January 19, 2012

Brazil: Xingu Black Beer

Alright, so I don't usually review imported beers, but I'm making an exception with Xingu for two reasons: a) I really like black beer (aka schwarzbier, a dark lager style originating in Germany), and b) something about the six-pack caught my eye.  Yes, it's a cool-looking black package with an alligator and snakes in the logo, but in the top right corner there's a stamp for Y Ikatu Xingu, an organization aimed at protecting the Xingu River in the Amazon rainforest.  Now that's pretty awesome.  I'm a big fan of companies that make supporting social causes part of their business plans.  If you want to read a great book about companies that try to make the world a better place, check out Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, by Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm.

Now back to the beer...

Yup, that's a Sierra Nevada glass
Appearance - Xingu pours a nearly opaque brown into my pint glass, with red tints.  A moderate, light brown head fades pretty quickly.


Smell - Very clean aroma.  The most noticeable characteristic is sweet malt.  There's essentially no hop or yeast aromas, which is appropriate for the style.

Taste - Immediate caramel sweetness on the tongue.  A hint of chocolate with a lingering bitterness.  Hop bitterness is a little hard to find.

Mouthfeel - Light in body, crisp with prickly carbonation.

Overall, a pretty good representation of the style.  Not quite Köstritzer, the original schwarzbier, but I'd give Xingu maybe 4 out 5 stars.  This would be a great intro to dark beers for someone that's not quite into stouts yet.


Stay tuned for some cooking with beer!