I had noticed that my samplings of late have been leaning to the light to red spectrum of beer and I have been neglecting good old fashioned dark beer. And in the interest of equal opportunity drinking, here is the first of many dark beer reviews. Today's beer - the Spaten Optimator comes at the recommendation of Brian in Colorado - so if you end up trying this at my recommendation, then I blame him.
Through the wonders of Facebook, I was able to get a few dark beer suggestions. Unfortunately, when I went to the Wyoming & Montgomery Quarters, the Spaten was the only one I could find (no worries though, I've got a few other places to check out for the other beers). I found this very unassuming six-pack in the German "fridge zone". This little gem comes from MUNICH, Germany (I do enjoy loudly saying MUNICH in a German accent...don't ask me why), so I knew this was REAL beer.
This brew was extremely good - there is almost velvetly chocolate taste to it with a nice hit of hops and malt. You get a hint of bitter aftertaste, but nothing that sticks with you for a long time. Not a wimpy beer by any means, as there is a really nice robust body to the beer itself. Even being a burly beer, it didn't knock you on your butt as you drink it. I had my lovely wife Tina try the Optimator to see what she thought. Tina isn't really a dark beer fan, and she enjoyed it, which is saying something. German brewing (engineering, efficiency, etc...) is some of the best in the world, so I can see how it was easy to sway the uninitiated.
What I didn't realize until after I had consumed two of these bad boys is that the Optimator has a 7.2% ABV. Looking back, it makes more sense that the still hot oil from my car didn't really bother my hand as I was changing the oil on the Tahoe.
The only negative against the Optimator is the price - $9 for the six pack, but given the quality of the beer, I think the extra $1/$1.50 was worth it. I would definitely get this beer again.
Check out the Spaten website, for some more details on the various beers they produce, including some wonderful health tips regarding beer.
Today's tip: Beer is rich in important vitamins - most are delivered to you by the beer's yeast. Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and H contained in beer are food for the nerves: They improve your ability to concentrate, support the production of red blood cells, have a positive effect on your blood circulation and stimulate your metabolism.
So drink up! Get those vitamins in a much more fun way than popping a pill!