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Bruxellensis

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.4

My second Brasserie de la Senne beer in quick succession now, this one being another offering from the brewery that I grabbed at the Wee Bee Shop in Glasgow recently and is one that follows on from the same brewery’s Zinnebir offering that I reviewed here previously; a beer that turned out to be quite enjoyable in the end. This one is a Belgian style wild ale that is bottle fermented for four months using Brussels Brettanomyces yeast and is one that I’m quick intrigued by since I’m not really sure what to expect going in. The beer should be a good one though as it is currently listed as one of the top 50 Belgian ale’s on the RateBeer website, presently sitting at number nine on the list with another variant of this beer at number three.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber to orange in colour with a large, bubbly head that left some nice, foamy lacing on the sides of the glass and settled as a thin surface lacing that was slightly patchy after a while.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with a lot of yeast and tart in the early going, the beer was a lively one with some lemon zest and orange notes coming through as well. This was followed by some background spices and a couple of bitter hops before the odd funky note and some touches of biscuit make an appearance nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): Opening with plenty of citrus flavours, there was some orange and lemon zest coming through with a strong tart taste slightly further on, the beer was definitely a funky and lively one. Thee was some yeast and pine hops around the middle with some earthy hops following on behind and I managed to detect some fruit esters and a background sweetness towards the end.
Palate (3/5): Tangy and quite a sharp beer that was well carbonated and lively throughout. It was a dry beer towards the end with plenty of tart and funky touches with a subtle hop bitterness throughout too.

Overall (14/20): Quite a tarty and fresh beer that was sour in parts and quite funky throughout, plenty of Belgian yeast and spices showed from the start. There was pleasant hop bitterness from the middle of the beer on and some touches of citrus showed as well with the balance seeming okay but it’s not a beer that I’d rush back to I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Brussels, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie de la Senne
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Belgian/Wild Ale
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.70

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Zinnebir (372 of 1001)

January 15, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

The first of two beers that I picked up from Brasserie de la Senne recently, both from a new bottle shop fairly close to my flat with the first of the two being a beer that features on the 1001 beers list as well. Originally brewed back in 2002 when the brewery was still known as Sint-Pieters before being renamed in 2005, this was one of the first beers that the brewery produced and still appears to be one of their most popular too with demand regularly outstripping capacity so I’m glad this is one that I’ve finally been able to track down and try.

Appearance (4/5): A pale, almost apricot amber colour that was quite hazy and topped with a half centimetre tall head that was foamy white and looked quite fluffy.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with quite a lot of Belgian yeast, the beer seemed lively with some citrus notes initially and touches of spice in there too; some coriander and cloves both featuring. The beer was fresh with some orange peel and pale malts around the middle before some bread malts, nutmeg and a slightly warming aroma seen things out.
Taste (7/10): Fruity with some nice pale malts kicking things off, there was some orange zest and lemon alongside some pale bread malts and apples. The beer had quite a lot of Belgian yeast coming through and this helped add to some spice with coriander, cloves and a little nutmeg all carrying over from the nose before a candy sweetness seen things out nicely.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite fluffy beer on the palate, this one was strongly carbonated and sharp with a fresh and lively feel that had a faint touch of warming alcohol towards the end and some hop bitterness in there too.

Overall (15/20): Very much a Belgian style beer that opened with a lot of yeast and some subtle spices with the odd hop showing as well. It was  afresh beer that had plenty orange zest and lemon coming through alongside some background fruits that included apples, grape and some pears, all working well together and going down nicely.

Brewed In: Brussels, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie de la Senne
First Brewed: 2002
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

Petrus Oud Bruin (370 of 1001)

December 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.5

Following on from the recent Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René review that I added here, it’s about time for another Belgian beer and this time the beer is one that features on the original 1001 beers list rather than the updated version of the list, my 370th such beer. A sour ale, or Flanders Oud Bruin if you want to get specific, is my second from the De Brabandere brewery and again falls under the Petrus banner. The beer follows on from the review of their Petrus Aged Pale that also features on the 1001 beers list and is an offering that I only tried for the first time back in January of this year. I was quite a big fan of their Aged Pale and I’m hoping that this one proves to be another enjoyable offering from the brewery since it is the last of the two Petrus beers on the 1001 beers list that I have to try. A blend of the brewery’s Petrus Aged Pale (33%) and a young brown beer (67%) that is aged for two years in oak barrels, this one is often referred to as the Burgundy of Flanders and is one that I’m definitely looking forward to now.

Appearance (4/5): Very dark ruby in colour with a hint of black, the beer had an opaque body and a half centimetre head that was tan brown and quite foamy before eventually breaking up a little after a minute or so.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a fruity nose initially with some tart up front and a nice backing of cherries and plum in the early going. The beer was slightly sour on the nose as expected given the style but I couldn’t help being a touch surprised based solely on the dark appearance of the beer. There was some nice juicy notes around the middle with a touch of acidity, some red grapes and a slightly boozy aroma further on despite it only being a 5.5% abv. offering. Towards the end some caramel sweetness and further red berries seen things out nicely.
Taste (7/10): Quite a sour start to the taste with some tart and acidity initially that were both on par with the nose but seemed to come through a little earlier this time around. There was some sweetness not far behind with some grapes and berries showing alongside a few caramel malts and the odd earthy flavour. Towards the end there was a further acidity to the beer and it had nice complexity too and it matched the nose closely as well.
Palate (3/5): Sour and quite a tarty beer with some acidity at the start and a further helping towards the end of the beer, with some sweetness sandwiched in the middle. The beer was a lively and well-carbonated offering with quite an enjoyable balance that made it an easy one to drink without it being a standout offering.

Overall (14/20): Quite a pleasant and lively beer with some nice tart and sourness showing despite it being quite a dark looking beer and there was some earthy malts in there too. It was a balanced offering that had nice complexity to it and a nice combination of summer fruits and berries that complimented the caramel malts well. It probably wasn’t as enjoyable an offering as the brewery’s Petrus Aged Pale and I doubt it’s a beer that I’d rush back to but I enjoyed it while I was drinking it and don’t have many complaints about the beer really.

Brewed In: Harelbeke, West Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: De Brabandere
First Brewed: 1993
Also Known As: Petrus Roodbruin / Petrus Old Dark
Type: Flanders Oud Bruin (Sour Ale)
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £2.80

Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René

December 7, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.8

My third Lindemans beer now, this one follows on from the Framboise and Kriek offerings that I’ve tried in the past and is my first new beer from the brewery since trying the Framboise back in 2015. This one is a beer that features on the updated version of the 1001 beers list and is quite a highly rated beer online where it sits as the 25th highest rated gueuze on the BeerAdvocate website. I managed to find a bottle of this one in one of Brewdog’s Glasgow bars recently, having previously spotted it on the menu of other bars in the past but it’s never been available when I’ve asked for a bottle until now.

Appearance (4/5): Fairly bright looking with some cloudy touches through the body and a white head on top that was more of a thin lacing around the sides but about what I’d expect from the style.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with plenty of tart and funky notes, the beer is fresh and lively with some nice lemon zest and subtle spices, citrus definitely being the strongest on the nose initially. It was quite an easy-going beer on the nose with some apples and pears coming through around the middle and some acidity rounding things off.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with plenty of tart and citrus flavours, some orange accompanying the lemon this time around with a few pale malts towards the middle. It wasn’t the most complex tasting beer but some grapes and pears made themselves known further on with some subtle spices and herbal touches adding to freshness of the beer.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite crisp with a fresh feel to it throughout thanks to the citrus tang and lively carbonation levels. It was a balanced and easy to drink beer that had plenty tart initially with some funky flavours throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh and crisp beer from the start, it was lively with some nice tart and funky flavours kicking things off alongside plenty of citrus and a few subtle spices. Further on there was some lighter fruits with apples, grapes and pears all featuring at points before some acidity seen things out. It was a balanced and easy-going offering that I enjoyed and would definitely have again.

Brewed In: St Pieters Leeuw-Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Lindemans
First Brewed: circa. 2000
Type: Lambic – Gueuze
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (375ml)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, ScotlandGueuze Cuvée René
Price: £5.00 (approx.)

Blanche de Namur

August 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 2.45

A Belgian witbier that I’ve spotted in various Lidl supermarkets over the past couple of years but for some reason never been tempted to pick up, I eventually aquired a bottle as a gift from a relative when they spotted it for sale in a local Home Bargains store and decided to grab me a bottle. This one will be my first from the Du Bocqwhole brewery and I’m hopeful it turns out to be a good one, I’ve enjoyed a number of witbiers in the past and when it is done right it is one of my favourite types of beer.

Appearance (3/5): It took two attempts at pouring this one, the first being nothing but head although I’ll only count what it looked like one the second go here. Pouring a very bubbly looking golden yellow colour, initially there was a two or three centimetre head on this one that was white and very foamy looking but it seemed to keep getting bigger and bigger over the opening couple of minutes. Eventually things settled a little and the beer sat with roughly a four centimetre head that was dome shaped and held very well. A nice looking beer in the end but far too carbonated and an overly large head, particularly straight after pouring it.
Aroma (5/10): Some wheat and coriander in the early going but it’s definitely not a strong beer on the nose really, there was some citrus and lemon following on behind. Around the middle some pepper notes and spices start to come through but nothing too strong again sadly with the finish made up of some light cloves seeing things out.
Taste (5/10): Opening with some lemon and citrus flavours, this one is again quite a light offering that has some banana and wheat in there too but it could definitely have been stronger. The coriander from the nose shows here as well but it’s not as pronounced as it was with the nose sadly and some cloves follow not too far behind. The beer ended up being quite disappointing beer taste wise and I was looking for something more pronounced and with more variety too.
Palate (2/5): Light to light-medium bodied and definitely thinner than expected, the beer was a fresh one to start with good carbonation in the early going but from the middle on these characteristics started to fade leaving it a little flat and one-dimensional by that point; poor stuff here I’m afraid.

Overall (9/20): This one was a beer that got off to quite a bad start with far too much foam when I slowly started to pour it, there was a lot of visible carbonation in the body of the beer as it sat there too. Once I started getting into the beer there wasn’t a whole lot going on really, the nose in particular was quite light and the taste wasn’t much better with only some faint citrus coming through with the usual wheat and coriander; a poor effort and a witbier to avoid.

Brewed In: Purnode-Yvoir, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie Du Bocqwhole
First Brewed: Circa. 2002 (Brewery since 1858)
Type: Witbier
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Home Bargains (Scotland)
Price: £0.79

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

January 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

My fourth beer from the St. Bernardus brewery now, this one follows on from their Witbier, Tripel and Abt 12 offerings, all three of which I first reviewed here back in January of 2014. This one is a winter seasonal from the brewery that appears to have been introduced in late 2006, proving itself to be quite a popular beer since then. Currently ranked as the 18th best Quadrupel on the BeerAdvocate website as well as the 24th best Belgian Strong Ale on RateBeer, this one doesn’t quite rank as high as the Abt 12 does but it should still prove to be an excellent beer. One of the newest beers from St. Bernardus, this is one that I picked up from a local bottle shop just before Christmas but ended up waiting until the start of 2017 before cracking it open while on holiday in Ireland. Given that all three previous beers from the brewery have been excellent, this was definitely a beer I was looking forward to and hopefully it won’t take me another three years before I get my hands on something new from them again. A final things worth nothing about this offering, it will actually be the 1500th beer that I’ll have reviewed here so I’m glad it’s a good one.

st-bernardus-christmas-ale

Appearance (5/5): Quite a dark looking beer with a traditional quadrupel like appearance to it, it was a deep mahogany with some red tinges and an opaque body. The head was quite an impressive, one and a half centimetre one that was bubbly before turning foamy and holding well over the opening minute or so. There was plenty lacing on the sides of the glass which was unexpected and the beer is great looking one.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a lively nose but one that took a while to open up initially, there was some darker fruits and sugars coming through but they weren’t as strong as expected really. There was some figs and plums alongside a few subtle hops before the darker malts started to appear nearer the middle. Some bread malts and sweet caramel notes showed towards the end and the nose was pleasant enough but I was definitely expecting more from it.
Taste (7/10): Thankfully things improved a little come the taste and the beer started to come through a little stronger at this point with some caramel and sweet malts alongside a combination of darker fruits that included the figs and plum from the nose as well as some dates and apricot. Towards the middle touches of clove, brown sugar and yeast began coming through and there was even a hint of banana too before a little spice brought things to a close; a definite improvement on the nose with being spectacular.
Palate (4/5): An interesting beer but one that definitely wasn’t quite as strong as you would expect from a Belgian quadrupel coming in at 10%. The beer had quite a nice taste and the nose wasn’t too bad either but both seemed a little subdued and lacking at times, however it wasn’t a weak offering at least. There was fine carbonation to the beer and it had quite a crisp, lively feel with more dryness as you got closer to the end but overall the balance was good and some warming, boozy touches seen things out.

Overall (14/20): While this one was an interesting and drinkable beer, it was quite a disappointment when compared to the previous three offering I’ve tried from the brewery and it was definitely lacking something compared to most other quadrupels I’ve tried too. The beer opened a lot weaker than expected with a lighter, sweeter taste that didn’t seem like a 10% beer in the early going. There was good carbonation and the darker fruits were nice but they seemed fleeting and could have been stronger, especially with the nose. It was a relatively easy beer to drink though with a subtle tang and okay balance but it was a little underwhelming at times and easily the worst of the brewery’s beers that I’ve tried so far.

Brewed In: Watou, West Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: St. Bernardus Brouwerij
First Brewed: 2006
Type: Abbey Quadrupel
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £5.00

Piraat (339 of 1001)

January 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.95

Beer number 339 from the 1001 beers list now, this one being my fourth review of a Van Steenberge beer in quite succession but one that I fully expected to be an improvement on the Bornem Dubbel and Tripel offerings that I reviewed recently from the brewery. Like those two beers, this one is another that I received over Christmas in the form of a Belgian beer gift pack with the other recent review being of their Gulden Draak 9000 which I enjoyed without it going down as a classic. This particular offering is one that I’ve been aware of for some time now and since it featured on the 1001 beer list I’ve been keeping my eye out for it but I’ve never been able to get my hands on a bottle until I cracked this one open a couple of weeks ago. The beer will be the fifty-first Belgian offering from the 1001 beers list that I’ll have tried and my ninety-second Belgian beer in total, not a bad ratio for beers from the country and hopefully I’ll get to pick up a few more over the course of this year as well. First brewed back in 1986 after the success of another Belgian strong pale ale, Duvel, this one was definitely a beer I was looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint.

piraat

Appearance (4/5): Copper amber in colour, slightly darker than I’d thought and with a very slight haze to the body. There was a centimetre tall, foamy white head at the top that had the odd bubble sitting on the surface too and there was pretty good retention for the strength of the beer. After about thirty or forty seconds there was a slight reduction in size as the head faded to about half a centimetre tall then eventually started to break up a little in the centre of the glass too.
Aroma (8/10): Quite sweet on the nose initially, there was some nice caramel and toffee notes with a couple further sweet malts as things began to open up a little. Towards the middle the bread malts base made itself more known and I got some background fruits coming forward too; mainly apples, grapes and pear with the odd floral touch too. It was a relatively fresh offering that seemed lively with some yeast, cloves and a little spice to round things off.
Taste (7/10): Opening with a lot of toffee and caramel flavours, there was an almost syrupy taste in the early going with touches of sweet malt from the nose too. Around the middle the grapes and apples from the nose showed themselves alongside some apricot with pear and a few other nondescript fruity flavours. There was some brown sugar and yeast nearer the end with the faintest of alcohol touches seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite a lively, strongly carbonated offering with quite an effervescent feel to it that was relatively crisp too. There was a nice balance to the beer with some dryness nearer the end that complimented the slightly boozy, warming finish that helped the beer down easier than expected.

Overall (17/20): Quite a nice, very well-balanced and lively beer with an excellent bubbly feel to it that was slightly boozy near the end thanks to the strong alcohol content. There was some nice, lighter fruits and the odd sweet malt in the early going that made it quite easy to drink despite the 10.5% abv. but the warming kick near the end was still appreciated. It was easier to drink than expected thanks to the balance and I particularly liked the light, crisp feel to the beer; it’s an offering that I’ll hopefully have again at some point.

Brewed In: Ertvelde, East Flander, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Van Steenberge
First Brewed: 1986
Type: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Abv: 10.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: North of Ireland
Price: Gift