Sunday, December 26, 2010

A choice of Belgian beers

A while ago I was in the Netherlands for business reasons and on my way back I made a stop in Belgium and picked up some bottles of the famous Belgian beer to try it at home.

Here's a little report about it.. and don't worry: I didn't try them all at the same day...

I've to say that it's a nice experience, interesting stuff of which I'll buy more in future for sure. Keep some bottles to age them, then try them again in 4 or 5 years....

Delirium Tremens - cool name, interesting beer.

Coming from the Huyghe brewery which is close to Gent where they brew beer since 1654. The beer I tried was "created" in 1989.

Really fruity in the nose, but it has also some bitterness in the taste... it's some kinda.... creamy. It's triple fermented and has 8.5 % of alcohol... not too bad.

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Trappist Rochefort 6 - dark and palatable.

This beer is coming from the abbey Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy in Rochefort and is on of three beers that they brew there...

Somber and copper brown.... pleasant maltiness, some hints of roast aromas.... very palatable and somehow delicate tastewise even though it has 7.5 %. But there is still enough body that it doesn't seem to be flat. I think I'll take it again.

Trappist Rochefort 10 - a beer like honey.

Reddish-brown, very dark color, with a very compact head and an aroma of figs, feels like honey in the mouth. The alcohol profile is a major component in the flavour of this rich ale.

Black as the night.... cream, malt, honey.... very fat in the mouth, some hints of licorice. 11.3 % warm the throat... but still very pleasant.... on the whole a bit too sweet for my liking....

Westmalle - another dark one which goes down well.

The abbey Westmalle is brewing beer since 1836, it was sold outside the abbey the first time in 1856. It's one of the 7 Trappist beer that exist nowadays.

Dark, close to black in the glass... very malty, intensive notes of caramell... there's definetly more sweetness than at the Delirium or the Rochefort .6.. and a bit weaker with 7 % only... it's a Dubbel, which means it's fermented twice.

Orval - Le Val d'Or, the golden valley.

The alcohol content after the brewing is app. 5.2 %. During the bottling process sugar and yeast'll be added, due to this the beer'll have another fermentation in the bottle and the alcohol content can increase up to 7.2 %. The sticker on the bottle claims 6.2 % as an average. The monks in the abbey Notre-Dame d'Orval started brewing beer in 1932.

Amber-colored and somber... some kinda salty, intensive malt, yeast and some nice bitterness in the end... very complex... oh yeah, that´s a beer I really like. One of my favorites.

La Guillotine - don't lose your head.

La Guillotine comes from the same brewery as the Delirium Tremens, from Huyghe brewery. It's bottled with 8.5 % of alcohol....

Good taste of yeast and some decent bitterness... but still creamy... nice beer.

St. Sebastiaan Grand Cru - the soft maltiness.

Produced at the Brouwerij Sterkens which has a tradition of more than 350 years of brewing beer.

Blond beer with 7.6 %, a pleasant malty creamyness and hints of banana, dry in the aftertaste....

St. Paul - the somber Blond.

Another one coming from the Brouwerij Sterkens, also a blond one...

7.6 % of aclohol, triple fermented... pleasant bitter notes which reminds of a regular Pilsner beer... good, but nothin spectacular.

Corsendonk Pater Dubbel - matured in the bottle.

The Corsedonk monks, originally from the Swiss Windesheim order, are not only famous for their beer but also for the copying of books and teachin of Latin....

Double fermented, 7.5 %... very dark and somber, taste of caramell fudge, hints of dark roasted coffee and some sour aromas...

Chimay Bleue 2010 Grande Réserve - the big blue one.

In order to meet their needs and those of their foundations as well as to sustain employment in their region, since 1862 the Cistercian Trappist monks of Chimay have been developing the production of Trappist beers and cheeses which, owing to their character and qualities are well known and enjoy great success.

The Chimay Bleue is available in small (33 cl / 11.2 fl oz), medium (75 cl / 25.4 fl oz) and big sized (150 cl / 50.7 fl oz) bottles. The bigger the bottle the better the maturation... especially after a storage over some years it'll give it a fuller and smoother character. Due to this storage the beer'll acquire a light and pleasant taste of port.

This one was bottled in May this year (there's a stamp with 05/2010 on the cork), so it's still fresh, closed with a cork like a Champagne... but you can guess how it'll be with some years of age.. I guess I need some more bottles to store them. Reddish-brown color, creamy foam... intensive taste of malt and yeast, decent hints of nutty flavors.... oh wow... that's fantastic. Well balanced and even though there are some sweet aromas it´s never too sweet.... Another favorite of the tested range.

Chimay Rouge - good company for a cigar

I also tried the Chimay Rouge which is bottled with 7.0 %...

Exotic fruits and bitterness of a Pilsner, goes well with a cigar...

Leffe Bruin - some desert beer

Leffe Bruin... Malty, caramell fudge and pleasant sweetness.

Affligem - the creamy Triple

Affligem... another triple fermented... served cool as a Pilsner... good, if you are thirsty, but don't forget that it has about 9.0 % of alcohol... Malt and yeast, later fruits and some bitterness, very creamy.

Judas - no betrayal at all

Judas... a triple fermented beer with 8.5 % of alcohol... but you don't feel the alcohol... very smooth, pleasant sweetness of exotic fruits... yeast and some good bitterness in the end...