Okocim Mocne was a disappointment. But it wasn’t the only Polish “Mocne” beer in the shop. So, to see if there are better, or worse, Mocne’s out there, here’s another one: Dębowe Mocne. At a very premium £1.69 from the corner shop where I found them both, Dębowe Mocne is 10 pence pricier. Let’s hope it’s worth it.
First impressions are that it looks almost identical to the Okocim Mocne. Dark colours with splashes of gold seem to be the norm, when it comes it strong Mocne beer.
The neck label simply has a smaller version of the main logo.
Quite simply, a picture of a tree. Not as powerful as Okocim’s eagle. And an unusual choice of imagery.
The big, main, front label has no English. So it’s down to you. If you can translate anything, do please leave a message at the end of this post.
Besides the name, the only detail I can make sense of, is the alcoholic volume. Which, like Okocim’s Mocne, is 7%. Like every other Polish beer, there’s a 14.5% “WAG”, whatever that means. Why does every Polish beer have this percentage? What does it mean?
“Naturalna Moc” must be hinting at “natural ingredients”. But “Bogaty Smak”? Possibly the two funniest Polish words I’ve ever failed to understand, together in one place. Priceless.
The back label doesn’t answer any more questions. At least not in English.
There is what looks like a medal. A 2006 “Grupa Media Partner” “Laur Konsumenta” medal. Does that mean anything to anyone reading?
Next to the medal is a paragraph I can’t understand. And a bar cutting across the label with the words “Dębowe Laurowe”.
Then we get to the ingredients. This is always a good place to look for clues. And this one yields a surprise. The familiar name brewing name of Kompania Piwowarska SA from Poznań. Familiar, because it’s what was on that can of Żubr a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t raise my expectations. The only thing good about Żubr was its television commercials.
Also on the back label is an “Infolinia” information line telephone number. And confirmation that this is a 500 millilitre bottle. But you could probably tell that from it being exactly the same size and shape as countless other bottles on the shop shelf.
With little learnt from the outside of the bottle, it’s time to answer the big question about what’s inside the bottle. Is it any good?
In the glass, there’s a good, creamy head.
It’s dark amber in colour. And, unlike Okocim Mocne, doesn’t look all that fizzy.
The smell is utterly unremarkable. Like any cheap yet strong beer or lager, it smells of malted barley and yeast. It’s not the most pleasant of beer aromas.
And the taste isn’t any better. A ghastly bitter and sour taste prevails. And lingers. Not the fine, sophisticated bitterness of a proper beer or ale. Dębowe Mocne tastes like the worst of the high-strength lagers.
On the other hand, at least it’s full of flavour. Even if that flavour is as delecious as a dose of ebola virus. And, if you chill it enough to dull the taste, you could call it refreshing. It’s also not as gassy as Okocim Mocne.
Is Dębowe Mocne better than Okocim Mocne? No. Amazingly, it manages to be even worse and less drinkable. If you want a very strong lager or beer, then Tennent’s Super Strong Lager or Carlsberg Special Brew are stronger, cheaper and at least as drinkable. There’s even less reason to buy this, than there was with Okocim Mocne? One to avoid unless you’re a “Mocne” fan.
Have you tried Dębowe Mocne? Can you translate anything on it? What did you think of this dreadful beer? What sort of reputation does it have in Poland?
Comments, corrections, ideas and suggestions in the usual place please.