I'm fond of strong beers, I have been for many years, for me its about the taste.
Anyway when I saw Samichlaus on the menu at Pi I had to have it, and fortunately they were happy to sell me a bottle.
Now this is a rare beer, the entire supply is brewed on the 6th of December, Saint Nikolas's day (look him up its quite fun). Then its laagered for 10 months, in what I'm lead to believe is a complex & secretive way. Its then decanted into bottles & sent out into the world. The people at Guinness (thats the book, not the drink) list it as the strongest lager in the world at 14-15% abv. Enough talk here is the bottle.
Looks good doesn't it ?
On popping the top, you are met by a rich malty scent, this gives you a clue to whats coming. The pour confirms it. As an aside I looked round to find out the best serving temperature which seemed to be just below room temp, so I poured it in the kitchen & carried it through (this doesn't do it justice, but I was desperate for a taste)
So what does it taste like ? Well a good barley wine, or a powerful Trappist dobbel. It's a dark lager taste, pretty common on the continental mainland, but pretty rare over here. Its deep & rich and malty sweet with a sharp tangy finish.
Frankly you wouldn't want to drink more than a couple in an evening, its far to rich for that. If you like deep sweet treacley beer or a hefty winter brew and you can find a bottle go for it, if you like light sharp hoppy beer this really isn't for you.
I'm hoping I can get another bottle or two, and see if it improves being kept for 2-3 years