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Posts Tagged ‘keg’

Haacht Primus

Rating: 2.35

One of the few pale lagers that I tried over in Belgium now and possible the only one that I properly reviewed, this one is a beer I had one afternoon with lunch and one that I settled on given the poor choice in what was a bit of a tourist trap restaurant in truth. My first offering from the Haacht brewery but one that I spotted on a few bar signs over the course of my week in Belgium, this wasn’t a beer I was expecting much from in truth and in that sense it definitely lived up to expectations and turned out to be the worst beer I ended up trying on my trip, here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Appearance (4/5): Golden blond with a clear body and a few bubbles rising to the surface. The beer is topped with a thin, half centimetre head that was white and bubbly with a bit of lacing on the sides and a touch less coverage in the centre of the beer.
Aroma (4/10): Light and fairly cheap on the nose initially, there was some corn and faint bread malts showing but it was relatively bland and basic sadly. Around the middle the odd touch of citrus and hay came through with some basic vegetable adjuncts and a light sweetness but it wasn’t very impressive sadly.
Taste (4/10): Light corn and some vegetable adjuncts kick things off followed by a basic sweetness and some hay. Again it was a cheap and basic tasting lager with some faint hops and grassy touches but not a lot else sadly. Towards the end some earthy hops started to come through to add to the bitterness but it was definitely a basic one.
Palate (2/5): Thin and quite light, the beer was semi-sweet thanks to the corn but it was very basic too with a cheap feel and the odd bit of skunk coming through as well. It’s moderately bitter with similar carbonation levels as well but there’s not a great deal to this one really.

Overall (7/20): Quite a basic and at times cheap tasting lager than was bland for the most part with some light bitterness and grassy touches. There was touches of sweetness from some corn before a few bread malts came through along with the odd vegetable adjunct but it was a poor offering and probably the worst I had when in Belgium too.

Brewed In: Boortmeerbeek, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Haacht
First Brewed: circa. 2008
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Keg (250ml)
Purchased: Magic Rubens, Brussels, Belgium
Price: €3.00 (£2.66)

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Tripel Van De Garre

July 2, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 4.3

Now for a beer that I was looking forward to trying when visiting Bruges recently, mainly after reading a little about it online and luckily I was able to stop by the De Garre pub on my last night in the city to try their house beer on-tap; none other than the 11% abv. Tripel Van De Garre. The beer is a special offering at the bar and is brewed for them by the Van Steenberge brewery which means that this one is surprisingly my sixth beer from the brewery now my first since enjoying their Piraat strong pale ale back in January of last year. Despite not featuring as one of the Belgian beers from the 1001 list, this one was a beer that I really wanted to try when in Belgium and having finally sampled it I can tell why, an excellent beer that is definitely worth trying if you’re in Bruges.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a bright beer that sits a golden colour in the glass with a slightly hazy body. The head is about two inches tall before eventually halving in size and leaving a tonne of lacing on the sides of the glass.
Aroma (8/10): Subdued Belgian hops and some yeast kick things off with a touch of both citrus and spice. The beer seemed quite fresh with some bread malts and a touch of coriander around the middle before some banana and clove sweetness showed itself followed by some further fresh hops but it was definitely a balanced beer on the nose.
Taste (8/10): Fresh hops and some bread malts get things going here, there was a lively feel to the beer with citrus and Belgian yeast a little further on as well. I managed to get the clove from the nose alongside some coriander and the banana flavours I was anticipating soon followed but seemed a touch fainter than with the nose. Towards the end there was some sweet malts and a few background fruits, most notably some pear and grapes as well as a hint of apple but again it was balanced with some light alcohol flavours seeing things out.
Palate (5/5): Medium but almost full-bodied and very well carbonated to give it quite a fresh and lively feel, the beer was strong but not quite gassy with some background sweetness from the banana and fruits showing throughout. It was boozy at points with a touch of alcohol showing and some nice spices that went well with the citrus to add a nice tang to what was quite a crisp and very well balanced beer. It was easy to drink despite the strength and it went down well with quite an effervescent feel at times; excellent stuff.

Overall (18/20): An excellent beer that was fresh, lively and very well balanced with some nice sweetness and background fruits working well to hide a lot of the alcohol content, I wouldn’t have guess this was an 11% abv. offering had I not seen it on the menu before ordering. The beer was great with some light fruits alongside some cloves and coriander with a medium to full body and strong carbonation; a pleasure to drink and one I hope I’ll get to try again at some point.

Brewed In: Ertvelde, East Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Type: Tripel
Abv: 11.0%
Serving: Keg (250ml)
Purchased: Staminee De Garre, Bruges, Belgium
Price: €4.50 (approx. £3.99)

Rockshore Irish Lager

June 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.05

A new beer from Guinness for 2018, this is a beer that I first spotted in a bar in Donegal Town recently but never ended up trying on that occasion but when I spotted it in another bar in Fermanagh where it was the only beer I hadn’t tried it was then that I decided to finally give it a try. I was a little worried that it would be a relatively poor lager from the brewery and one that tries to jump on the Hop House 13 bandwagon since that one has proved quite a successful beer for Guinness. Who knows if this one will become another permanent offering from the brewery so I guess it’s good I’ve been able to try it while it is but if the taste is anything to go by then I don’t anticipate it being around for very long.

Appearance (4/5): Pale, golden straw in colour with quite a clear body that has a lot of bubbles rising to the surface. The head is a foamy and straight looking one that sits about a centimetre tall and holds well throughout with some nice lacing on the sides of the glass too; not a bad looking effort for the style really.
Aroma (4/10): Plain, even for the style, with some straw and grassy notes opening things but it was definitely quite a light offering. There was some hay and corn towards the middle with a few adjuncts coming through but not a lot else beyond that other than a couple of subtle lager malts to see things out.
Taste (2/10): Grassy hops and a few light adjuncts kick things off alongside some hay and straw before the odd earthy malt features. It was definitely a light offering with a cheap and basic feel that had some bread flavours and touches of bitterness further on; it tasted awful though.
Palate (2/5): Light to light-medium bodied, the beer is quite basic but falls short of being thin. It’s a cheap and basic offering though and one that seemed bland with a light and faint hop bitterness on top of average carbonation for the still; very poor stuff sadly.

Overall (2/20): This one was an awful beer and every bit the macro-pale lager that I feared when ordering this one, a beer that I’d likely have avoided had there been anything else new available in the bar. The beer started poorly with quite a weak nose and it got progressively worse after that, the taste in particular being a bad one with an overload of corn and basic adjuncts. There was a faint bitterness alongside some hay and grassy flavours but there really wasn’t much to this one and it was a real struggle to finish, I ended up leaving half of it and it’s not a beer I’ll have again.

Brewed In: Dublin, Ireland
Brewery: St. James’s Gate Brewery
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Frank’s Bar, Lisnaskea, North of Ireland
Price: £3.25

De Koninck APA (380 of 1001)

June 28, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

My first beer from Antwerp’s De Koninck brewery and a beer that I actually tried in Bruges the day before I travelled to Antwerp, in the end I actually had this one a couple of times when I was in Antwerp as well though. The beer is an amber Belgian ale that has been brewed in the city since 1930 and is my 380th beer from the 1001 beers list to be reviewed here. Despite apparently being quite an easy beer to track down abroad, this isn’t a beer that I can recall seeing outside of the odd specialist beer website and it’s not one I’d heard much about before travelling to Belgium but I knew I’d have to try it given I was visiting Antwerp and thankfully it was one that I quite enjoyed.

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber coloured, edging towards dark in colour with a fairly clear body and a centimetre tall, foamy white to light-tan coloured head that holds well and covers the surface throughout.
Aroma (7/10): Dark malts and some caramel kick things off with some touches of sweetness coming through alongside a nutty aroma that dominated. Further on there was some pale malts and a few earthy notes with the odd sugary touch coming through before a little banana showed towards then end and some yeast and spice seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Similar to the nose with some earthy malts and a slightly roasted flavours coming through alongside a solid caramel sweetness and a couple of light hops too. It was a sugary taste around the middle with some light banana and cloves following on behind. It was a relatively light tasting beer for the colour with some bread malts and few spices rounding things off.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite dry, the beer was strongly carbonated with a fresh and slightly sweet feel but it wasn’t an overpowering one. The beer seemed quite balanced but subdued with a few spices but it was very easy to drink as well.

Overall (16/20): This one was an excellent beer from De Koninck, very smooth and balance whilst seeming quite refreshing too. It was an easy beer to drink with a nice caramel sweetness from the start and some good nutty flavours, although these seem a little strong on the nose than with the taste. There was a good mix of earthy malts whilst keeping the beer relatively light tasting but it’s definitely one that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Antwerp, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij De Koninck
First Brewed: 1930
Also Known As: De Koninck Amber / De Koninck Antwaarpse Pale Ale
Type: Amber Ale/Red Ale (Belgian Ale)
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Keg (250ml)
Purchased: ‘t Brugs Beertje, Bruges, Belgium
Price: €3.50 (approx. £3.09)

Martin’s IPA 55

June 27, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.7

Yet another beer from those that I managed to sample when visiting Bruges a couple of weeks ago, this one is a beer that I tried on-tap at The Monk bar in the city on afternoon and one that I quite enjoyed. The beer appears to be a similar offering to their Martin’s IPA and is one that the bar had one for a couple of months that overlapped with my visit which is part of the reason I opted for this one. Coming in at 6.5% abv. and slightly weaker that the standard 6.9% version and listed as an American IPA, I felt this one was a cross between an English and a Belgian IPA with it probably leaning closer to the Belgian sides of things so I’ll list it under that for now. The beer is my first from John Martin’s brewery and isn’t to be confused with the brewery that made the similarly named Martens Pils that I tried and hated in Cuba the year before last, something that crossed my mind after ordering this one but thankfully it was a good beer in the end.

Appearance (4/5): Bright orange in colour with some amber tinges and a white, three centimetre tall head that settles about half that after a minute or so. There was some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and the body was quite a clear one with only a touch of haze right in the centre.
Aroma (7/10): Subdued hops and some citrus kick things off here followed by a good orange and floral touches showing on top of what was quite fresh and summery. There was some earthy hops and it definitely seemed English in style at this point but with some Belgian yeast and touches of both caramel and biscuit in there towards the end too.
Taste (7/10): Fresh with some pine and citrus hops with a few earthy ones a little further on alongside touches of caramel which definitely shows a little earlier than it did with the nose. There was some orange and herbal flavours around the middle with the later imparting some bitter flavours as well. It’s quite an earthy tasting beer with some faint spice and yeast towards the end too.
Palate (4/5): Quite refreshing and easy to drink with a lively and well carbonated body that had some nice spices coming through alongside a solid citrus tang and herbal bitterness around the middle. There was a good balance to this one with a dryness and some yeast towards the end but it went down well from the start.

Overall (14/20): Refreshing and pleasant to drink, this one wasn’t quite what I was expecting and came through somewhere in between an English and Belgian style IPA but remained a balanced and easy one to drink with some earthy hops and good citrus flavours. There was hint of herbal bitterness and some nice spices and yeast towards the end which made it a pleasant beer to drink in the sun without it being too complex or varied and I’d happily have it again if it was available in the UK.

Brewed In: Itterbeek, Belgium
Brewery: John Martin’s
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Belgian IPA
Abv: 6.9%
Serving: Keg (330ml)
Purchased: The Monk, Bruges, Belgium
Price: €4.00 (approx. £3.53)

Brugse Zot Dubbel

June 17, 2018 3 comments

Rating: 3.75

My second beer from De Halve Maan, this one follows on from their Brugse Zot Belgian pale ale that I reviewed a couple of years ago after finding a bottle in Amsterdam and that was one that I quite enjoyed at the time. I managed to finally try the dubbel version of that beer when I visited the brewery at the end of last month when in Bruges, as well as trying the original again as well. One of three new beers that I reviewed from the brewery whilst in Bruges, this one quite a nice beer but I have to say that I still preferred the original.

Appearance (4/5): Dark amber to caramel coloured with a hazy body and a foamy, white head that sat just under a centimetre tall with some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and better than expected retention.
Aroma (7/10): Dark malts and some caramel notes kick things off with a nice sweetness and some floral touches early on too. There’s a faint sourness towards the middle with Belgian yeast as well but it wasn’t an overly pronounced nose really. Some earthy hops and malts with a further sugar sweetness seen things out but I’d have liked it to be a slightly stronger offering.
Taste (7/10): Sweet with some sugars and floral touches kicking things off alongside a combination of earthy and caramel malts, there was some apple and even a little cherry sourness showing at times though before some subtle spices and earthy hops seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Sweet to begin with some fruity touches and a little sourness at points as well, the beer was medium bodied and quite floral with a dry feel towards the end and strong carbonation. The beer itself was quite balanced and it proved to be a refreshing one in the sun as well.

Overall (15/20): Floral and quite hoppy throughout, the beer kicked off with more sweet malts and caramel than expected but was balanced out thanks to some touches of sourness and cherry alongside some background fruits that included apple. It was a pleasant and refreshing beer to sip away at without being overly complex and it’s one I’d happy have again but at the same time not one I’d rush back too straight away.

Brewed In: Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
First Brewed: 1856
Type: Abbey Dubbel
Abv: 7.5%
Serving: Keg (330ml)
Purchased: Brouwerij De Halve Maan, Bruges, Belgium
Price: €3.80 (£3.34)

Brewdog Eight-Bit

June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

Quite the collaborative offering here, this one was brewed at Brewdog along with seven other breweries as part of their 2018 AGM; Cloudwater, DEYA, Magic Rock, Northern Monk, Stillwater, The Bruery and Seventh Son all pitching in and helping make this one hence the name. The beer is a double IPA that was released in April this year and is one that I managed to try when finally visiting the brewery’s new Edinburgh bar when I was in the city last month. Apparently each brewery selected a hop to use when making this one and it conveniently comes in at 8% abv. as well which gave it all the ingredients needed to make it a beer I wanted to try.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy yellow to golden colour with a thin, quarter centimetre head on top that was foamy and white but slightly patchy on the surface.
Aroma (7/10): Strong and hop-filled to open, the beer was loaded with tropical fruits and some nice pineapple initially, there was some peach not far behind though. It was fresh and fairly lively with some mango and a floral aroma towards the middle but it was balanced and pleasant smelling without being overpowering; a good start to this collaborative beer.
Taste (8/10): Fresh and quite fruity like the nose, the beer was loaded with mango, peach and pineapple as well as some pine and grapefruit hops. Around the middle some stone fruits and juicy flavours came through as well as some orange; fresh, strong and enjoyable stuff.
Palate (4/5):Smooth and quite fresh with a lively feel and a citrus-type tang towards the middle. The beer was bitter with pine and stone fruit hops imparting most of it without overpowering and some touches of alcohol showing towards the end of a well-carbonated beer that went down nicely despite the strength.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh but very bitter beer with a lot of pine, grapefruit and various other tropical flavours coming through from the start alongside some citrus and touches of alcohol a little later on. The beer managed to stay balanced and drinkable throughout without straying too far from the standard for a double IPA and is well worth trying but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a chance before it disappears forever.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog (collaboration with multiple breweries)
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog Lothian Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
Price: £4.50