Category Archives: Belgian Ale

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Mooi & Meedogenloos’ Belgian Strong Ale

Rating:

21231271_743533825830765_577498694548956816_n“Mooi & Meedogenloos combines both Belgian style Quadruple and Imperial Stout. Sweet and spicy like the first but roasted and full bodied like the second. Flavour indication: chocolate, plums, brown sugar.”

Served in a snifter. This monster offers a pitch black body with a wispy brown head forming on top. It collapsed quickly and settled to a ring which doesn’t offer a whole lot of lace.
Holy moly this is one complex little number. One would almost expect such complexities when the end result is a 50-50 split imperial stout/Belgian quadrupel. All those big and brawny imperial stout aromas come forth – camp fire, molasses, licorice, cocoa and dark chocolate. Enter the Belgian counterbalance….the quad kicks in with its sweet yeasty phenols, plum, raisin, spice and sourdough. Wow.
The flavour profile is just something else. If an imperial stout and a quadrupel were to get it on…this would be the lovechild. Neither style stands ahead of the other, they just line up and marry together in divine harmony. Roasted malts, licorice and dark chocolate fuse with the sweet plum jam, spice and prunes with pin point precision. Phenomenal stuff.
The mouth feel is dense and full bodied but incredibly smooth and silky. Slightly lifted co2 with traces of warming booze (10.2%). So palatable for a beer of its stature.
Man we love this brewery! Without a doubt one of the best dark beer brewers in the world. This, like almost all of the beers in their range, is just pitch perfect. Simply world class product right here.

 

Dainton Family Brewery ‘Manhattan Ale’ 2016 Barrel Aged Belgian Rye Ale

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14095841_560369167480566_6434501461140369685_n“First brewed in collaboration with the Everleigh in 2015, this sexy rye based brew is back for its 2nd rendition. Enjoy our elixirs in the company of your annoying family, knowing that at least one of our family members was harmed in the creation of this brew.”

We popped the classy wax-dipped cap off and served in to a wide rimmed tulip. The crimson appearance is capped by a slowly receding khaki head that strews a few soapy patches of lace as it ebbs. The nose presents itself as strong, Belgian, spicy and a little funky. Definitely getting some oaky/woody notes coming through as well. Very malt-forward, revealing a subtle rye whiskey accent as the aroma gradually intensifies. Certainly detecting a stronger rye spiciness as the beer settles in the glass. Quite nice, a little complex and essentially a decent aroma. In to the mouth it’s warming with an assertive bitterness developing in the swallow. Slightly gassy in texture with a slight sting from the 9.7% ABV. Nice plump body. Drinks well. Upfront the palate welcomes a sharp, spicy, rye malt flavour with suggestions of whiskey and oak in support. Midway we get toffee and or caramel malts as a delicate residual sugary sweetness comes through in its delivery. A light funky bitterness then creeps in as a long, dry finish imparts plummy and spicy notes along with woody tannins on the back end. Quite a unique and unconventional brew this one. It’s actually difficult to categorize. At the core it’s a strong Belgian ale that’s been barrel aged and brewed with rye malts. There are also similarities to a Quadrupel. Abbey ale, BBA, Quad or Roggenbier? You decide, either way it’s a tasty drop that should be slowly sipped and would benefit from semi-firm, hearty cheeses like cheddar, gruyere and edam.

St. Joseph’s Abbey ‘Spencer’ Belgian Ale

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12108868_493172990866851_5556079994212751346_n“Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish). These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg, and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.”

Served in to a snifter glass. The hazy amber appearance is capped off by a finger of beige head that gradually subsides and settles to a thin sheet with fine lacing left in it’s wake. All the traditional Belgian aromas are here – spicy clove, yeasty esters, banana runts, caramel, candy sugars, bubblegum and stewed apple. Definitely getting a creamy vanilla scent coming through and maybe the slightest suggestion of orange blossom creeping in as well. Gorgeous aroma, it’s a lot like a Hoegaarden or a Duvel. Very nice. The texture of this ale coats the entire palate. Medium-high in Co2 with a smooth and flowing feel as it glides down the throat. Body is moderate and the 6.5% ABV is discreet and unassuming. It drinks well. We get that yeasty/spicy clove character cutting through the sweet candy sugars and ripe banana on entry. A splash of sweet citrus like orange or mandarin is introduced along with a subtle earthiness as it crosses the mid. Savoury fruits like custard apple and caramelized pear then lead in to a soft, dry finish with a pinch of peppery spice on the rear. Polishing this delicious American Trappist ale off actually marks a momentous occasion for us – we have now reviewed a beer from every Trappist brewery on earth. This one was a little harder to find so if you can get your hands on one we definitely recommend. It’s full flavoured, super smooth, aromatic and dangerously drinkable. A solid offering.

Struise ‘Tsjeeses’ Belgian Xmas Ale 2015

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imageWell it’s Christmas morning and the presents are done. What else to do, but crack open a Xmas ale, in Danish style.

We pop open the cap at 7:20am and we get rich aromas of port, sweet Belgian yeasts, bubblegum, spices and stewed dark fruits. There is contained alcohol here. Very nice indeed. We pour into a snifter and the initial bubbly pour fades leaving no head in the glass. It looks like a malty IPA..dark copper, tinge of amber. The palate hit is all about the carbonation on the lips, which then turns a tad sour, and ends with a drying bitterness. It’s not overpowering though. We get doughy yeasts, bit more banana and bubblegum, some clove in there also. Bit of a spicy hop hit, but there is a tinge of tropical fruit coming through as well. We are amazed to see that this drop is 10% alcohol. So damn smooth. It has a medium to full body, and good length. We note from the bottle the IBU is 35 and this is fair as the bitterness is restrained. We are enjoying the doughy, Belgian flavours. By the end of this bad boy, we are seriously buzzed. With no breakfast in the tank, I need some bacon and eggs to offset the alcohol. This is a damn fine ale. Full of Christmas flavours like you’re having pudding, port and cherries. Enjoy.

 

 

Birrificio Le Baladin ‘Super Bitter’ Belgian Ale

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12186773_450006058516878_5530355264266500474_o“Super Bitter” it undoubtedly follows the current trend of bitter beers, but without taking it too far! Super Bitter has sure plenty of hoppy scents – given by the generous use of a particular type of American hops called “Amarillo” – but it remains true to its Baladin identity and strikes a perfect balance with notes of caramel, dried fruit (just a hint) and the bitterness of the hops. Super Bitter, just as its famous “big sister” (if not more), will entice you to spend time with others and socialize”

As this is a Belgian-inspired ale we’ll serve this in to a snifter glass. Deep amber body with a copper hue. Capping it off is a frothy beige head, roughly two and a half fingers that stands up nicely but eventually collapses in on itself, settling to a thick halo with a thin sheet of micro bubble on top. Struggles to retain any lace. Quite funky on the nose initially. A little acetic and a little sour. We do get a bit of citrus punching through but it’s more rindy with its sharp astringency. Some spicy herbal notes too, maybe tea leaf or aniseed? May be a hint of sweet toffee as well. A real mixed bag here. Nice, but a little too muddled. Very smooth in the mouth. We already have to question the “super bitter” that’s quite prominently stated on the label. At 35 IBU it’s hardly bitter. What it is, is light and a little frothy in texture. Mild-moderate in body and medium in Co2. Very welcoming. Flavour-wise, it opens up slightly sweet, slightly yeasty and a little fruity. Just a suggestion of bitterness carries it forward, picking up a kind of sugary orange note with it. The finish is light and fruity with only the slightest bitterness. Duration isn’t too bad. Look, there’s only one word that sums it up…confusing. It’s marketed as a super bitter beer but it’s hardly bitter at all. It’s light, sweet and yeasty. Points for getting the Belgian-style characters right but essentially it’s all a little cluttered. Average beer at best.

Brouwerij Het Anker ‘Gouden Carolus’ Belgian strong ale

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image“The worlds best dark ale” is how the brewery describes this beer. This breweries’ story seems to be less about the hardship of wars, which a lot of the breweries in the Western European nations saw through, and more about the Emperor of the time and the beer that the chosen brewers brewed for him.

“Gouden Carolus” meaning Golden Coins in English is served in to a wide-rimmed chalice. The deep mahogany brown pour knocks up a beige coloured crown at about a finger and a half in height. The head swells then quickly recoils to a halo around the inner edge of the glass. Laced moderately. So distinctly Belgian on the nose. Very yeasty. Firm wafts of banana lollies, iodine, cookie dough, figs, cherry and clove/star anise are the dominant aromas while a faint scent of maple syrup and alcohol lurk in the background. Nice balance between sweet and savoury here. This beer has a very smooth, almost silky texture which offers mild-medium carbonation and minimal grip on the tongue. The 8.5% ABV is almost forgotten about its hidden that well. No sharp astringency whatsoever, just a well contained warmth that tickles the edges of the tongue each time we take a sip. Mirroring the aroma, the initial flavour profile is all about the yeast. Banana lollies and raisins produce a delicate sweetness which is well balanced by a presence of toasty malt. The mid forms a bit of a dark fruit complexity which in turn delivers this surprisingly smooth, malty finish with a trail of molasses on the back end. What we love about this brew is it’s similarity to other top shelf Belgian beers, but at the same time presenting it’s own character. We wouldn’t go as far as to agree by saying it’s the best dark beer in the world, but it’s certainly a damn fine brew. Very nice.

Hitachino ‘XH’ Belgian Brown Ale

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image“Strong Belgian Brown Ale matured in distilled Sake barrels.the final Maturation takes place in Shochu casks {distilled sake} for 3 months”

This is brewed in Japan. It’s an extra high alc vol brew sitting at 8%, using “more malt and hops than normal”??? A google search describes as a Belgian strong ale matured in sake barrels. Anyhow, pours a nice amber/mahogany with a bubbly 6-8mm head that slowly fades. On the nose we get Belgian style yeast, caramel, subdued floral hops, booze and some pine. The mouth feel is very smooth indeed with definite hints of rice wine, sweet caramel malt, plums. Light carbonation here but good body. Subdued booze hit from the malts used. Candy like taste on the palate. We see the use of styrian goldings as hops…can get that English ale taste here. No lacing on the glass here. We also notice on ratebeer that it was awarded 97/100. It is definately a smooth drop. Goes down very easily and if it wasn’t strong you could have a couple of these. We like the fact it’s been matured in sake barrels for 3 months. Quality drop.

La sirène Belgian Praline ale

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image“A very special Belgian chocolate ale. Building on a Belgian stout base, it is brewed with organic vanilla pods, cacao nibs from Mexico and hazelnuts and with a creamy body, it is velvety, dark and seductive. Can you stop at one?”

This little beauty won the gold medal at the 2014 GABS festival in Melbourne. We’ve had this before and it is an absolute cracker of a beer. Served in a tulip glass the mat black pour whipped up a huge 3 finger tan cap. Good head retention which omits some random webby lacing as we imbibe. Well, if you wanted an essay we could go on and on about the aroma but the dominant wafts include roasted chocolate and crystal malts, cocoa, vanilla, hazelnut, molasses, treacle, toffee, cream, nutmeg and leather. In the mouth it’s as smooth as silk with a dense, creamy texture from the lactose injected into it. Mild carbonation with full body. Upfront a mild bitterness is balanced out by the malty cocoa, chocolate, and Belgian yeast. A sharp sweetness with hints of spice in the mid-palate are finished off by a creamy chocolate finish. Feels like an eternity this beer as it sits on the tongue, displaying brilliant length. For 6.% ABV it’s such a smooth drop. This is a great beer, we downed plenty of these at the GABS and also at the local tap house in Sydney, so we can say from experience this is so much better straight off the tap. If you find, please buy asap, it’s rare as hens teeth. Two words…..absolutely brilliant.

Hunter beer co. ‘VII’ Belgian strong ale

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imageServed in a tasting paddle at Potter’s hotel in the Hunter Valley. Copper red pour produces a tight 1 finger off white head that retains really well. The head hangs about all the way to the end, yet surprisingly not a lot of lacing being released. The aroma is absolutely gorgeous, plenty of sweet fruits are being balanced by a rich presence of raisin and caramel malts. A dominating scent of strawberry is evident with undertones of creamy vanilla and tart berries. Brilliant aroma with plenty of depth. Mild-medium carbonation with a velvety mouth feel. Upfront some bitter hops marry up really well with sweet fruits and evident alcohol warmth. The mid-palate is quite rich with hints of raisin and slightly tart berries. Rounded off by a sweet mix of sherry and red fruits. The 7% ABV is the perfect level for this rich and full bodied beer. Excellent Belgian ale. Keep em comin’ guys.

Feral brewing co. ‘Golden Ace’ Belgian-style ale

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image“Golden Ace is a refreshing Golden Ale brewed with Japanese Bred Sorachi Ace hops. Lightly filtered and slightly cloudy, the results are a vibrant aroma of hoppy lemon and citrus with a refreshingly clean bitter finish”.

This beer could be, somewhat unfairly, categorized as the hop hog IPA’s smaller, less significant brother. But in no way is that an insult to this beer as the hop hog is close to a 10/10 beer. Poured into a shaker glass the appearance shows a hazy straw gold with a creamy two and a half finger cap. Good head retention, releasing thick spotted lace trails down the walls of the glass. Nice and delicate tropical fruity aroma. Hints of resinous hops, citrus rind, lemon and lychee dominate whilst yeasty undertones of sweet malt, honey and banana sit just underneath, allowing a lovely balance to unfold. Medium-high carbonation. Light on with a round mouth feel. Medium bodied. Really fizzy upfront with the mild hop bitterness making way for a fruity mid palate to develop. The crisp, dry citrusy finish doesn’t possess too much duration. Kind of falls away a touch. 5.6% ABV was well hidden. Not a bad beer, but nothing great either, it gets absolutely monstered by the hop hog IPA.

Chimay blue Belgian strong ale

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imageIf you have been following us for a while you would know we absolutely love our authentic Trappist beer, and Chimay are  certainly one of the first breweries that pop into our heads when asked about these history-rich beers.

Poured from their short and stocky 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. The deep chestnut brown pour arouses a frothy two finger beige crown that reduces to a well retained 5mm cap. Much to our surprise there was hardly any lacing being omitted. The aroma offers musty and dank earthy characters with that distinct Belgian yeast character. Strong wafts of clove, banana lolly, pear, vanilla, toffee, fig, raisin, sour dough and alcohol all come forward. Although the aromas between these strong Belgian beers don’t vary a whole lot it’s still difficult not to love the moreish complexity they all possess. In the mouth it has a rich, creamy texture with medium-high carbonation. Full bodied. A rather astringent burn from the ABV (9%) upfront is softened by syrupy layers of caramel, prune and canned pears. A kind of chipotle-style spice pops up but disappears as dark fruits continue on through the mid-palate delivering a rich, warming finish with lingering notes of plum, fig and honey which seem to bunker down on the back end, displaying really good length. So much flavour! But like most of the Trappist beers, the near-cloying sweetness is the one facet that always limits us to only one per session. We can’t help but think about how perfectly this would go down with a rich dessert. The ABV is again present but not overpowering, pretty damn good considering the level. Again, the Trappist beer does the job. Delicious!

Brouwerij Bosteels ‘Deus’ Brut des Flandres

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imageBought a bottle of this expensive Belgian ‘champagne beer’ at Jack Greene in Hobart, Tasmania. Served in a snifter the slightly murky gold pour produced a big 3 finger white head that maintains well. Good lacing is being strewn all the way down the walls of the glass. The aroma was quite complex with a dominant herbal character. Coriander and mint are present, also is a subtle waft of white wine-style grapes. Belgian yeast, zesty lemon and champagne finish off a brilliant aroma. In the mouth it feels fizzy with medium body. Quite light on the tongue. Highly carbonated up front with hints of apple and spice. Around the mid-palate it mellows off into a hoppy, funky Belgian ale. Grassy hops, nutmeg and a muted alcohol warmth make up the finish displaying amazing depth. At 12% ABV and $60 a bottle it is far from sessional but definitely worth every sip. A gorgeous quaffer. We don’t normally go for, or even really like these Champagne-style beers but this is brilliant stuff. Maybe split it between a few people so it ain’t so damn expensive!

Norrebro Bryghus ‘Norrebros Julebryg’ Belgian style ale

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image“A unique, deep copper coloured ale (7,0 % alcohol) brewed on malts made form  barley, wheat and oats and flavoured with a secret blend of Christmas spices. The beer is full bodied  with a complex, spicy aroma, rich and sweetish flavour that ends in a slightly bitter finish”.

Norrebro’s Julebryg means “Christmas beer” in Danish. This brewery is amazing…a Danish wildcard that is quite often overlooked. Served in a beer tulip, the muddy brown pour offers attractive burgundy hues when held to the light. Atop the 1 finger off-white head slowly collapsed to patches of foam. Minimal lacing shown. Aroma presents plenty of Belgian characters with clove, nutmeg, yeasty notes, jaffa, pear, toffee and dates coming forward. Mild-medium carbonation with a slightly oily mouth feel. Medium body. Quite a spicy palate with flavours of malt and dark fruits upfront. Hints of clove and raisin in the mid carry forward and deliver a malt-driven finish with raisin notes lingering on the back end. Heavily malted throughout but it really works. 7% ABV is surprisingly well hidden, almost sessional. Very palatable beer, if they weren’t so hard to find we’d be drinking more of these.

Boatrocker ‘misfit’ Belgian ale

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imagePicked this bottle up from Purvis Cellars. It’s nice to come along a beer like this every now and then. Only a relatively new brewery so this is our first crack at their range. Australia has been a bit slow to react to the craft beer revolution, that’s why when we hear about Aussie brewers who jumped on the craft beer boat (pun intended!) well over 15 years ago, it’s hard not to show your respect.

Served in a snifter glass this Belgian ale pours a cloudy straw gold with an attractive red hue. The lovely 1 and a half finger head retains well with a good amount of lacing evident. Plenty of citrus emanating off the aroma, we get punchy lemon, some fruit esters, subtle spice and herbal hops also coming through. In the mouth it’s slightly fizzy with medium-high carbonation. Moderately bodied. The assertive hop bitterness upfront leaves a lingering bitterness on the palate. Subtle citrus, clove and peppery spice are picked up in the mid with a delicate alcohol warmth (6.2%) and some doughy notes rounding it off. It’s like the softer, more sessional version of the Duvel. To be honest, we weren’t overly blown away but to cap it all off it’s not a bad drop. Light and palatable and perfect for a warm summer’s afternoon. Not bad.

Murray’s ‘punk monk’ Belgian strong ale

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image“According to Head Brewer, Shawn Sherlock, “The basic idea for this beer is that it is an invented style – a hybrid of a few Belgian styles and influenced by Saisons, Belgian Blond Ales, with a nod to Belgian Trippels.” Murray’s Punk Monk carries the classic estery and lightly phenolic Belgian yeast character from the blend of authentic Belgian ale yeasts used. The body of the beer is complex with round biscuity German malt flavours initially filling the mouth before a surprisingly dry, summery finish for a beer of this size”.

A tip of the hat to Murray’s for another good looking beer. Served in a beer tulip the cloudy orange pour whipped up a 1 and a half finger off-white cap that’s maintained well. Good head retention which is drawing some nice lace trails down our glass. The aroma is distinctively Belgian. Wafts of dough, peppery spice, clove, pear, honey, subtle herbs, yeasty notes and alcohol adds to the complexity of this nose. In the mouth it’s creamy and well weighted with medium body and mild-moderate carbonation. Similar to the aroma, a slightly complex profile of flavours consisting of stone fruits, herbs, spice, malt and a light alcohol warmth comes forward. The 7.5% ABV provides a firm platform for the body of this Belgian inspired ale, but coupled with the heavy flavours it doesn’t make this beer very sessional, more of a quaffer that would go well with medium strength cheeses. Tasty stuff, keep em comin Murray!

Moo brew ‘Belgo’ Belgian Ale

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image“A light Belgian Pale Ale blended with an American Pale Ale hopping regime. The result is a seamless blend of yeast and hop aroma and flavour. For Moo Brew, the Belgo (pronounced ‘bell-jo’) represents a departure from the classic beer styles. We think craft beer drinkers want flavour and personality in their beers, but not always high alcohol or bitterness. Let the dry, tart finish of the Belgo cut through oily meats such as roast lamb, and rich, mouth-coating cheeses”.

From our Tassy friends comes this Belgian inspired ale. Known for their chimney-shaped bottles, they remind us of the Italian Re-Ale. Served in a beer tulip the hazy amber pour whipped up a huge, rocky three finger head that slowly dissipates to a thin, bubbly film over the top. Good lacing. The aroma is pretty clean, offering a subtle sourness. Overtones of lemon, grapefruit, white grapes, coriander and clove are featured with subtle hints of pear and biscuit malts taking the back seat. Highly carbonated with an oily mouth feel. Medium body. Very champagne-like, once the bubbles settle in the mouth a refreshing herbal flavour comes through. Some yeasty notes carry flavours of banana, pear and spice through the mid-palate and deliver a mildly dry finish with lingering hints of citrus on the back end. Low ABV (4.5%). Not bad, just too highly carbonated. We’ve never been big on champagne-style beers and this one reminds us of one.

La Gauloise Belgian amber ale

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image“The Gauloise Ambrée is characterised by its fragrance. You will find a varied palette of flavours. It is very easily digestible and refreshing.” 

Distinctly Belgian this ale. Not a Trappist but still good. Served in a beer tulip the deep amber pour constructed a creamy 2 finger head that maintains well. Good lacing. Appears bottle conditioned with a fair amount of suspended sediment so watch your pour if you want to avoid this.Gorgeous floral aroma on offer here with fruity hints of pear, citrus, herbs, spice, licorice, sweet malt and Belgian yeast coming through. In the mouth it’s slightly frothy with prickly carbonation. Medium-full bodied. On the tongue the flavours open up with a mild assertive hop bitterness with a subtle spicy fore flavour. The grainy mid-palate delivers a slightly herbal finish with hints of citrus and caramel on the back palate. At 5.5% ABV it doesn’t make for a sessional beer but it was still very quaffable. Quite complex too. To be honest we thought the blond was better but don’t let it deter you. Still a good offering.

Heretic ‘torment’ dark Belgian style ale

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image“This 10% Belgian-style dark ale is the dark counterpart to Worry. Torment is a rich beer with lots of caramel, malt, dark fruit, and Belgian candi sugar notes. The luscious fruity character is full of caramel apples, candied pears, and chocolate covered oranges”.

We are rapidly becoming big fans of this Californian brewery and as soon as we took a read of the tasting notes we had to try this beer. This Belgian style ale has Trappist characteristics that add complexity to an already rich and flavoursome beer. Served in a beer tulip the tawny/copper red pour whipped up a creamy 2 finger head that retains well. Good lacing. Some brilliant aromas emanating here – toffee, brown sugar, pear, raisin, peppery spice, clove, apricot, Belgian-style yeast and alcohol. Highly aromatic, this is shaping up to be a brilliant beer. In the mouth it’s full bodied and quite astringent. Medium carbonation. The flavour is just as exciting with the stand outs being toffee/caramel, dates, dark fruits, candy, plum and alcohol. So much depth here. As this beauty warms it reveals a unique liqueur-ish complexity offering viscous notes of fig, vanilla and port. Really good length. Quite a strong alcohol content (10% ABV) which is evident in the flavour, but it never dominates, just adds more body and flavour tot his already exceptional brew. Woah, there aren’t many beers like this on the market at the moment which makes it all the more appealing. If you haven’t yet wrapped your laughing gear around one of these then do your taste buds a favour. Sensational!

North coast brewing co. ‘pranQster’ Belgian style golden ale

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North coast brewing co pranQster Belgian style golden ale“Belgian Ales represent the height of the brewers’ art. Sophisticated brewing techniques, yeast blends, and unique flavoring elements have elevated the beers of Belgium to the status enjoyed by wine in other countries. PranQster follows in this tradition using a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that produce a floral nose, a full fruity flavor, and a clean finish”.

We’ve actually tried this beer before, and we’d have to say it’s probably one of the standout beers for this brewery. Served in a beer goblet the cloudy amber-orange pour toiled hard for a minimal white head that collapses instantly leaving no head at all. Plenty of citric characters on offer in the aroma, lemon warheads, orange and esters come forward the strongest. Along with a subtle funkiness are yeasty undertones of clove, banana lollies, sugar and orange tang. In the mouth it feels slick with an oily texture. Mild-medium carbonation and medium body. Upfront we detect soft citrus notes with subtle hints of spice and grain. The yeasty mid-palate yields flavours of banana and honey which is followed by a light fruity finish with average length. We would have to say we’re quite surprised by how well the 7.6% ABV is hidden, only a very subtle hint in the aroma was enough to have us double checking. As we mentioned earlier, we have had some really average beers from this brewery but this one is different, lots of tasty Belgian characters in here. Not bad at all.

Troubadour ‘Obscura’ Belgian strong ale

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Troubadour Belgian strong ale“Troubadour Obscura is a dark red-brown colored beer, with a rich, malty body combined with different touches of a stout but in a very nice balanced way: roast, chocolate, coffee, vanilla. A mild stout with a Belgian body!”

This isn’t a Trappist ale but it has all the hallmarks of one. Served in a beer tulip it’s offering a dark mahogany appearance with a tight 2 finger beige head that retains quite well, omitting some healthy lace trails as we imbibe. The aroma is emanating all of those gorgeous yeasty notes such as dates, dried fruits, apricot, cognac, roasted malts, sourdough and spice. Maybe a faint hint of pine or cedar wood in there too. This is certainly a quality Belgian ale aroma. In the mouth it feels creamy and full bodied. Mildly carbonated which is really adding to the high drink ability. Initially the tongue is met with some warming booze (8.5% ABV) with roasted malts, raisins and subtle hops developing in the mid-palate. It finishes sweet with earthy hints that linger nicely on the back end. Good length. We can definitely say this is a potent, but a highly enjoyable sipping beer. There is no brewery in the world that can brew this kind of quality beer as good as the Belgians. Respect.