Bohemia Regent is the last beer in my short set of dark lager beer reviews. As I’ve mentioned before, dark lagers have a long heritage, dating back hundreds of years before the creation of Pilsner Urquell in 1842.
A brewery was first constructed within the Rosenberg castle in Trebon, in 1482, with extensive lagering cellars and artesian wells providing pure spring water. It was rebuilt to cater for growing demand in 1522 and again in 1560 on the site of the old Rosenberg castle armoury; and again with a new brewery constructed between 1706 and 1712. Even this was not enough to satisfy demand for the brewery’s beers, and the brewery as we would now recognise it was constructed in the second half of the 19th century.
The brewery prospered during the industrial revolution, with its beers being exported to Brussels, Paris and Vienna on the new railway networks. It was not so fortunate however, after the first world war; sales plummeted and production halved.
The brewery limped through the 20th century, surviving the privations of the second world war and the communist era before being privatised after the ‘velvet revolution’ of 1989. After a brief period of ownership by South Bohemia Breweries It is now once again independent – being owned by two brothers – Messrs Ferdinand and Vaclav Stasek.
According to the Brewery’s website, the name ‘Bohemia Regent‘ is taken from the local knight ‘Jakub Kr?ín’ from Jel?any (1533 – 1604), who grew from being an accountant in Rosenberg to becoming the regent of large parts of the kingdom of Bohemia, and was known as the ‘the uncrowned king of the Bohemian kingdom’. He was however, famously cruel to his workers and legend has it that “he rides along the thin strip of land between the lake of Rozmberk and Kanov (which was built specifically for him) at midnight in a carriage drawn by two cats, because he cannot get peace even after his death.” – hey this is folklore, I don’t make this stuff up!
Thinking about a ghostly carriage being drawn by two cats is enough to drive one to drink, so let’s turn our attention to the brewery’s Tmave (or dark) lager offering. Judging by the short shelf life this is an unpasteurised brew, brewed to 4.4%, which is closer in strength to most dark Czech lagers. It pours with a creamy head, both in colour and consistency, there’s not much in the way of nose, either chilled or at room temperature.
And the flavour, to be honest, disappoints.
Flavour wise it’s much closer to the Cusquena dark than the other Czech dark lagers I tried recently. There’s no coffee, chocolate or liquorice… in a blind tasting I don’t think I could single this one out.
I’d give this 2 stars, with some sadness, I was expecting more.
Having tasted a bunch of dark lagers I think my preferences are:
I’d welcome your thoughts if you’ve found any dark lagers, I’m still hoping to try and find Tsing Tao dark this summer.