Review #86 – Blackjack Schafkopf 80/100
The Shafkopf is labelled as a lemongrass and ginger wheat beer. It is one of those beers that you look at and you think you know what’s coming, this was kind of the case with this beer but out of the darkness came much more that I wasn’t expecting.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the Shafkopf pours a deep chestnut colour with the fairly large, two finger depth yellowish head sitting on top of the beer like a layer of cinder toffee. The beer has a lot of yeast sediment and as such turns the beer incredibly hazy.
On the nose the beer is ballistic missile of spice, the sharp ginger aromas are present by the bucketload, the fresh and aromatic notes of lemongrass cut through the rich wheat backbone rather nicely. There are also notes of clove, black pepper, cardamom and nutmeg.
On the palate for a split second you can take in all of the rich, cereal like sweetness of the wheat in this beer, although from taste alone I’d say it’s not a 100% wheat beer, it tastes to me like there is some form of pale or biscuit malt present given how full bodied this beer is, the malt flavour is also rather complex. Once that split second of malt sweetness has had it’s time in the spotlight, in comes the ginger in potent quantities, so much so that you do get a bit of that fiery ginger burn, I found this to be quite pleasant but at the same time I find it could maybe have been toned down a little bit, the lemongrass is present at a very nice level, intertwining the more savage spices together nicely with the malt sweetness. Carbonation is quite high, the mouthfeel is slightly chewy with a slight hint of oiliness, probably provided by the oils in the lemongrass, there are more delicate spices coming through on the palate that were also found on the nose – clove, nutmeg and black pepper, all of this produces a beer with a long, fairly dry finish and a quite fiery linger.
A good beer for a warm summer night, I’d be happy to have this one again.