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De Molen Op & Top

Rating: 4.15

On of the last new Beers from a Beer52 variety box that I ordered a couple of months ago now, this one was the only De Molen offering in the box and will be my ninth beer from the Amsterdam based brewery. The beer follows on from the brewery’s Hop & Liefde which was an American pale ale that I sampled back in December after receiving it in as part of another Beer52 box that I was gifted for Christmas. I quite enjoyed that previous De Molen effort and as a result, this one is another beer from the brewery that I’m looking forward to trying; the fact that it’s currently ranked as the 38th best bitter on the RateBeer website only sweetens the deal. This particular offering is an American influenced bitter that I’m expecting to be more hop filled and hopefully more interesting that some of the more traditional British offerings of the same style. Bitters are a style that I no longer try as many beers from as I used to and that’s mainly down to the fact that there are so many poor ones out there but I’m optimistic that this will prove to be a good one, based mainly on the fact that De Molen beers rarely disappoint; fingers crossed that this one is more of the same from them.

De Molen Op & Top

Appearance (5/5): Quite a hazy amber colour that was darker than expected and came close to sitting a copper colour in the glass. The head was a large, three centimetre tall one that looked quite active and foamy with a slight dome shape forming at the top and retention was quite good initially as I let the beer sit in the glass and open up some; this one was a very nice looking beer.
Aroma (7/10): This nose is kicked off with some subdued, American style hops and citrus in the early going that likely comes from the Amarillo hops mentioned on the bottle. There was some pleasant biscuit notes coming through as well and the beer had a nice balance initially. Some earthy notes and a hint of caramel start to come through soon after with a few background fruits as well; most notably some orange and peach but there is also some faint tropical notes too. This was definitely an interesting bitter on the nose with some darker fruits in there towards the end and the American influence on it was noticeable from the start with the beer a better one for it; good stuff so far without it being a particularly strong one.
Taste (8/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with the Amarillo hops providing some nice citrus bitterness and a little pine in the early going. It’s not an in your face hop presence but it was more than I’d been expecting for a bitter I guess. There was a good amount of biscuit and caramel taking things forward after that and I managed to detect some tropical fruits as well but, like the nose, these weren’t particularly strong. Some toasted malts and an earthy sweetness featured around the middle and the hops made themselves known again towards the end giving some grassy, almost floral flavours and a little spice a chance to make itself known too.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and well-balanced with the citrus tops providing a nice tang and the earthy malts and caramel sweetness contrasting and complimenting it nicely. The beer was easy to drink and carbonation levels were about average, made a touch stronger than the norm for a bitter but then again this wasn’t like most of the English bitters you’re likely to try. Quite refreshing and with a good bitterness towards the end that was very slightly dry and lingering.

Overall (17/20): This one was a really interesting beer from De Molen and one that I quite enjoyed into the bargain given it was unlike the majority of bitters out there and came through with more hops, bitterness and caramel sweetness than any English style bitter I’ve tried in the past. The bottle calls it an ‘American bitter-ish’ and you could definitely tell it was American influenced with the citrus hops, touches of pine and the very nice tropical flavours that featured throughout. The beer was a good one from the start and is definitely one that I’d look forward to trying again at some point; great stuff again from De Molen.

Brewed In: Bodegraven, South Holland, Netherlands
Brewery: Brouwerij de Molen
First Brewed: 2010
Type: American Bitter
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £1.62 (approx.)

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  1. February 2, 2017 at 08:24

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