Slow Lane ‘Solitude’ Belgian Dark Strong Ale


“Solitude is a rich and malty ale with a dry finish. It showcases the complex dark fruit and spicy notes from the Belgian Abbey yeast. To achieve this complex yeast character, we took inspiration from the traditional methods employed by Belgium’s Trappist breweries and fermented the beer in open tanks, allowing the temperature to free rise during fermentation.”

Glassware: Trappist Goblet.

Appearance: Mahogany with chestnut hues. Two fingers of tightly packed tan head emerges and holds together well. An intricate webbed lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Can literally smell the dark Candi sugars wafting out of the glass as it sits on the table. Bringing it up to the nostrils yields big phenols – clove, earthy malts, ash and glazed cherry. Really subtle hints of peat/smoke flows through as more estery notes of banana, wheat grains and bubblegum come to the fore. Just a touch of warming booze and or solvent in the background.

Flavour: Wow ok it’s a lot drier than what we were expecting. There’s a short cameo of dark candi sugars, fruity phenols and clove upfront then it quickly shifts into a really dry and yeasty quality reminiscent of dried up Christmas cake, pumpernickel crusts and ash. It develops a pronounced roasted character late in the piece then rounds off on a yeasty, spicy and toasty finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy but not a whole lot of grip to it. Carbonation is delicate, medium-full body. The 9.4% ABV is very well behaved for its size.

Overall: We’re really digging the emergence of this brewery. Not many have the guts (and skills) to brew Trappist-style ales but these guys have made it their mission. They’re kicking goals in our eyes. Keep em coming!