The Kocsma's tastes in beer - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 00:45 Thread Starter
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The Kocsma's tastes in beer

Since this is kocsma, I want to share with you the experiences throughout my young life with that following:

Number 1 ranked beer ever tasted, probably the super-premium and best beer in the world: Spaten Optimator (Germany). The greatest of the great Bavarian brewing traditions. It's all true, Germans make the best beer. This beer is reputed to be 700 years old guys, 700! I tried this beer in Santa Cruz, California when I was a sophmore fraternity boy, and I'll never forget this beer, it cost 7 dollars a bottle. The Kocsma should "taste" this beer -- this is how perfect beer should taste like.

Number 2 ranked beer in the world, Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic). The crispiest and most enchanting beer I've had although not as complete as Spaten Optimator.

Number 3 ranked beer in the world, Samuel Adams (United States), when in America try this beer, its an absolute original and it's peerless in the states. If you're in Europe, definately buy this beer.

Of course, there are smaller breweries that produce outstanding beers that I've not yet discovered, and many others that would rival my top three. But those top three are proven staples. There are few "perfect" beers, but I hope to open pallettes to those beers. If you know of outstanding beers share the spoils captain.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 00:57
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:13
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Hey darkandy, do you like Molson,and canadian pilsner Blue Labatt?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:15
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I do not drink beer.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:24 Thread Starter
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Wait for when I'll open up about my wine and spirits discussion, Dark Andy, hehe. Everything in moderation of course, that's what I do.

"The wine of kings, the king of wines!" -- Louis XIV as referred to Tokaj.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:45
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Well, I really do not drink alcoholic substances. I occasionally take a sip of my mother's Red Wines, but otherwise the only cell killers I enjoy the taste of is Bailey's Irish Creme and some -sweet- White Wine. (My favorite was a Hungarian brand which the LCBO stopped ordering. I forgot the name of it, it has been so long. 6 years now?)
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 02:07
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I don't drink. Well, I do but, Having 1 or 2 beers In my opioino is not drinking Mmmmmmmmmmmm tokaji bor that's good.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 04:37 Thread Starter
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It's alright Dark Andy if you don't drink. But I want to share with the Kocsma my favorite drinks just because I want to and I drink a little now and then.

Wines --

Number 1, Tokaji Aszu - agrueably the world's most famous wine comes from the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, this beverage is so famously admired that's its vineyards are protected by United Nation's world-heritage UNESCO laws and mandates.

Few wine enthusiasts are aware that the Tokaj region gave the world its first ever vineyard classification system.

The 16th century: Major breakthrough of Tokaji wines on the international scene, establishing Tokaji as the world’s most expensive and most sought after wine.

The 17th century: The Rákóczi era, Tokaji is famous all over Europe. The Russian and Polish export markets drink up almost half of the production.

Wines have been cultivated in Tokaj since 998 Anno Domini, and the wines of Tokaj were cherished by European nobles, royals and all lovers of the best and finest for centuries, including Goethe, Oliver Cromwell, Beethoven, Liszt, Madame Pampadour, Schubert, Catherine the Great, and Joseph Haydn.

Voltaire was a private connosuier of 200 cases given as gifts, once commenting: "Amber beverage with gleaming hues that weaves the golden threads of the mind and makes the wittiest of words scintillate!"

Austria-Hungary had a tradition of sending Queen Victoria of Britain a gift of Tokaji Aszú every year on her birthday, twelve bottles for each year of her age. By her eighty-first birthday (1900), this totalled an impressive 972 bottles.

Gustav III, King of Sweden is reputed never to have had any other wine to drink.

Napoleon III, last Emperor of the French, ordered 30–40 barrels of Tokaji for the Court every year.

Royal rivals Louis XV and Frederick the Great tried to outdo one another in the excellence of the vintages they stocked when they treated Voltaire or Dumas to some Tokaji.

The Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, even stationed a small garrison in Tokaj to ensure supplies of the prized nectar to St. Petersburg.

The Papal devotion to the Tokaji treasure is such that when Pope Benedict XIV received a gift of Tokaji from Empress Maria Theresa of Austria he famously punned: "Blessed be the soil that hath grown thee, blessed be the woman who sent thee, and blessed am I who drink thee!"

Tokaji was so universaly beloved by Europe's elite, that it was ultimately crowned by one of Europe's most ostentatious and famed rulers for immortality by Louis XIV of France. The "Sun King" was served at the Court of Versailles where it was proclaimed the:

"Wine of Kings, and King of Wines!"

An joint Anglo-Hungarian investment group, The Royal Tokaji Wine Company in 1999 produced one of the finest harvests ever recorded.

Wine & Spirits Magazine wrote in 2006 - "It’s easy to run out of superlatives when talking about thrillingly complex wines such as the Mézes Mály or Nyulászó from the Royal Tokaji Wine Company…Royal Tokaji’s 1999 Essencia rendered our panel speechless with its seamlessly complex array of flavors. Our critic Tara Q. Thomas had no choice but to give it 100 points, the first such score in our magazine’s history.”

In my estimation, the greatest beer in the world is Spaten Optimator. The world's greatest wine is Tokaji .

Next up I'll weigh in on liquors and see what's the No. 1.

Last edited by Florian1972; September 2nd, 2007 at 07:44.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 07:46
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Major, some elements are missing in your Tokaj portrait. First of all something some Hungarians have a tendency to forget: that breaktrough for Tokaj wines is mainly due to excellent marketing and commercial activity which was due to - Jewish merchants. Their role was essential until the 19th century in anything related to Tokaj.
Tokaj Essence is a particular thing - so expensive I never managed to try it... This was what was used as marketing: they simply sent a barrel of it, and there was no-one to resist Anyway, I was lucky enough to drink myself through some of the Tokaj cellars, but I hope to be back. Excellent wines over there in little cellars too, with no official commercial activity, but you can always hop in. Don't forget the dry TOkaj wines either - the Furmint (particularly the Mandolás) is also a royal majesty.

As for the beers, I would agree only partially. Probably being oversees, you know only Pilsner Urquell, but that one is the worst of Czech beers - which have no concurrence for me. Purity, evidence, taste - they will always beat for me the over-complicated Belgian beers.
So: Staropramen (particularly the dark one), Starobrnské, Radogast, Budvar - and not to mention the ones that have never seen a bottle.
Once in Brno, on day 0 for a conference, we went into town and decided to take a different beer in every pub, on our way to the city center towards a famous one. We managed without problem, having had 6-7 on our way - then arrived to Pegaz, where they prepare beer on the spot, four different types - all excellent. We spent most of our time during the conference there...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:46 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbajal
Tokaj Essence is a particular thing - so expensive I never managed to try it... This was what was used as marketing: they simply sent a barrel of it, and there was no-one to resist
Agreed Carbajal. When I was growing up Tokaji 5 or 6-pontyos were at top of the quality pyramid, and shortly after the regime-change they raise the bar another level I couldn't believe -- astonishing how they could improve on wine perfection. Tokaj came out with its rarest and most fabled wine of all Eszencia (Essence). A 1993 Eszencia books for $578 American c/o of the Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Zow! I rests my case - Tokaji is the finest wine in the world.

By the way Carbajal, guess what I dug up when researching Tokaj, you're not going to believe it. There are 8 big holding companies doing business in Tokaj harvesting Hungary's national treasure. Guess how many are Hungarian? One, the Crown Estates of Hungary (www.crownestates-tokaji.com). Five others French wholly owned or are French subsidiaries, one is Spanish, and the last is Anglo-Hungarian. The French have monopolized Tokaj, I couldn't believe it when I saw it. Check this out:

Disnókö Estate - belonging to AXA Millésimes, a subsidiary of the French insurance group
Hétszólö Estate - A former Imperial Estate, belonging to Grand Millésimes de France.
Château Megyer - belonging to the French GAN insurance company.
Messzelátó Dülö Estate - which belongs to the Nantes-Ancenis agricultural co-operative in France.
Oremus Estate - belonging to Vega Sicila vineyards in Spain.
Château Pajzis, belonging to Jean Michel Arcaute, a vineyard owner in Bordeaux, and noted Bordeaux oenologist, Michel Rolland, among others.
Royal Tokaji Wine Company (including the Nyúlaszó, Betsek, Bisalmas, and Botja estates) - Belonging to Anglo-Hungarian group of independent associates.
Szarvas Szölö Estate - Another former imperial estate, which belongs to the Hungarian government.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 09:50
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My dear Major, I know most of this As soon as 1990, particularly the French were hanging around. And the Crown Estate (if I am right it is the "Tokaj Kereskedőház") is purely shit - it's the former local "TSZ" (Kolhoz, of you want), and belonged to that infamous Orbán wine interest. I think btw you list is not entirely up do date - either the names changed or I don't know what, but you will not find some of these Szarvas, Messzelátó etc.) - on the contrary, I can not see the huge Degenfeld, Ráski, Klastrom or the little but eilte Demeter on your list for example.

Just for the spelling:
- Disznókő
- Hétszőlő
- Megyer "merged" a couple of years ago with Pajzos (not Pakzis), now it's Pajzos-Megyer

Check out a rather extensive list here: http://www.tokaj.hu/magyar/boraszatok/index.php

And among the little elite ones, there are several that are purely Hungarian... if it counts.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 12:59
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anyway, back to beers, yes it seems as if for an overseas man they don't really get good beers. spaten optimator, LOL, actually they produce that cheap crap only for export, nobody would drink it in germany. as for spaten which is basically a quantity orientated brewery, as much as most of the big breweries, the quality usually comes only from small beer makers in small towns and villages. and they don't produce as much that they can export it in serious quantities, you mostly only get them in the region they come from. but still, they can't compete with good czech and belgian beers. (pilsner urquell of course not a good czech beer, same thing -> export stuff)

btw, 700 years for a brewery here is nothing special.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2007, 14:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallopingMajor
I drink a little now and then.


Major, it's good you opened a thread on your specialist subject

I myself don't drink too much. Just a little I don't drink beers... I like Cider! My fave Ciders are 1, Woodpecker. 2, Westons. 2, Bulmers.
I like Dark Andy also like Baileys. I saw a mint Baileys in tesco the other day. Has anyone tried that?
I also like wines too. But really don't have a preference. Also like vodka and vodka juices. And rum these are my faves.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old September 3rd, 2007, 04:59 Thread Starter
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Major, it's good you opened a thread on your specialist subject
Well Bentex, I have a stressful job during the week so I drink occassionally on the weekends, like I did last night. It took me almost an hour to write my Tokaji piece and you guessed it I was semi-sauced. The tourism board in Tokaj should print my article and put it into some glossy English literature pamplet touting Tokaj as the world's best wine.

Here's a true story I rememmbered when I wrote my Tokaj article last night. When I was around 15 or so my dad took me and my twin to a true Tokaji wine-maker's house, actually the house or a villa if you could call it that was huge. My dad is a collector of most things Baroque or Roccoco that were furniture and architectual styles from the 16th to the 18th century, and this wine maker was also a noted collector.

When we got inside the main lobby of this gated villa, I couldn't believe this guy's antique collection, there were bear-skin rugs on the floor, antlers on the wall and the most impressive collection of 16th to 17th century Polish, Turkish and Hungarian militaria collection from sabres, helmets, shields, halbards, breastplates, and pikes all fixed to the wall, my dad's eyes almost popped out. This guy's collection was amazing, I even remember how the helmets looked like. Something like this:



This guy was a bachelor with two daughters,and soon enough two chatty girls about our age came out to greet us and asked me and my bro where we from from and where we lived. We told them we lived in the states in California and they quickly wanted us to come and take a look at their room. They wisked us away to show us their room and they had posters upon posters of Duran Duran, Madonna everywhere, remember this was in the mid-80s. The girls were so friendly and talkative I almost felt they wanted me to take them to the states to show them around.

Later, this collector was gracious enough to give us a personal tour of his Tokaji cellar that was located nearby in his garden, carved out solid rock in a nearby hill. It was cool and damp and the wine barrels were massive from which we tasted some. It was an overall an awsome experience, My dad on the way back later told us we just met a true Hungarian noble, absolutely true story too Bentex.

Last edited by Florian1972; September 3rd, 2007 at 05:21.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old September 3rd, 2007, 07:16
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Originally Posted by DARK ANDY
I do not drink beer.
....which explains being a Chelsea supporter.
Sorry couldn’t resist. p Just kidding.

Anyway one of my favorite local beers is Sierra Nevada but I also enjoy Sam Adams in the states and the original Czech Budweiser when in Europe.

As far as wine, an interesting tidbit about the most famous America wine region, Napa, is that one of its founders was Agoston Haraszthy from Hungary. As if you needed anymore convincing that all good things orginated from Hungary.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old September 4th, 2007, 12:39
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wines, I love white wine more than red wine, and my fav grapes are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and my favourite pincészet is the Nyakas (in Tök in the Budai mountains) who produces the world famous Budai Chardonnay and Budai Sauvignon Blanc, the latter won the gold medal 2004 and 2006 for the Sauvignon Blanc section in the Wine World Championships in Bordeaux, the first won silver in the same Chardonnay competition in 2004.

they come in with a rich citrus fruit and green apple flavour, accompanied by spicey green paprika and even fresh hay.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old September 5th, 2007, 01:36 Thread Starter
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As far as wine, an interesting tidbit about the most famous America wine region, Napa, is that one of its founders was Agoston Haraszthy from Hungary. As if you needed anymore convincing that all good things orginated from Hungary.
sflaci, moreover Agoston Haraszthy not only was he the father of Californian viniculture (Napa Valley's wines in California are world-famous because all the grapes are of Tokaj stock), he was the first sherriff of San Diego, California -- where I've lived since 1980.

The Count Agoston Haraszthy villa in Sonoma California:

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old September 5th, 2007, 04:11
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When I was a child, my father was granted a party as reward for many years [twenty, if my memory serves me correctly] of service to the City Counsel. Along with this, a VCR which was our very first. It lasted for a good while, still it's been many years since it was replaced.

I remember it quite well, the setting, rather like a maze and yet not, there were narrow paths surrounded by tall walls of greenery; all this was deserted, away from an open area where my father and his various work buddies could be found chatting and drinking.

Yes drinking, that's how this post suddenly becomes relevant to the thread in question.

At some point you would of found me in the open area, perhaps standing at the waists of the men [I can't recall a great many women]. Anyway, there were these wooden tables where those in attendance had placed their drinks. To one of these, I would of wandered over to, upon which my curiosity would of overtaken and so I reached for one of the bottles ["stubbies", I think they were often called?].

This I would come to regret as the beer, either VB [Victoria Bitter] or Fosters was revolting to my senses. I still wonder, how can they appreciate that vile shit? It was awful, awful! I tend to believe it was the former as, yes, it was exceptionally bitter.

This experience went some way to turning me off alcoholic beverages in general, and yes I know that's not fair, but still, over the course of my life my experiences with these types are few and far between.

A few times at birthdays or other special occasions, I've taken a few sips of brandy mixed with lemonade, which is decent; but still the brandy is dominated considerably by the lemonade.

Aside from that, there was a few week period where wine interested me somewhat, especially the maturing aspect; so I requested for a bottle of Pinot Noir, alas a cheap bottle and I didn't like it at all. Of course I won't write off wine so easily, but I'm not serious enough to build a cellar and wait twenty years for a drink to reach its peak.

Now we come to the present. In The Age newspaper, there's a lift-out called Epicure which is devoted to food and drink. I gave it a look as its focus was on Asian cuisine, which I like, especially Chinese and Japanese. They spoke to a number of Asian students who reside in Melbourne, and they gave their recommendations.

At the back of this lift-out was a two-page report on =sake; I'm rather keen to try it by virtue of it being Japanese. I'm serious, I've developed this obsession with the country about this and that. Silly but there you go. It's not cheap - indeed the cheapest bottle comes in at around $30 - so am rather hesitant as to when I should order the bottle in question. When/if I do, I'll present to you my thoughts in this very thread.

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Last edited by Jeffrey; September 5th, 2007 at 04:16.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old September 5th, 2007, 09:53
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Beeer Wise:

As a pub manager and alcoholic i will give my recomendations:
Hungarian Beer: I would say Dreher Classic is probably the best i tried so far.
Australian Beer: Probably carlton draught on tap! VB is the most popular beer in Australia hands down tho they simply cant produce it quick enough.
From Japan: Sapporo is amazing.
From Czech republic: Kozel! pretty decent cant get into that pilsner urqeul!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old September 6th, 2007, 03:34 Thread Starter
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As a sidebar note, that visit to Tokaj when I was a mid-teenager to his nobleman's house and me seeing how a direct lineage relic of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy lived in such grand mansion - left a lasting impression on me and made me what I am today.

The guy's name was Francis Novaj, and he was avid collector of a lot things Baroque and aged hardware especially late 16th & 17th century MittleEuropa militaria. Only the imperial collection in Vienna also has such ensemble of items that I visited when I was 18 I think.
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