Grupo Cervezas Alhambra - Reserva Roja
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Wide Flute or Mug
The brewers at Alhambra have crafted their Reserva Roja in the style of a German bock, really a doppelbock (double bock) to be precise, and it certainly looks the part as it descends into our glasses. This brew presents a reddish-brown, burnt copper hue with nice clarity and a cap of light khaki foam. On the nose, look for a kiss of spicy, herbal hops atop a prominent malty undertone offering notes of caramel and light toffee. These aromas foreshadow the flavor well, which is dominated by its central, round, malty core. There's quite a bit of caramel here, joined by toffee and bready impressions and accompanied by secondary notes of dark fruits. Medium-bodied, smooth, and quite round on the palate, this doppelbock will make a nice companion to beer-braised oxtail, or a beef cachopo stuffed with blue cheese, preferably Cabrales, a traditional mixed milk blue from Asturias, Spain. Cheers!
Situated on a hill overlooking Granada, Spain, is the Alhambra, a sprawling citadel-palace composed of court buildings, royal residence halls, official chambers, gorgeous fountains, baths, and a mosque. So stunning is its splendor and beauty that the whole city has been declared a Spanish national monument. Built by the Moors, the Alhambra’s construction started in the 1200s under Ibn al-Ahmar, who founded the Nasrid dynasty that reigned over the region at that time. With its unique style and character, the Alhambra palace is considered an architectural wonder to this day.
Naming a brewery after this famous and majestic palace of kings leads us to suspect the founders of Cervezas Alhambra must have had a tremendous passion for their beers, and possibly a little ambition, too. The brewery was founded in 1925 by two accomplished brewers: Carlos Bouvard, owner of La Moravia brewery, and Antonio Knörr, who descended from a long line of family brewers. The duo traveled to Granada with the goal of establishing a new brewery with a bit of local Granadan flavor, and the groundwork that their collaboration laid was instrumental in the brewery’s continued success through the succeeding decades.
During its 95 year history, ownership has changed, brewing equipment modernized, and capacity increased. Known these days as Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, the brewery is owned and controlled by the first independent brewery group in Andalucía, who have pursued the goal of developing a unique brand identity for the Alhambra line of beers, which is currently made up of a wide range of beers including, among others, this month’s features, Reserva 1925 and Reserva Roja, as well as a Baltic Porter, an IPA, and a line of beers aged in sherry barrels such as Amontillado, Pedro Ximénez, and Palo Cortado. Their philosophy is centered on the idea that there are certain moments or occasions in life that warrant the pairing of exceptional beers to suit those exceptional times. You’ve got the exceptional beer – special times anyone?
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