AK Damm 1876 was produced to celebrate the founding of the Damm brewery in (wait for it) 1876 in Barcelona by a guy called Augustus Kuentzmann. Yes, you guessed right, he wasn’t a native of Catalan, but an expat from Alsace. He decided to brew a type of beer he was familiar with, but the locals weren’t. And so a legend was born…or at the very least, an uninteresting story.
These days, the Damm brewery produce a modest range of different beers, the most famous being Estrella Damm and Voll Damm, but here’s what they say about AK Damm:
“Pure malt from selected varieties and hops from the German Hallertau region give this beer its smooth personality.”
This beer pours a deep golden colour with masses of tiny bubbles rising to form a huge, rocky head of pure white foam which, with great reluctance, hangs around to the very end and coats the glass with liberal amounts of sticky lace.
The aroma has a deep malt tone with some bready dough and hints of biscuit. There’s a good hop presence there too with earthy, grassy notes and a sheaf or two of mown hay.
It’s full-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and an initial sweet taste. It soon turn bitter though, with a hefty slice of citrus tang and a little hint of fruit. The flavour seems to bounce between bitter ans sweet with a strong sense of pale malt appearing midway, and a rich crunchy feel, almost like oatmeal. The finish is dry, bitter and sharp with a clean and refreshing aftertaste.
At 4.8% ABV, I liked this. It’s very ale-like for a lager, and not overly carbonated which makes it slip down a treat. There’s nothing thin or wishy-washy about it though – it’s a very satisfying and filling beer. I’d say that it compares really favourably to most other Spanish beers, although it was a little more expensive than the run-of-the-mill brews. Having said that, I think that it was worth the extra few eurocents I paid.
I can’t say I’ve seen this beer in the wider world (although, to be fair, I haven’t looked all that hard), but it was pretty easy to come by in the Barcelona area (bit of a trek for a quick pint, but if you’re there anyway…). All in all, a very nice beer.
Would I drink it again? – Damm straight!