Distelberger Speckbirne 2018

Speckbirne is a perry pear variety that comes most probably from Kärnten, Austria. It has been widely cultivated in Austria since 1888 when it was presented for the first time at the agricultural show in Vienna. Its name actually means ‘bacon pear’ and is due to the extraordinary shiny skin of this pear variety. Speckbirne basically looks as if it was smeared with bacon grease. As for the tannin content, it’s not rich in tannins although it has a light astringent taste when you bite into it.

Many Birnenmost producers of Austria use this perry pear in their blend but also as single-varietals Birnenmost. Today I give you the Distelberger Speckbirne.Company: Distelberger Genuss-Bauernhof
Place of Origin:
Amstetten, Lower Austria, Austria
Pears: 
Speckbirne 
Sweetness as per label: 
trocken (dry)
ABV: 
6.5%
Package type:
1000 ml clear bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow with no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong. Smokiness, vanilla, fresh pear and low caramel. Hints of fresh yellow apple and of alcohol.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet of sugar with low acidity of lemon. Further down, low bitterness, low caramel, a taste of alcohol. Finishes with notes of higher alcohols and low plain bitterness with herbals.

Overall: My first impression of the Distelberger Speckbirne 2018 was actually quite good as I picked up a great, rich and interesting fruity scents with a lovely vanilla note in the background. Taste-wise, surprisingly I didn’t get much on the palate and the overall impression was rather disappointing. I thought it tasted too sweet with almost no existing acidity. I know, until now it doesn’t sound bad at all and is related to my personal preferences. But there was a herbal note on the palate that I didn’t find tasty. Not to mention the aftertaste, which was rather nasty, chemical and reminded me of higher alcohols mixed with plain bitter notes. Indeed, the taste started to improve with the rise of the temperature as the flavour of caramel was more pronounced. But it still wasn’t fun to drink. Exceptional nose stopped me from giving it a lower score. Please don’t hate me, Toni. 3/6

Availability: directly from their shop.

Price: Speckbirne 2018 was a sample provided by Toni from Mostbarone.

Mostbaron Exibatur 2015

The history of Birnenmost (pear wine) in Lower Austria is really fascinating. Here is another fun fact. In the 18th century, the consumption of Birnenmost was so high in Melk, Lower Austria that beer and wine producers felt threatened by it. For this reason,  a police order was issued in 1770 in Melk on banning the sales of Birnenmost in taverns. The ban was supposed to increase the sales of wine and beer. I’m not sure if it helped at that time but one thing is certain. The popularity of Birnenmost in Lower Austria survived also this ban.

Exibatur 2015 is another Birnenmost from the product range of Verein Mostbarone from Lower Austria. Exibatur is a local term for the plough. Let’s see how this Birnenmost will perform.Company: Verein Mostbarone
Place of Origin: 
Öhling, Lower Austria, Austria
Apples: 
a blend of Dorschbirne and Grüne Pichlbirne
Sweetness as per label: 
halb-trocken (semi-dry)
ABV: 
6.6%
Package type: 
750 ml green bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale straw yellow with no head. No carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong. Fresh green apple, ripe and overripe yellow apple, mirabelle plums, fresh pear with a hint of baked apple.

Taste: it starts lightly sweet with medium acidity of lemon. Low bitterness, burnt caramel, very low astringency. Finishes with a lingering low acidity of lemon with a hint of burnt lemon, ripe yellow apple and a touch of acidity.

Overall: The more Birnenmost I drink, the more I like it. Exibatur has a strong yet refreshing and elegant taste. It has a distinctively refreshing style due to lovely, delicate and longlasting acidity of lemon. It’s full-bodied, balanced and vibrant. And, clear without any off-notes. I must admit that drinking Exibatur was a pure pleasure to me due to a unique combination of refreshing yet powerful flavours. Summarizing, Exhibatur 2015 is a well-made, versatile and refreshing option that may please a crowd. 5/6

Availability: from their online shop

Price: Exibatur 2015 was a sample provided by Toni from Mostbarone.

Mostbaron Preh 2017

I’m sure that everyone heard about Empress Maria Theresa from history classes in school. But did you know that Maria Theresa ordered the planting of trees along roadsides? Long-lived trees were planted along the main roads so they were easy to recognise. Fruit trees were planted in the countryside so farmers or soldiers passing through the country could benefit from it and collect the fruit. The importance of fruit trees in Austria was also recognised by Maria Theresa’s son Joseph II, who awarded farmers a silver medal when they planted over 100 fruit trees. More to that, in order to obtain a wedding license, several fruit trees had to be planted.

This is how Maria Theresa and Joseph II contributed to the expansion of the popularity of u.a. Birnenmost in Mostviertel.

Today’s Birnenmost is called Preh. ‘Preh’ means pride is Mostviertel dialect. Company: Verein der Mostbarone
Place of Origin: 
Öhling, Lower Austria, Austria
Apples: 
a blend of Stiegelbirne and Speckbirne
Sweetness as per label: 
halb-trocken (semi-dry)
ABV: 
7.2%
Package type: 
750 ml clear bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: 
white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear very pale straw-yellow with a light greenish hue and no head. No carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with notes of gooseberries, chalk, mirabelle plums, grass and a hint of caramel.

Taste: it begins lightly sweet with low to medium acidity of lemon, mirabelle plums, gooseberries,  a touch of bitterness and lemon peel. Finishes with very low astringency and a hint of peppermint.

Overall: Remembering my previous experience with Brous, I tried Preh almost immediately after removing it from the fridge. Interestingly, despite serving it at low temperature, the scent was still exceptionally strong and fruity of gooseberries. Not only the scent was strong but also the taste was longlasting. I adored the nicely balanced acidity and sweetness. I must say I thought that Preh was really delicious. Also, when it warmed up. The Mostbaron Preh is indeed a Birnenmost to be proud of. I’d love to have it again. 5/6

Availability: from their online shop

Price: Preh 2017 was a sample provided by Toni from Mostbarone.