Yak

Stroom Brouwers - Gent, East Flanders, Belgium 🇧🇪

Review by Alengrin

7.4
Appearance - 7
Aroma - 7
Overall - 7.5
Flavor - 7.5
Texture - 8

A surprising newcomer on the Ghent brewing scene, the Stroom project in the ‘Heirnis’ quarter in the eastern part of the city, was set up by a local and an American, the latter having already brewed with Humboldt & Gauss (another Ghent brewing initiative, sadly discontinued now), and seems intent on delivering only modern, U.S. or ‘international’ style craft beers – definitely one I will follow with great interest. This Yak is a saison spiced with Szechuan pepper, an East-Asian spice I encountered several times before in beer – sometimes with bizarre results. Small-bubbled, medium thick, moussy, snow white head, hazy peach blonde robe with amberish and beige-ish shades. Very herbal and indeed ‘Far East’ coloured aroma, basil or even peppermint leaf, Asian chicken soup with a lot of cilantro (or even ‘carbonades à la Flamande’ with a lot of bayleaf in it, according to another taster), eucalyptus leaf somewhere, yarrow, herb tea, rusk, black pepper. Sweetish, fruity onset, bit estery (kveik!), peach and stewed fig notes, softish carb, smooth body; bread-crusty and soggy rusk-like malts, touch of old peanuts, slight sourish edge, with this very pronounced herbal effect from the Szechuan pepper returning, bringing back all that chicken broth, cilantro, flowery yarrow, basil and mint leaf – a combination of flavours all attributable to that one ingredient, achieving total dominance, with only a streak of floral hop bitterness and a bready malt effect remaining noticeable. Extremely herbal – as in some other Szechuan-spiced beers I had, so I should not be too surprised. Unusual choice with unusual result, took a while to get used to, but at least it is another kind of start than the umpteenth generic APA or IPA… Not entirely sure what to think of this one, but one thing is for sure: this new Ghent brewery can expect a visit from me in the near future, because this beer sure made me curious.

Tried on 15 Sep 2021 at 11:59