Archive for the ‘Belgium’ Category

Arabier by De Dolle Brouwers

The Arabier’s unique label has a picture of a parrot holding a beer glass. If a parrot is going to have a beer, it might as well be good one. The Arabier is not just good, it is an exceptional Belgian ale.

The Arabier is a golden yellow color and pours with a mountain sized, off white colored head.

This light bodied beer has a nice mouthfeel and is very drinkable for having 8% ABV and moderate carbonation.

There are strong aromas of citrusy fruits, apples, and honey. These sweet smelling aromas are only the beginning of this complex beer.

The true beauty of this beer lies in the flavor. The citrus and fruit flavors are complimented with sweet honey and toasted malts. There are beers that have sweeter, more pronounced flavors. However, there are few that are this complex and well-balanced from start-to-finish.

The Arabier is a great example of what a lightly golden colored beer can be. It is unfortunate that so many people equate lighter colored beer to the mass produced swill created by the American mega breweries. Yeah, I’m talking about you Anheuser-Busch.

Arabier, preferred by parrots everywhere.

Brewery website: http://www.dedollebrouwers.be/


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Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap by Brouwerij Slaapmutske

The Nightcap’s label has a picture of a smiling, sleeping moon who looks very content.

This 7.4% ABV Belgian seasonal comes in a corked, 750 ml bottle.

The Nightcap is a mahogany color with hues of purple. It pours with a light beige colored head that leaves behind beautiful lacing.

It has aromas of dark fruits (berries and plums) and caramel with spicy (possibly nutmeg and cinnamon) undertones. The aromas of this beer are very strong and inviting.

The flavors are not as robust as the aromas, which I found a tad disappointing. The berry, plum, caramel and spice flavors are all well balanced but a little on the light side. If the flavors were more pronounced, this beer would be an absolute marvel.

The drinkability and the mouthfeel more than make up for the light flavors. This creamy, medium bodied brew, is a joy to drink. When trying to think of a way to describe the drinkability, smooth jazz comes to mind.

Overall, I am pleased with the Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap. Like the moon on the label, I too am smiling after finishing this seasonal Belgian brew.

Brewery website: http://www.slaapmutske.be/

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Witkap Pater Dubbel by Brouwerij Slaghmuylder

Witkap Pater Dubbel by Brouwerij Slaghmuylder

The Witkapa Pater Dubbel comes in a tall, slender, 11.2 fl.oz. bottle. The label has a picture of a white hooded monk holding a large beer stein on a light cream colored background. It is unfiltered and bottle conditioned with 7% ABV.

The Dubbel is dark brown in color with purple hues and a thin light tan head. The sediment in the bottle pours out an extremely dark brown color, similar to coffee.

You can smell aromas of fruit, spices, and brown sugar. The taste is slightly sour (sour apples) and fruity (raisins and dark fruits) at first, but after a few sips, I also noticed caramel and brown sugar.

The combination of flavors along with a nice finish, make this well balanced Dubbel a very enjoyable drink. The Witkapa Pater Dubbel is good example of what a Belgian Dubbel can be.

Brewery website: http://www.witkap.be/witkap/Home.html

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Gouden Carolus Noel by Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Noel by Brouwerij Het Anker

The Gouden Carolus Noel, from Anker brewery, is a high gravity Belgian ale that is bottle refermented.

I want to thank Eddie from De Vinos, my favorite specialty wine and beer shop in Adams Morgan, DC, for recommending the Noel. He saved a case from last year and let me have one of these beautifully aged brews. This already impressive beer only gets better with age.

I had the 1 pt. bottle, the bigger the better. The label has a scene of Santa flying over a snow covered village and a large Christmas tree and ivy around the boarder.

The Noel pours a dark ruby, almost black color, with a very shallow light brown head that quickly dissipates but leaves behind gorgeous lacing.

There are aromas of fruit, cinnamon, and caramel. No surprise, the Noel has a well balanced flavoring of fruit and spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and is incredibly smooth and drinkable for having 10% alc/vol. This high gravity ale gets better with each glass, and before I knew it, I had an empty bottle in front of me.

The Noel is an extremely drinkable beer; a delicious seasonal, that I will definitely purchase again. I would recommend drinking this one closer to room temperature to really get the full flavor of this complex ale. You do NOT want to get this beer too cold.

This holiday season, look for the Gouden Carolus Noel. It is a great way to start the holiday season. 

Drink up and be merry!

Brewery website: http://www.hetanker.be/

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La Quintine Ambrée by Brasserie Ellezelloise

La Quintine Ambrée by Brasserie Ellezelloise

The Ambree is a is a bottle refermented Belgium Ale. It comes in a short, 11.2 OZ bottle with a resealable cap. I love when beer is bottled this way. Personally, when I crack an 11.2 OZ bottle, I have every intention to finish it.

It is ruby with red hues and a thin light tan head. It is a beautiful looking beer in a nice glass. There is a very strong aroma of fruit (and more specifically raspberries) with malt, spices, and alcohol (8.5% ABV).

The Ambree tasted pretty much as I expected. I don’t drink amber ales very often. I tend to lean towards the darker brews, like Dubbels and Stouts. For not being a huge fan, I did enjoy this beer. It is very smooth and has strong raspberry flavors with undertones of caramel, hops, and spices.  

The Ambree does have the cool re-capable top that often times reminds me of my grandmother (she use to have bottles like this in all different sizes) but you will not want to recap this one. The 11.2 OZ goes down smooth and demands to be drank.

Even though ambers are not my cup of tea, the Quintine may have just swayed my opinion of these flavorful, fun beers.

Brewery website: http://www.brasserie-ellezelloise.be/

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Ambree by Brasserie La Botteresse de Ser-Les-Bois

Ambree by Brasserie La Botteresse de Ser-Les-Bois

The Ambree that I sampled came in a short, stubby, 11.2 FL. OZ. bottle. The label has an image of a desirable female harvesting hops. For some reason, I have a feeling the woman on the label does not resemble the typical agricultural worker in Belgium.   Just a guess though.

The Ambree is an 8.5% alc/vol Belgian Pale Ale that pours a beautiful amber color with an off white/tan head that dissipates quickly.

The aroma of fruit, caramel, and spices made my mouth water in anticipation. The beer tastes just like it smells; fruity, with a hint of spice, but in no way overpowering. The flavoring of the Ambree also provides a great mellow aftertaste.

The Ambree is a smooth and well balanced pale ale that was a joy to drink. Overall, a very solid beer that I would recommend to anyone looking for a flavorful, drinkable Belgian pale ale.

Brewery website: http://www.labotteresse.be/

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Guido by Brouwerij De Regenboog

Guido by Brouwerij De Regenboog

Named after the poet and priest, Guido Gazelle, this beer comes in a short, 11.2 FL. OZ. bottle with a portrait of Guido himself on a yellow label. Guido’s hand-glued yellow label doesn’t exactly grab you at first, but some exceptional Belgium beers are marked by the simplest of labels.

The highly carbonated Guido is dark brown in color with amber hues. Pouring a thick brown head, millions of bubbles seemed to be suspended in the ale.

The beer is brewed with honey and raisins, yet it has a slightly sour aroma. The high alcohol content (8% alc/vol), carbonation, and slightly tart fruit flavors gives this beer a kick, but it is still very drinkable. As the beer warms, the flavors of honey, raisins, and caramel blend together to create a uniquely flavored, well-balanced beer.

I was very impressed with the Guido. It was the first beer that I’ve tried from Brouwerij De Regenboog, but certainly not my last.

Brewery website: NA

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