De Struise Brouwers 2010 Pannepot Grand Reserve


imageWe’ve been VERY interested in this ale for a long time now. We first bought it about 6 or 7 months ago and we’ve been carefully ageing it ever since. Considering it was brewed in 2010, our 6 month cellaring project probably doesn’t make a huge difference, but when you have to endure an extent of time before enjoying something, it always adds that little bit of extra excitement. Today is the day we crack it open!

Served in a wide-rimmed tulip. The dense black pour offers up a surprisingly carbonated body. Even though the appearance is blacker then the ace of spades, dozens of bubble streams are seen actively forming a thin head with a fizzy halo around the edges of the glass. Unfortunately it laced quite poorly. One whiff of this bad boy and we’re certain that we have a pungent brew here. Very complex notes of dates, carob, dusty, oak-aged port, dank cellar room, molasses, alcohol and ripened plums are totally mind blowing. There are probably half a dozen more scents in here but we just don’t have the senses to pick them up. Wow! So intricate. As we swoosh it around our mouths we enjoy a seriously rich and oily, but ultimately smooth texture. Zero harsh bitterness, medium carbonation and medium-full body. Kind of like sipping on a highly carbonated port. Very unique. Where do we start on this flavour? Our first few sips yield a very sweet, fermented plummy flavour. A rich caramelised sweetness really intensifies the plum and in turn creates a moreish hint of prunes/dates and/or figs. Around the mid is where the oak kicks in, slightly nullifying the extreme sugary sweetness. The 10% ABV is up to this point kept in check, but a delicate warmth does enter the fray, leading on to this extremely sweet and labyrinthine finish. Just as many flavours draw out to the back end as there are in the main flavour profile. Crazy! Let’s make one thing clear, this is not for the unadventurous beer drinker. The amount of depth and sheer complexity of this brew is remarkable. Prepare for an onslaught of the senses, this is some heavy shit. But you know what, we loved it!