Total Score: 7.2/10
This is my first Grätzer beer, which is based on the Grodziskie style (Polish Smoked Beer) from those cool cats at To Øl in Denmark. So I’ve been hunting down a Grätzer/Grodziskie since I first heard of it about a year ago – I find the style, made with oak-smoked wheat malt, a rather interesting proposition, plus I’ve heard Grätzer/Grodziskies have tart characters and a high but soft carbonation. Of course Grätze Mille isn’t a straight out Grätzer/Grodziskie being made with 1000 oranges per 1000 litres and having salt (it appears) added to it. Still it’s a dipping of my toes into a salty/sour/smoky water that I may one day love and become accustomed to… hopefully others will make it over to Australia as well.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.
A: Cloudy pale straw body with a massive white sea foam head that rapidly dissolves leaving a splotchy patchwork of lace. That carbonation action is crazy hyperactive but dies off so quickly, how odd. 7/10.
S: Floral, orange blossom with lemon notes, hint of smoke as well giving out a smoked ham vibe (less a bacon that I am familiar with from the beechwood-smoked brews of Bamberg). A wisp of sea salt in there as well. Overall lasting impression is that of the floral character though. 8/10.
T: Definitely an acquired taste from the outset – smoked ham, charred wood and campfire smoke throughout and dominant, with hints of sea salt, orange, lemon and floral notes. Finish is dry with a touch of spice. Flavour is a bit like a bull in a china shop for better or worse. 7/10.
M: Mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment – as I imagine it is in other Grätzer/Grodziskies – thin watery bodied with an excited carbonation, it feels like this style could use more body/depth here but I guess then it wouldn’t be traditional if had that either. The low 4.1% ABV must also be a factor here. 5/10.
D: As an interesting foray into a new style (for me) I didn’t mind this (though I imagine it’ll take some warming up to outright enjoy it). However having no basis for comparison makes it difficult for me to “rate to style” I’m reckoning other Grätzer/Grodziskies are of a similar vein to this brew. I’m quite keen to get some traditional (as much as can be for a tradition that died out last century) Polish versions of this style… something in a 500ml bottle to give my thirst a real smashing, in summer, by a campfire – that’s the dream ay. 8/10.
Food match: Polish cold cuts on bread, with a pickle, and some relish… yes.