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24

Oct

St Bernadus Abt 12

Back home, if you manage to find a beer for about $1.50, it’s either a supermarket chain home brand beer, or something crap mass produced by one of the big brewers. You would be very hard pressed to find a beer that is rated so highly for this price however.

Somehow it seems that this is very much possible in Belgium. Just about every local supermarket sells St Bernadus Abt 12 for the measly price of €1 per bottle, cheaper if you buy a 6 pack. It’s nuts, there have been many times when we’ve looked at these prices, and just though about packing up, and moving to Belgium. In our European adventures so far, this country is blessed with some of the best local beers that are widely available all throughout the country.

The Abt 12 pours a beautiful black brown, with a generous light brown head. The smell is gorgeous, with raisins, figs, prunes and caramel. It smells fantastic, and being the second time I’ve tried it, knew what was going to happen. I prepared my palate for a flavour extravaganza with a swish of water, and then drank one of the most amazing beers.

To taste there are loads of dark fruits, very much along the line of the aromas, but with an added spiciness, mild bitterness and caramel to balance out the flavours. It’s awesome, because you swill the beer around in your moth, you can go through and tick off all the flavours. They’re so well balanced, and this is a reason why it is so highly rated.

The finish is on the dryer side, and as the beer warms, the alcohol becomes more evident. To sum it up simply, this is awesome. If you’re yet to try it, do yourself a favour and get one. It’s widely available so there should be no issues in getting some.

Bought for €1.20 from Carrefour Liege

JG

St Bernadus Abt 12

Back home, if you manage to find a beer for about $1.50, it’s either a supermarket chain home brand beer, or something crap mass produced by one of the big brewers. You would be very hard pressed to find a beer that is rated so highly for this price however.

Somehow it seems that this is very much possible in Belgium. Just about every local supermarket sells St Bernadus Abt 12 for the measly price of €1 per bottle, cheaper if you buy a 6 pack. It’s nuts, there have been many times when we’ve looked at these prices, and just though about packing up, and moving to Belgium. In our European adventures so far, this country is blessed with some of the best local beers that are widely available all throughout the country.

The Abt 12 pours a beautiful black brown, with a generous light brown head. The smell is gorgeous, with raisins, figs, prunes and caramel. It smells fantastic, and being the second time I’ve tried it, knew what was going to happen. I prepared my palate for a flavour extravaganza with a swish of water, and then drank one of the most amazing beers.

To taste there are loads of dark fruits, very much along the line of the aromas, but with an added spiciness, mild bitterness and caramel to balance out the flavours. It’s awesome, because you swill the beer around in your moth, you can go through and tick off all the flavours. They’re so well balanced, and this is a reason why it is so highly rated.

The finish is on the dryer side, and as the beer warms, the alcohol becomes more evident. To sum it up simply, this is awesome. If you’re yet to try it, do yourself a favour and get one. It’s widely available so there should be no issues in getting some.

Bought for €1.20 from Carrefour Liege

JG

22

Oct

Val Dieu Dubbel

Wow, I really can’t believe how long it’s been since our last post. Firstly, a big apology to all our readers, we’ve been busy touring Europe, although that’s no excuse to site down and write down our beer escapades. Just looking at the backlog of pictures makes me feel like I could withhold from drinking and still have many more beers to review a couple of months from now.

Firstly, let me set the scene for the Val Dieu Dubbel. It was the first day of the Belgian GP, we had just returned from Spa to Liege, and noticed a festival of sorts taking place in the park over the river. It was a gorgeous afternoon, still warm and the crowd was really taking advantage of this.

We wandered over and sat ourselves down at this little bar, which was actually the stand from Val Dieu. It almost seemed like a few of the local breweries were represented here, amongst a festival that was showcasing local activities. I think what made the beer even more enjoyable was the local musicians playing in the background. You know how sometimes it’s the atmosphere that lifts a beer from great to awesome, well this was one of those times.

The beer has a gorgeous reddish dark brown hue, with a pillowy white head. As it is obvious from the picture, the lacing clings to the glass as it subsides. Aromas of raisins, prune, dark fruits, caramel, toffee pepper and yeast spices are evident on the nose, and this made me really intrigued as to how it would taste.

The taste is a typical Belgian Brune. Complex and multilayered with hints of all the aromas on the nose. There was also the addition of biscuit, nuttiness and a little bit of bitterness on the finish. The beer is perfectly balanced between complexity and flavour. It’s not your massive Trappist beer, but it doesn’t lack for flavour.

It’s really hard to even notice any hint of alcohol, until you’ve stood up and it goes straight to your head. The mouthfeel is medium, and almost creamy, although nowhere near Guinness. A great representation of a dubbel.

Bought for €2.90 from some Belgian festival

JG

Val Dieu Dubbel

Wow, I really can’t believe how long it’s been since our last post. Firstly, a big apology to all our readers, we’ve been busy touring Europe, although that’s no excuse to site down and write down our beer escapades. Just looking at the backlog of pictures makes me feel like I could withhold from drinking and still have many more beers to review a couple of months from now.

Firstly, let me set the scene for the Val Dieu Dubbel. It was the first day of the Belgian GP, we had just returned from Spa to Liege, and noticed a festival of sorts taking place in the park over the river. It was a gorgeous afternoon, still warm and the crowd was really taking advantage of this.

We wandered over and sat ourselves down at this little bar, which was actually the stand from Val Dieu. It almost seemed like a few of the local breweries were represented here, amongst a festival that was showcasing local activities. I think what made the beer even more enjoyable was the local musicians playing in the background. You know how sometimes it’s the atmosphere that lifts a beer from great to awesome, well this was one of those times.

The beer has a gorgeous reddish dark brown hue, with a pillowy white head. As it is obvious from the picture, the lacing clings to the glass as it subsides. Aromas of raisins, prune, dark fruits, caramel, toffee pepper and yeast spices are evident on the nose, and this made me really intrigued as to how it would taste.

The taste is a typical Belgian Brune. Complex and multilayered with hints of all the aromas on the nose. There was also the addition of biscuit, nuttiness and a little bit of bitterness on the finish. The beer is perfectly balanced between complexity and flavour. It’s not your massive Trappist beer, but it doesn’t lack for flavour.

It’s really hard to even notice any hint of alcohol, until you’ve stood up and it goes straight to your head. The mouthfeel is medium, and almost creamy, although nowhere near Guinness. A great representation of a dubbel.

Bought for €2.90 from some Belgian festival

JG

22

Sep

Trappistes Rochefort 10

I think once we got started with the Belgian beers, the only way to stop was to leave the country. There was literally nothing stopping us from pretty much drinking our way through Belgium, not even a semi-sickly YM. some of the beers that will be reviewed as part our our couple of weeks in Belgium are common, some are local craft beers, and some and the rarest of them all.

To continue, we have the Trappistes Rochefort 10, a super common Trappist beer, but a really, really good one too. For the merger price of €1.16 in a supermarket, you can pick up one of these bad boys, and it is guaranteed to give you a pleasurable experience.

I’ve had this back home when I first started to get Belgian beers, and I really don’t remember it being anything special, maybe that’s because my taste buds were still used to the mass produced crap beet that the vast majority of Australians drink. So this second time, I wasn’t expecting too much. Needless to say I was in for quite a shock.

It pours a gorgeous murky brown colour, with a generous head that looks very wispy and thin. The smell is fantastic, loads of caramel and molasses, with dark fruit undertones coming through at the end. It smells like a combination of raisin bread with banana, apple and vanilla, and possibly a hint of spice.

To taste the is this sweetish caramel fruity flavour that’s almost hard to describe at times, but it is fantastically balanced, and there is almost no indication as to how much alcohol is actually in the beer. The carbonation is very light, and the slight bitterness finish is perfect, as it leave you with a lovely mouthfeel that doesn’t come across as too extreme or mild.

To put it simply, this beer is probably as close to perfection as possible for a mass produced, readily available beer.

JG

Trappistes Rochefort 10

I think once we got started with the Belgian beers, the only way to stop was to leave the country. There was literally nothing stopping us from pretty much drinking our way through Belgium, not even a semi-sickly YM. some of the beers that will be reviewed as part our our couple of weeks in Belgium are common, some are local craft beers, and some and the rarest of them all.

To continue, we have the Trappistes Rochefort 10, a super common Trappist beer, but a really, really good one too. For the merger price of €1.16 in a supermarket, you can pick up one of these bad boys, and it is guaranteed to give you a pleasurable experience.

I’ve had this back home when I first started to get Belgian beers, and I really don’t remember it being anything special, maybe that’s because my taste buds were still used to the mass produced crap beet that the vast majority of Australians drink. So this second time, I wasn’t expecting too much. Needless to say I was in for quite a shock.

It pours a gorgeous murky brown colour, with a generous head that looks very wispy and thin. The smell is fantastic, loads of caramel and molasses, with dark fruit undertones coming through at the end. It smells like a combination of raisin bread with banana, apple and vanilla, and possibly a hint of spice.

To taste the is this sweetish caramel fruity flavour that’s almost hard to describe at times, but it is fantastically balanced, and there is almost no indication as to how much alcohol is actually in the beer. The carbonation is very light, and the slight bitterness finish is perfect, as it leave you with a lovely mouthfeel that doesn’t come across as too extreme or mild.

To put it simply, this beer is probably as close to perfection as possible for a mass produced, readily available beer.

JG

20

Sep

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek

I managed to pick up a bottle of this along with a Oude Geuze from the same brewery. Considering I saw they are just available in Australia, I feel like I pick up a bargain, as I managed to get both for less than €10. Later in our trip I’ve seen them ranging up to nearly 10 each, which is absurd.

There is quite a bit of hype going around with this type of brewery, and the lambics they produce. What I can confirm is that both the beers I managed to get hold of from this brewery were awesome, so if you happen to come across anything by these guys, it will be well worth the money.

The Kriek pours a murky ruby red colour with a tiny lacing of white head on top. When I opened the bottle, there was a huge pop, and thus I assumed there would be masses amounts of carbonation, but this was not so.

It smelt of dense, wet funk and very tart, sour cherries. The funkiness is very moderate, and I needed a few decent sniffs to really get all the flavours coming from the beer. The cherries are very prominent, and there is even a bit of oak and vinegar hits to round out the flavours.

To taste, wow. There is a huge intense sour cherry flavour that is always present. It’s almost like having a warhead, but without the sweetness once you have broken through the sour layer. I fount the mustiness to not be as powerful as I would have expected, but then I was already fooled by the pop from the cork. To finish, it’s pretty dry, that lingers long after the beer has all but disappeared from the palate.

Overall, this is a fantastic kriek, and definitely comes highly recommended by many in the beer community.

Bought for €7 from Delices and Caprices

JG

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek

I managed to pick up a bottle of this along with a Oude Geuze from the same brewery. Considering I saw they are just available in Australia, I feel like I pick up a bargain, as I managed to get both for less than €10. Later in our trip I’ve seen them ranging up to nearly 10 each, which is absurd.

There is quite a bit of hype going around with this type of brewery, and the lambics they produce. What I can confirm is that both the beers I managed to get hold of from this brewery were awesome, so if you happen to come across anything by these guys, it will be well worth the money.

The Kriek pours a murky ruby red colour with a tiny lacing of white head on top. When I opened the bottle, there was a huge pop, and thus I assumed there would be masses amounts of carbonation, but this was not so.

It smelt of dense, wet funk and very tart, sour cherries. The funkiness is very moderate, and I needed a few decent sniffs to really get all the flavours coming from the beer. The cherries are very prominent, and there is even a bit of oak and vinegar hits to round out the flavours.

To taste, wow. There is a huge intense sour cherry flavour that is always present. It’s almost like having a warhead, but without the sweetness once you have broken through the sour layer. I fount the mustiness to not be as powerful as I would have expected, but then I was already fooled by the pop from the cork. To finish, it’s pretty dry, that lingers long after the beer has all but disappeared from the palate.

Overall, this is a fantastic kriek, and definitely comes highly recommended by many in the beer community.

Bought for €7 from Delices and Caprices

JG

18

Sep

We wandered into the delirium alley on our first night in Brussels. The place is a major tourist attraction, and it’s easy to see why. When you own the whole street with 6 different themed bars, it’s a place that suits all needs. From the main beer bar that has over 2000 beers, to the tequila or absinth bars, this place has it all.

We decided to hit up the live music section, and wasted no time getting stuck into some of the nations favourite beers. I decided initially to go for the Geuze Boon, which is one of the easier drinking geuze beers. Having tried Cantillon, I knew what I was in for.

Firstly though, let me talk a bit about this bar. The beer list is well over 200 pages long, and their selections of Belgium beers is out of this world. If you want to try something you’ve never had before, it’s a great place to start.

Boon Geuze

The Boon Geuze is lovely and sour, but not overly so. It pours a hazy straw gold colour, with a decent sized white head. The smell is pungent, with loads of citrus, and Belgian yeast that seems to add a whole other dimension and funkiness to the beer.

The favour on the other hand seems almost subdued in comparison, and it really doesn’t pack as many punches as say the 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze. The finish is slightly sour, leaving your mouth puckering, as should be expected. It feels smooth, well rounded in fact, and not overly crazy with the flavours, so that’s why I feel like this is the perfect introduction to Geuze beers, both for me and anyone else wishing to get into these type of beers.

We wandered into the delirium alley on our first night in Brussels. The place is a major tourist attraction, and it’s easy to see why. When you own the whole street with 6 different themed bars, it’s a place that suits all needs. From the main beer bar that has over 2000 beers, to the tequila or absinth bars, this place has it all.

We decided to hit up the live music section, and wasted no time getting stuck into some of the nations favourite beers. I decided initially to go for the Geuze Boon, which is one of the easier drinking geuze beers. Having tried Cantillon, I knew what I was in for.

Firstly though, let me talk a bit about this bar. The beer list is well over 200 pages long, and their selections of Belgium beers is out of this world. If you want to try something you’ve never had before, it’s a great place to start.

Boon Geuze

The Boon Geuze is lovely and sour, but not overly so. It pours a hazy straw gold colour, with a decent sized white head. The smell is pungent, with loads of citrus, and Belgian yeast that seems to add a whole other dimension and funkiness to the beer.

The favour on the other hand seems almost subdued in comparison, and it really doesn’t pack as many punches as say the 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze. The finish is slightly sour, leaving your mouth puckering, as should be expected. It feels smooth, well rounded in fact, and not overly crazy with the flavours, so that’s why I feel like this is the perfect introduction to Geuze beers, both for me and anyone else wishing to get into these type of beers.

31

Aug

Beer Nirvana (Belgium)

So after a month of travelling through Spain and Portugal, we have finally made it to Belgium!

OMG!!! It feels like all our christmas’s have come at once. We still have a few posts left over from Spain, but I think our next week and a half in this amazing country is going to prove very fruitful in terms of beer tastings.

Any recommendations for beer bars in Brussels, Brugge, or Liege?

Ps. I just bought some just bought myself some brouwerij fonteinen! Super excited to get stuck into them.

That’s all for now folks, much more to come in the next few days