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Czech Dark Lager

Overall Impression: A rich, dark, malty Czech lager with a
roast character that can vary from almost absent to quite
prominent. Malty with an interesting and complex flavor
profile, with variable levels of hopping providing a range of
possible interpretations.

Aroma: Medium to medium-high rich, deep, sometimes sweet
maltiness, with optional qualities such as bread crusts, toast,
nuts, cola, dark fruit, or caramel. Roasted malt characters such
as chocolate or sweetened coffee can vary from moderate to
none but should not overwhelm the base malt character. Low,
spicy hop aroma is optional. Low diacetyl and low fruity esters
(plums or berries) may be present.

Appearance: Dark copper to almost black color, often with a
red or garnet tint. Clear to bright clarity. Large, off-white to
tan, persistent head.

Flavor: Medium to medium-high deep, complex maltiness
dominates, typically with malty-rich Maillard products and a
light to moderate residual malt sweetness. Malt flavors such as
caramel, toast, nuts, licorice, dried dark fruit, chocolate and
coffee may also be present, with very low to moderate roast
character. Spicy hop flavor can be moderately-low to none.
Hop bitterness may be moderate to medium-low but should be
perceptible. Balance can vary from malty to relatively wellbalanced
to gently hop-forward. Low to moderate diacetyl and
light plum or berry esters may be present.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body, considerable
mouthfeel without being heavy or cloying. Moderately creamy
in texture. Smooth. Moderate to low carbonation. Can have a
slight alcohol warmth in stronger versions.

Comments: This style is a combination of the Czech styles
tmavý ležák (11–12.9 °P) and tmavé speciální pivo (13–14.9
°P). More modern examples are drier and have higher
bitterness while traditional versions often have IBUs in the 18–
20 range with a sweeter balance.

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