This style of beer, known today quite generically as “Euro Dark Lager,” has its origins in Franconia, Germany, as well as parts of Bohemia across the border in the Czech Republic. Efes Dark serves as a stronger, darker counterpart to Anadolu Efes’ hugely successful Efes Pilsener (that beer is found ubiquitously in its homeland). Just like their pilsener, Efes Dark is produced using bottom fermenting yeast (as all lagers are). These lager yeast give Efes Dark a characteristically clean and crisp flavor, which when combined with roasted malts, account for its distinctive, hearty flavor and deep ruby red color. On the nose you’ll notice obvious notes of roasted, caramel malts, with more subtle tones of singed molasses, dark ripened fruit, soft notes of peach and perhaps a hint of coffee. Look for a faint nuttiness and hints of Pilsner-like sulfur notes and a whiff of cellar-like mustiness, with a rim of minor mineral and metal (iron) notes. The aroma also presents a slightly vinous kick, partially due to the 6.5% ABV. The flavor is rich, malty sweet, roasted, and medium-bodied, with a chocolate undertone, notes of mild coffee, cola, and caramel. Expect this beer to sweeten a bit as it warms, at which point the alcohol presence will be more readily detectable. Overall, a very clean and flavorful brew, Efes Dark was awarded the Gold medal in the Best Beer category at 1998's Monde Selection Brussels competition. A good beer to pair with a meaty stew, and serves as a nice counterpoint to a spicy, earthy gumbo, if you’re looking for an edible counterpart. If however you are looking for a great cigar to smoke with this dark lager, try a mildly earthy, leathery cigar of moderate strength. Hey, cigars and beers literally go hand-in-hand—why not supplement your beer club membership with a subscription to our Premium Cigar of the Month Club? Each month you’ll receive five ultra-premium cigars hand picked by our panel of cigar aficionados, along with an informative newsletter which features in-depth reviews of every cigar we feature. Also included in each cigar review are suggested alcohol pairings to enhance your experience. And, if you like what you’ve received, we offer our members discounted prices on cigar reorders. One of our most popular clubs, when paired with your beer club membership, we can hardly imagine a better way to unwind at the end of a long day than with a handcrafted brew and a top notch cigar. Come to think of, we’ve earned ourselves a little break since we’ve come to the end of this month’s newsletter. Time to let Murl take over and for us to heed some of our own advice and relax with a brew and a stogie… Ahhh, the finer things in life. Cheers!