Carlsberg has shrugged off concerns about the economic downturn to launch a limited edition beer worth EUR250 per bottle.

Only 600 bottles of the jet-black beer, brewed in Carlsberg's Jacobsen Brew House in Copenhagen, have been released for sale, the brewer said this week. 

Price at just over EUR250 per bottle, the beer is the second in Carlsberg's Vintage Trilogy and is being targeted at high-end restaurants and connoisseurs around the world.  

Brewmaster at Jacobsen Morten Ibsen dismissed concerns that the timing of the launch coincides with the worst global economic crisis for at least 80 years.

"We should not be too depressed about the crisis. The launch has been planned for a while, and we've only made 600 bottles so we don't need to sell that much," he told just-drinks today (26 February).

He said that the beer has already got listings in top restaurants in Copenhagen. It will also be available via the Carlsberg Denmark website, www.carlsberg.dk.

Each Vintage bottle is labelled with one of five hand-stencilled lithographic prints made by Chilean-born artist Marco Evaristti.  

Vintage no.2 has been matured in Jacobsen's original crypt-like cellar, dating back to 1847, and stored in French oak casks for 100 days.

Dominant flavours are vanilla and cocoa/mocha, according to Ibsen, who added that the beer works well with seafood, particularly oysters, as well as Parma ham and desserts such as crème brûlée.

Vintage no.3 is set to be released early in 2010, he said.