Classical Beer Review: Volkan Black

Volkan Black1

Volkan Black is a black wheat lager from Santorini, filtered with “lava rock filters” (their quotes, not mine) and infused with citrus medica. The beer is slightly acrid with a medicinal (probably the citrus medica) taste and mineral quality (the lava rocks?!?!).

Not bad. Not amazing. I am always wary when companies use quotations around parts of product descriptions that are self-explanatory. Why are they “lava rock filters” and not just lava rock filters? Indeed, I would be very upset to learn that every drop of my lager was not caressed by the sweet, black, volcanic ash of Santorini!

Commentary
On to the citrus medica [i.e. citron]: Volkan states that this plant was brought from Asia to Greece by the armies of Alexander the Great (the man himself died before returning home). This story of the fruit’s arrival in Greece is attributed to Athenaeus’s Deipnosophists (Book 3) in a quote from the lost play by Antiphanes, the Boeotian Woman. In the play, we learn that the seed of the citron fruit only “just arrived” in Athens from the king. The veracity of this claim, however, is in doubt because, a) this is a comedy, and b) there are mentions of the fruit in Greek literature prior to this time. Regardless, it is a cute story.

We know from other sources that citrus medica was used by the ancients to combat scurvy, seasickness, and other illnesses. Theophrastus [Historia Plantarum, 4.4.2-3] and Pliny the Elder [Nat. Hist., 12.7] mention that, when mixed with wine, citron can cure poison! Volkan should add that to their marketing campaign.

Featured Images
Volkan Black. Source: own work.

 

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