My recent review of Krombacher Dark was the second time I realised I've never put up a review of Herold Dark, despite having been drinking it in The Czech Inn and Pifko since before Christmas. Upon realising this, I found an idle moment to drop by The Czech Inn and take my time over a pint to figure out how it works. With a few lines of notes taken I went on my way. And then completely forgot about it again. So, before the amnesia kicks in once more: an account of Herold Dark, a black lager from Březnice, just south of Prague.
It certainly shouldn't be a forgettable beer. From a head the colour of old ivory comes a gorgeous lightly roasted aroma and on the first pull there's the sensation of a classic old-fashioned stout: impeccably smooth and tinged with a complex damson sourness. After a beat the sweetness kicks in, flooding the palate with condensed milk and brown sugar. Then at the end it turns dry again, clearing the way for the next sip.
More than anything I'm impressed with the balance of it all. The set of flavours it offers are ones that other beers get wrong far too often. Even in less complex efforts you get stickiness, you get metal, you get lactic tang, you get watery, you get gassy. Herold Dark deftly side-sidesteps all these pitfalls.
It's a lager I could drink all day and never get bored. Well worth darkening the doors of Dublin's Czech pubs for. And if The Czech Inn has pork neck on the specials board, get that into you too.
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