Showing posts with label belgian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label belgian. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Belgian Golden Strong Ale by C12


OK 15 minute beer review, GO! New format. The speed review, so many reviews to catch up on and Victoria brewers have been pumping out the releases. So the Belgian golden strong is the hard to master category that is owned by Delerium Tremens and Duvel. It should be strong but not show it. Sweet, but hinting to the dry. Crisp finish to reveal minimal hopping. We all look at the category and compare beers to that pink elephant. Which is unfair, there should be room for interpretation. Rather like a Schopenhauer essay, your perception is your reality. Still if you are going to label it, you gotta own up. Does the C12 make the grade?  You tell me. I'm out of time.

BGSA by C12 = 7/10  

A tad syrupy for a BGSA, but tasty fruitiness makes you overlook that. I noticed apricots, pears, cotton candy and a slight wood presence. This beer was a tad hot, but nothing unreasonable. Did not taste a hop presence, but that's OK. There was a hint of wood character, think wood pencil dipped in vanilla extract. Over all, worth your hard earned money.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 10.6% (yah right)
Value +1
Appearance +1 great description of flavour.

Glassware: Certainly a tulip that Kendrew envies.

Food Pairings: Candied salmon, with carrots and turnips

Cellar: Maybe. Didn't see a lot of residual yeast.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Puzzler Belgian Black IPA (Phillips)


This is like Deja Vu. At the end of last year, there were tonnes of new releases. It was hard to keep up. Luckily there are many options for Victoria beer drinkers to enjoy. I only had space in my backpack for one beer tonight: Puzzler by Phillips and Great Lakes Brewery. Not to be confused with Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH, of the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter fame. The Toronto based Great Lakes makes the Devil's Pale Ale. The last year GCBF mashup was with Garrison's; they attempted a Baltic porter. This year it's the Puzzler Belgian Black IPA.So what does it taste like?

Puzzler = 6/10

This is a typical Phillips hop bomb; so it will be well liked. There is a little voice in my left ear saying, "Remove your bias, ignore the label. What would you say about it now?" Before you attempt to medicate me, the voices were from my spouse at the other end of the couch. This is a hop bomb from the moment you crack the seal; floral and citrus ooze everywhere. Massive aromas of floral and miscellaneous citrus cloud all other nasal intrusions. Maybe a bit of chocolate.. perhaps roasted coffee..maybe some spices.. Each sip reveals little else; tonnes of hops with enveloping astringency. Don't get me wrong,  being from the PNW, I love a good hop bomb. The label eludes to flavours of Belgian yeasts, I'm not getting it. Aging might lesson the hops, but that space should be saved for something else. Perhaps a slightly more spicy Skookum? I'm going to have to use steel wool to remove the hop resins from this glass.

Taste +2
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1  9.1%
Value 0
Appearance +1 great art and description of beer taste

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Matilda (Goose Island)

This rating is chalked up to poor keg stewardship. I was on vacation in Las Vegas and happened upon Yardhouse. Perhaps it was the glowing neon signs that drew me in. The Yardhouse's claim to fame is the many, many draft beer options, there were almost 100 to choose from. Before you get excited, it does not sound as good as you might think. Once you deduct the macros, imports, promiscuous crafts the selection thins out. It is a beer tickers dream, but a geek's nightmare. I chose the only seasonal: Goose Islands Matilda.

Matilda (Goose Island) =2/10
Ratebeer 3.62 96th percentile
Beer Advocate 89%

Despite the RB and BA love, I could not see the glory. The nose was light with sweet apricots, peaches and moonshine. The other needed bits were there: silky mouthfeel, warming but it was all a tad boring. The taste was a little flat of baby food apricots, honey and vaguely spicy hops/yeast. It all ended with a slick, slippery slide of apricots, peaches and re-swallowed vomit. Perhaps this keg had been sitting around for a while. Or maybe I should not benchmark it to Delirium.


Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Other Belgian Strong Ale
Delirium Tremens
Piraat
Augistijn



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rayon Vert (Green Flash)

They told me that soon this day would come; my house is again quiet. The wife is away for the weekend, the kid is at a sleepover, even the cat won't talk to me. Just me and a bottle of beer. Maybe I won't clean the fish tanks and play Battlefield 3 instead.

Rayon Vert (Green Flash) = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.7 98th percentile
Beer Advocate 88%

This brew smells like all citrus goodness: oranges, mild lemons and pomelos. Don't forget about the glorious wafting of bready Belgian yeasts. Each sip is spicy, tart yet slightly sweet. It is hard to tell where all the flavours are coming from. Is the lemony citrus from the hops or the yeast? How about the sourdough bread is that the Brett funk? Only the malts or again with the magic Belgian yeasts? Oranges; I don't care where you originate as long as you keep returning. A dry, citrus finish only invites you in for another sip. Very nice.


Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1
Appearance 0

Other Misc Belgian Style Ales
Spring Rite (Driftwood)
La Chouffe
Delirium Tremens

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Beast (Batch 666) at Swan's

This is called a Belgian style golden ale. The same family as Duvel, Delerium and Affligem. So I was looking forward to a big fruitness, spices and finishing dry phenolic snap. I guess one out of three ain't bad.

The Beast (Batch 666) at Swan's = 3/10

Things were off to a good start with ample apple fruitness, hint of pears and alcohol nasal warmth. From here things went south. There was no sparking mouthfeel, no alcohol tingle not much at all. It tasted very much like an apple cider with a little pear mixed in. This all just ended a little sticky and sweet. For those who love a good apple cider; this is for you

Taste +1
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 9.1%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (nice pub)

Other Belgian Golden Ales
La Chouffe
Delerium Tremens
Pranqster (North Coast)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

De Ranke XX Bitter

I can't think of anything to say about this brewery; other than the fact that everything they make is awesome.

De Ranke XX Bitter = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.66 97th  percentile
Beer Advocate 92nd

Right from the cap-pry, this stuff emits a massive amount of citrus, lemon tang and spicy floral notes. Up front, a massive blast of citrus and lemon hops hits you only to grow into a floral and spicy ending. There was a bit of grass in that mix also. Malts.. bah who needs 'em. Even the afterglow is all tangy lemons and spices. Not to be insulting but it reminded me of a Blue or Canadian turned up to 11. A true hophead delight


Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6.2%
Value +1
Appearance 0 (not the greatest label art)

Other IPA reviews
Hop Goblin IPA (R&B)
Racer 5 IPA (I hope they don't sue me for using their name in my blog)
Uncharted IPA

Monday, January 16, 2012

Belgian Black (Lighthouse)


This will be a tough week for me; so many new beers to try. The line up this week is the Belgian Black by Lighthouse, the first two beers from Hoyne, and a frozen barley wine from Phillips. I choose the Lighthouse first.

Belgian Black (Lighthouse) = 9/10

Most beer geeks in Victoria will be familiar with the nose; it smells like a ramped up Keepers. There is nothing wrong with this. I love Keepers stout. The air just oozes aromas of berries and roasted bitter chocolate. Each sip is just as your would expect: low carbonation, full mouthfeel, thick, chewy and warming. Heaps and heaps of flavours emerge. Some are expected; namely the bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, berries and dark fruit. Not expected was the faint spiciness (allspice) and rum cake. The spiciness is most likely due to the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain used. The astringency from the bittersweet carried a long linger of warming alcohol and spice. Very tasty and well worth trying, maybe more than once.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9%
Value +1
Appearance +1 Get bottle and art by Michelle Landry

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Currant Noir (Spinnakers)

Can beer bloggers make resolutions? Sure we can; this year I will make three resolutions.

First: Try each new release from Victoria breweries. This will be a tough one because Hoyne will have all new brews. VIB, Moon Under Water and Lighthouse have done many releases last year.

Second: Get the Extraordinary Badge on Untappd. That means you have sampled 1000 unique beers. I'm at 584 already.

Third: I know I have said this before; try and get all my 33Beer notebooks reviewed. This one is a pipe dream.


Currant Noir (Spinnakers) = 7/10
Ratebeer 3.21/5 59th percentile
Beer Advocate (5 reviews)


The nose is mostly tart black currants with a little yeast thrown in. At the start a pronounced black currant flavour coats every dental filling with a pleasant tart/sourness. The slight carbonation carried an afterthought of tastes: apricots, light pit fruits and raisins. Sour currants lingered for a while with it's good friend alcohol warmth. This is not the most unique beer in the world, but the added fruit flavours will appear to a much larger crowd. People who are not usually beer people will enjoy this beverage. The other flavours in the limited release fruit ménage à trois are raspberry and cherries.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label art with a good description of beer and local ingredients)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Uncharted Belgian IPA (Lighthouse)

So what gives a beer blogger the right to fire off his opinions about other peoples' creations? Beer bloggers are either fanboys who will say anything to hopefully become part of the 'in' crowd, or opinionated pricks who shoot their mouths off because they feel like it. Sadly I will never be part of the 'in' crowd and people have already designated me as the beer prick.
So here we go. It is always awkward to review beers that Dean has made. I say this because one day I might have to look my friend in the eye and say, "Buddy this beer tastes like ass, but the artwork is very nice." Today will not be one of those days. Despite the fact the Belgian IPA is not actually a real beer style, I still like it - no love it. Even Stephen Beaumont says that it is not a real beer style. Categorizations aside, it does adequately describe the beer. This is an unique IPA sensation because it uses hop varieties that are from the southern hemisphere. If you want to read more about this blended beer, check out beerontherock.


The nose is massive and hard to pin down because the aromas are so foreign. There is a solventy and earthy mixture of obscure tropic fruits. Guavas and passion fruits come to mind. At the start of the sip, the fruity/estery vapours mix with the alcohol to burn everything away. Once the tingling fades, there is a spicy wash of lightly astringent tropical fruits. Try to imagine a mix of guavas, cardamon, and unripe apricots. The bitterness is hoppy but not in a manner PNW hop addicts are used to. Malts? I'm sure they are there somewhere. Does it linger? It leaves a puzzling aftertaste that makes you head for the spice cabinet to try and determine what you are tasting. Well done! This beer was similar to Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere Harvest.

Taste+5
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 7.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 great art by Michelle Landry

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Rite (Driftwood)

This is the second release from Driftwood using local malts. It is meant to be an Abbey style pale ale conditioned with Brettanomyces. This should impose an immediate sour tartness but will also allow this beer to improve with age. I plan to buy a few more and cellar them for a few months to see how the taste changes.

Spring Rite (Driftwood) = 7/10

The nose is very funky. If you want to experience the effects of brett, this is the beer to do it. Lots of floral/citrus hops (centennial?) and the brett imparts a spiciness mixed with barnyard and wool blanket. While the aroma wording may not be appealing, your nasal passages will be enticed for an imbibe. At the start of the sip there is a wallop of puckering sweet and tart phenols. The taste can be compared to a good kefir or buttermilk. Once the shock is over, the malts and hops settle in. Both are very dry with straw, sourdough bread and light lemon citrus flavours. Alcohol warmth in the ending drys the palate to leave a long tongue coating of tart sweetness. This is good; I hope the tart shock fades with age. Mrs Beer Prick really liked it.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1 (It is tasty now but give it 6 months)
Appearance +1 nice local artist design.

Orval
Damnation
New Belgium Trippel

Friday, February 25, 2011

Belgian Ale (Yaletown Seasonal)

This was the last stop on our pub crawl. I didn't ask a lot of questions about this beer, and frankly, our server could have cared less to answer. Most of the people around us had glasses full of pale yellow swill- idiots!

Belgian Ale (Yaletown Seasonal) =5/10

It was a Belgian strong ale alright; tart yeasts, apricots and light citrus flavours were abundant. As was the slight lemon grass and alcohol warmth. The slightly sour linger was a pleasant ending. It was OK, but I have had better - many better.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 (prob over 6%)
Value 0
Appearance 0

Dix Grand Cru Damage Control

Little did I know that I was drinking this on Dix Brewpub's last day. Had I of known, I would have asked to keep the glass. Gord had the IPA and quite liked it.

Dix Grand Cru Damage Control = 8/10
Ratebeer 3.42/5 - 4 ratings

Only a faint whiff of solvent and plum escaped from this understated brown fluid. The slickness of each sip coated everything with plums, cherries and nail polish. Bordering on the intense; the sweet solvents left a long lingering of plum and mixed dark fruit salad. Very sad thinking back and knowing that this place is gone.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 9.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (any pub that has peanut shells on the floor is a great place)

Dick Grand Cru and Loss
Monk's Mistress
Delirium Tremens

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hoperation (Phillips)

I feel that my postings must be stepped up a notch. L4B is not the only beer blog in town. I used to compete with Dave, but he is too busy getting pounded by demolition to post. Not sure what Dan is doing? Perhaps he is working on his latest uber-post or just slacking. Now there is this new guy in town: DamnBeerBlogger. He/She is very long winded but very entertaining. He also must be related to Rex Murphy or owns a thesaurus because he uses a lot of big words. Time for L4B v 2.0.

This beer is good. It tastes like nice stuff and not like cabbage.

Hoperation Tripel Cross (Phillips) = 9/10


Supposedly this brew will replace the Surly Blonde Ale; thank goodness. Maybe it is just me but the Surly has gotten blander over the years. This is a new combination of two old favourites: a Belgian IPA. Imagine a great IPA and use a Belgian yeast to add those spicy and peppery phenols to the brew. Truly a thing of beauty when pulled off correctly, as with this example. The nose is big with a strong, but varied hop variety. It strayed into the tropical fruit arena with a bit of tangerine and spice. The malts were there - yes, yes apricots, cereal and honey - but what about the spicy phenols and dry-side hops? It had it all: yeasty, sweet hops, tangerine, cotton candy, topical fruit, apricots and peppery spices. The full body left a long alcohol warmth of hop soup and white pepper residue. It was no Orval or Le Freak but darn close. Definitely made up for the Dr. Skunk Funkle.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (nice label as always)

New Belgium Trippel
Piraat
Le Freak and Video Game May Help ADHD

Friday, January 21, 2011

Local 2 (Brooklyn Brewery)

The strong dark Belgian ale beer category such a treat. Flavours are always complex and can change with aging and temperature serving. You have your strong Trappists, Abbey styles even Unibroue makes a couple.

Local 2 (Brooklyn Brewery) = 8/10
Ratebeer 3.67 97th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

I must have some odd genetic defect; whenever I see a Brooklyn Brewery corked magnum, my wallet comes out and I start salivating. The aromas of dark fruit, spicy yeast and candied sugar are not helping my condition. I'm drooling for a reason: the full mouthfeel of dark honey, plums and rum cake cures my sickness. As I lose consciousness, the dry/tart yeast, alcohol burn and candied dark fruits lingers into blackness.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 9%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Brother Thelonius and Blade Runner Boobs
Rochefort 8 and the Stig
Chambly Noir

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

La Chouffe


La Chouffe


Ratebeer 3.77 98th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +4

This is a Belgian strong ale so the golden colour and lots of carbonation are right on the mark. The large mousse head disipated quickly to form just a thin layer. Its nose is light of yeast, honey and spices(pepper). As the big carbonation tingles the throat, the alcohol warms the chest. This cleanses the way for yeast, bready, sweet light fruits (citrus) and honey flavours. The yeasty/wheat tartness imparts a full mouthfeel.

Aftertaste +1

It was very crisp and dry with just a little yeast tartness.

Alcohol Content +1 8%

Value +1

People rave about this beer and I now understand why. If you love a strong spicy Belgian ale, this is the one.

Ingame Enhancement +1

There is no memory of what I was doing or where I was. Yes, the score is being bumped up for selfish reasons.

Overall 8/10

A strong Belgian ale can be a beautiful thing, when done right. It can either be a zesty, bready, tart, fruity, spicy palate-loving brew. Or it can be a bland vehicle for high ABV and regrettable memories. Often recorded by the court stenographer. Luckily La Chouffe falls into the latter category.

Brooklyn Local 1
St. Bernardus Tripel
Saint-Martin Blond

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Driftwood Belle Royal


Driftwood Belle Royal
Strong Belgian Ale

Taste +5

It pours cloudy with red and no head; this either means glory or my bad homebrew. Luckily I grabbed the right bottle and glory hits the tastebuds. The nose was all pale malts, yeast, alcohol and sour cherries. The persistent alcohol warmth blends wells well with the medium effervescent mouthfeel. There is light fruit esters (apricots), but the big winner is the sour cherries. Their dominance is subtle and lasts from start to finish.

Aftertaste +2

The alcohol warmth and sour cherries had a kirsch-like quality.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

You could not taste it, only feel it.

Value +1

I think this one will do well with aging. The first stock wave vanished from Victoria within hours.

Ingame Enhancement +1

The new map for L4D is short but sweet. The Passing was great; I missed Francis. I hate pessimistic guys with tattoos.

Overall 10/10

Everything Driftwood touches turn to gold. Their output may not be voluminous, but the quality is sure there. Take a good, strong Belgian Ale and add sour cherries; not the syrupy kind. This is the Driftwood Belle Royal: well done.

Dicks Grand Cru and Loss
Delirium Tremens
Augustijn

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fog Fighter (Spinnakers)

Fog Fighter (Spinnakers)
Belgian Blonde Ale

Ratebeer 3.29 58th percentile
Beer Advocate A- (2 reviews)

I went into Spinnakers to pick up my cask festival tickets and it didn't feel right to not try something. So I sat the downstairs bar and had a quick glass.

Taste +3

This brew had all the markers of a great Belgian blonde ale. The nose was very light of apricots, yeast and rock candy. After a strong snap of alcohol burn the flavours settled in. They were right on the money with canned peaches, apricots, rock candy and a faint spiciness.

Aftertaste +2

It was a sweet lingering that was barely on the good side, not sickly but almost there. This was nicely enhanced by the tart yeast spiciness.

Alcohol Content +1 8%

The ABV was not listed, but the friendly barkeep said it was over 8%.

Value 0

It was very nice, but I wouldn't get it again. This rating might be a little biased, I had tasted the Delirium earlier. The Delirium was a truly delicious Belgian blonde ale.

Ingame Enhancement 0

This category should be changed, I don't play that much anymore. Maybe I should just start gaming more.

Overall 6/10

This was a good, solid Belgian blonde ale. All the flavours were represented: rock candy, apricots, spicy yeasts and tart alcohol burn. I had not been fond of the beers from Spinnakers lately; all the styles just seemed lackluster and watery. This had recently changed. The Kolsch they had on tap was simply delicious, this Belgian was also good. I will have to visit this place more often.

Trappist Achel Blond

Saint-Martin Blond
Salt Spring Golden Ale

Friday, February 12, 2010

Delirium Tremens


Delirium Tremens

Ratebeer 3.57 91st percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +5

I have had this bottle in the back of my fridge for some time. Today the pink elephant called to me quite loudly. The nose was big, the beer not the elephant, with yeast, sweet fruits (peaches and apricots) and alcohol. The sip was a glorious lightly tart with sweet fruits. The alcohol burns up from but warms at the end. You could pick out flavours of wheat, ripe apricots, canned peaches and sweet key limes.

Aftertaste +1

The pleasant alcohol warmth mixes well with the fruit sweetness, but vanished too quick.

Alcohol Content +1 8.5%

Value +1

This was a great Belgian strong Ale. It was more on the sweet side with not so much yeast.

Ingame Enhancement +1

No gaming but went down to Canoe Club to try the new Habit Espresso Stout. It was packed.

Overall 9/10

It was delicious with tart fruit sweetness backed with alcohol. It went well with the sweet curry I had for dinner

Augustijn
Brasserie Des Rocs Brune
Local 1

Friday, February 5, 2010

Trois Pistoles


Trois Pistoles

Ratebeer 3.96 99th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +4

You know you are in for a treat with a big nose like this one. It is big and rich with prunes, raisins and yeast; it very much like sweet vermouth. The taste is also like a vermouth with cassis, raisins and so much more. The ever-present alcohol gives the mouthfeel a nice tingle and effervescence. It is very slippery and easy to drink.

Aftertaste +2

The long alcohol warmth carries prunes, wood and a raisiny syrup.

Alcohol Content +1 9%

It is everywhere but not overpowering.

Value +1

This truly is a glorious and strong beer.

Ingame Enhancement +1

All night long just L4D2 finales. It feels like I am eating the cherries off each desert at a buffet.

Overall 9/10

I never understand why there are so many of these on the liquor shelves; it should always be sold out. A big, beautiful Belgian style ale. It has it all ripe fruits, wood, spice and alcohol.

Damnation and Conspiracies
Monk's Mistress
Brother Bart Belgian Brown

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pranqster (North Coast)


Pranqster (North Coast)

Ratebeer 3.47 86th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +3

Sigh.. Yet another Belgian golden ale. Lets go through the list. Sweet wheat nose, check, apricots/peaches, check, yeast aroma, check, can we get a little spice, check. The taste fits the cookie cutter profile also. There is low carbonation, sweet fruity malt (apricots and peaches) and bready yeast. It all just seems a little flat. Maybe this is the zombie Belgian golden ale.

Aftertaste +1

It is quite dry, sweety fruity and yeasty.

Alcohol Content +1 7.9%

Now here is the plus side; you can hardly taste it.

Value 0

It just lacked that zing, but it was tasty. I must relax a little.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Yup there were zombies and yes we sent them packing.

Overall 6/10

It was a well done Belgian style golden ale. I think it just lacked that magical ingredient to make it epic.

Saint-Martin Blonde
Brother Thelonius
Local 1