“Like a Christmas cake in rum, this Belgian Dark Strong festive beer has aromas and flavours of rum, dried fruits, spices & sweet alcohol.”
Served in a Trappist tulip. The 2016 vintage offers a murky brown pour with chestnut edges. It only manages a wispy cap before it retracts to a ring. Wet and streaky lace is seen following it down.
Just a heads up….you may hear us saying this a lot during this review but it’s very similar to the 2015 vintage with its dominant notes of raisin, fig, toffee, port, plum jam and clove. There’s certainly a stronger presence of spice in this year’s release, it’s showing a bit more pepper, five spice and nutmeg. And what would a top shelf quad be without banana bread, sourdough and apple pie? Impressive.
The flavour profile hits that Christmas cake character perfectly. Fistfuls of yeasty spice, banana, gingerbread, dates, figs and dark fruits envelop the front palate. Just an inkling of warmth which is monumental considering the 11.1% ABV. Caramelised pear and a warming peppery spice ties it all up with some good duration on the back end.
Sticky, thick and gelatinous in the mouth. Co2 is perfect and the body is full and well rounded.
Tell ya what, stand the ’15 and the ’16 side by side and it would be very difficult to choose which is better. Although the ’15 had a bit more complexity the rye component in the ’16 puts a whole new spin on it. Really not a lot of difference between this and the likes of Westmalle and Rochefort.