Category Archives: Belgian Ale

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.

Dieu du ciel Blanche neige

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Dieu du ciel Blanche neige“Blanche Neige” meaning Snow White in French, is 1 of dozens of very carefully crafted beers from this immensely unique and quite outlandish brewery from Québec, Canada. Really cool artwork on all their labels too, sort of fairy tale-esque.

So we served this beer in a Weizen glass and we see a hazy straw gold appearance with a visible presence of suspended sediment. Carbonation looks good with a few continuous streams of bubbles rising up to the 1 finger white crown that steadily reduced to a fine layer on top. Laced well. Lots of Oriental-style spices meet the olfactory’s initially I.e cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise and peppercorns. A mild tangy sweetness along with banana, bubble gum, marmalade and muted alcohol slightly offsets the dominant spices. In the mouth it’s silky smooth with mild-moderate fizz. Medium bodied. Much like the aroma, the palate initiates with a firm spiciness coupled with a subtle alcohol warmth. Spices carry forward through the mid as the alcohol (8.3%) gradually morphs from a warmth into a slight sting. Rounding it off is a soft fruity finish with lingering hints of banana and spice on the rear-palate, displaying decent length. Quite the perfect light winter warmer this one, packed full of earthy spices and alcohol warmth but balanced with the lighter fruity notes. Like a Witbier on steroids. Not bad.

Leffe ‘radieuse’ Belgian strong ale

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Leffe radieuse“Leffe Radieuse is an amber-coloured beer, rich in flavour and deliciously refined. Its complex taste is particularly enjoyed by true connoisseurs”.

This beer is a staple. For any craft beer enthusiast, if you haven’t yet wrapped your lips around one of these beauties go out and do yourself a favour and try one. Served in a beer tulip the deep ruby red pour produced a pillowy 1 and a half finger head that retains well. Good lacing. The nose is gleaming with slightly tart berries, esters, caramel, candy, cherry and raisin. The mouth feel is slightly frothy with medium carbonation and full body. Upfront there is a lovely malt sweetness with a candy-like element, namely flavours such as raspberry, cherry and strawberry combine with a complex presence of warming alcohol and sugary raisin. The mid-palate produces a soft spicy profile while the finish boasts a zesty and slightly earthy character that leaves a nice touch of alcohol warmth sitting on the tongue. At 8.2% ABV there is a subtle astringency but the flavours going on marry together so well that you don’t even realize. Brilliant example of Belgian Abbey brewing. Well contained sweetness and candi sugars with a firm malt backbone. Delicious!