A new arrival on the Estonian market  -  but with international feel ?

It is always interesting when you come across a brewery that throws up something unexpected,  especially when you associate it with something very different.

I the annals of brewing history the name Albert Le Coq is synonymous with the development of Imperial Stout.  He , along with  the Sillem family,  were the entrepreneurs  and  driving  force  behind the brand who successfully sold it within pre-revolutionary Russia from their brewery located at Tartu, Estonia.

Having come under state control during the communist era,  the brewery was finally released once more becoming independent in 1995. 

In recognition of this earlier part of their history the brewery produced a bottom fermenting ' porter ' in 1999,  re-kindling  its association  ( albeit  tentatively in terms of strength )  with a style that once brought the company such prosperity.

So, on recently coming across an imported  bottle of  A. Le Coq Double Bock  I was intrigued as to the style of bock the brewery would choose,  given their heritage.


Surprisingly, instead of being in the darker Germanic Doppelbock  tradition  the brewery had opted for something at the completely opposite end of the spectrum.

At  7% alc. the beer fits into the  doppelbock  criteria,  but is extremely pale in colour.  The brewery states that this is the first  Double Bock  ever produced in Estonia ( claiming it is in the style favoured by the Estonian's  themselves )  and could be classed as either a  helles lager  or  maibock,  of  doppelbock strength.

In terms of taste the beer is full, round but undemanding.  A flavour of boiled  'pear drop'  fruit sweetness is the only notable character with very little hop presence to balance. Sadly the beer is  one dimensional,  falling away rapidly at the finish.

Given the breweries historical status it would have been good to find a beer that was aiming  for  ' International ' rather than ' National '  appeal.  Injecting a bit more character into the style may just give it that  status once more -  and an international following,  as befits the company name.  


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