I’m a firm believer that dark beers can be enjoyed year-round. There’s no reason why you can’t have a porter or a doppelbock in the middle of summer. In fact, stouts happen to be one of the most popular beer styles in the Caribbean and parts of Africa. Years ago, my wife and I visited Trinidad and Tobago on our honeymoon and I was intrigued to see people drinking Royal Extra Stout in the 40 C weather. The Trinis were on to something, obviously, as the lager-esque, slightly sweet stout was actually quite refreshing in the heat.
But there’s something about dark beers in winter that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside (I’m pretty sure it’s the alcohol, actually). The richness, the roastiness, the depth of flavour: when it’s miserable outside, I crave a pint that’s as dark and cold as the weather I’m trying to escape.
Moon Under Water’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel recently won gold for Best Dark Lager in The Growler’s readers’ choice awards, The Growlies. Dunklebier is a traditional German style of dark lager originating in Munich (“dunkel” literally means dark) that’s malt-forward and very smooth. While helles lager usually gets all the attention, dunkel is sort of its evil sibling, the black sheep of the family.
Moon Under Water has a well-earned reputation for absolutely nailing German-style beers, and Creepy Uncle Dunkel is no exception. Deep brown and medium bodied, this hearty lager is exceptionally smooth with a well-rounded malt character. Caramel, dark fruit and nutty roast flavours dominate, but never overpower. The finish is clean and crisp, with just enough hops to curtail that malty sweetness.
So embrace the dark side! Let’s be honest, it’s way more interesting.
Creepy Uncle Dunkel by Moon Under Water Brewery (5.4% ABV, 18 IBU)
Appearance: Brilliant deep brown with a fleeting tan head.
Aroma: Caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt.
Flavour: Caramel, roasted malt, nuttiness, toast, dark fruit, vanilla, cola, low hop bitterness, slight sweetness that does not linger.
Body: Medium bodied with a clean, off-dry finish.
Pairs with: Stewed meats, Christmas cake and Gore-Tex lederhosen.