Next up, Engelszell’s Gregorius:
Yet another pope is elected, and yet again my hopes are dashed that the papal name Lando II is not adopted. Of course, little is known of Pope Lando, who served a mere 6 months early in the 10th century. Although, we do know he is the only pope to not change his name upon accession (for obvious reasons), and it is speculated that he looked like this:
But with a new pope, what better beer to review than one from the most recently recognized trappist brewery, Engellszell. And perhaps even more appropriate, the beer is named Gregorius, which at first glance appears to be a portmanteau of Gregorian (of, or relating to, Pope Gregory) and glorious. This is particularly relevant to the current papal transfer of power because Pope Gregory XII was the last pope to resign, and Pope Gregory III was the last pope not born in Europe.
However, “Gregorian” is typically only used with respect to Gregory the Great, Gregory VII, and Gregory XIII, which begs the question: What about the other 13 Pope Gregs? Sure, anything relating to Gregory VIII (who held the papacy a mere 57 days) is Gregorish, but who is Gregorius a reference to?
A quick check to the Engelszell Abby’s Wikipedia page reveals that the abby’s first abbot after its re-founding as a trappist monastery was Gregorius Eisvogel. Oh. Oops. That would explain why it’s Gregorius and not Gregorious. Screw you right in the eye, Latin. Nobody likes you, anyway.
It pours mahogany with some light brown-orange at the edges. It’s got an average, but mostly tight, tan head. It smells like dark bread, cocoa, root beer, and dates. In the taste, I am definitely picking up some roast and a hint of coffee. At the end, there’s an unexpected slight bitterness. It’s like an earthy hop head fake with a pass to roasted bitterness. Also, there is a slight steel/mineral quality, presumably from the water they use.
If you let it warm, the sweetness and a little brown sugar comes out to complement the aforementioned, but it remains much roastier than the other trappist beers I’ve had. It also distinguishes itself from other trappist offerings in the carbonation. I was expecting the carbonation and head to be all like the usual ADHD/hyperactive child, but it’s pretty well-behaved and does its homework and chores when asked.
Grab some. It’s worth a try.
The Haybag: It’s tasty and aids in let down. What? That’s worth noting…