty flavor. Bread-like, even. Not as sweet as I expected.

Ayinger has this to say:

Ein Bier, bei dem der Malzgeschmack dominiert. Seine Ursprünge in einem mönchischen Rezept spiegeln sich in seiner Herzhaftigkeit wieder. Der Bierpapst Conrad Seidl beschreibt es wie folgt: „Fast schwarz, mit ganz leicht rötlichem Ton, ein sensationeller, fester Schaum und ein ganz ungewöhnlicher Duft, der zuerst an Grammelschmalz erinnert. Der Antrunk ist von milder Fülle mit einem begleitenden Kaffeeton, der im Nachtrunk dominierend ist. Von der bei Doppelböcken häufigen Süße ist kaum etwas zu spüren.“ Der Ayinger Celebrator wurde vom Chicago Testing Institute mehrfach in die Reihe der besten Biere der Welt eingereiht und gewann zahlreiche Platin-Medaillen.

(Sorry. Here it is in English.)

A beer that has a dominant malty taste. This beer’s origins in a monk’s recipe are reflected in its heartiness. The Pope of Beers, Conrad Seidl, describes it as: “Almost black with a very slight red tone, a sensational, festive foam and truly extraordinary fragrance that at first summons up visions of greaves lard. The first taste is of mild fullness with an accompanying coffee tone, which becomes more dominant with the aftertaste. There is very little of the sweetness that is frequently to be tasted with doppelbock beer.” The Ayinger Celebrator has been ranked among the best beers of the world by the Chicago Testing Institute several times and has won numerous platinum medallions.

Delicious.

Update: Session #11 recap

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