Vollmundig hopfiger Antrunk mit schnell aufkommender weicher Bitterkeit. Nuancen von Rosmarin, Hafer, moderate Süße. Trockenes Mundgefühl, vollmundig hopfig bleibend, langer Nachhall, alkoholische Nuancen. Lecker. 9/13/12/13/11/13
Can at home from the golden eagle. Light hazy golden colour with a white head. Aroma and taste are citrus and bittersweet. Slight smooth creamy body.
Bottle from Pomalo, Dubrovnik drank at current home in Hvar. Fairly hazy with a small off white head. Aroma of malt, spicy hops, green grassy, floral notes and grain. Flavour is light sweet and bitter. Light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Wässrig bitterer Hopfenbeginn. Etwas blumig, ansteigende Bitterkeit, frisch aber wenig aromatisch. Spritzig, mittellanger Abgang. Okay. 9/8/9/8/9/8
Three-grains tripel (where have we heard that before) made by this client brewer located in the Brugse Poort quarter of Ghent - and apparently the last of these Crabbelaer beers that had escaped my attention so far, until last Sunday when I randomly stumbled upon it in café Den Boer in Mariakerke. Thanks to my girlfriend Goedele! Snow white, irregularly edged, medium thick, opening but largely stable head, misty peach blonde robe with pale orangey tinge. Aroma of cooked turnip, unripe peach, coriander seed and even soap, young 'jenever', honey, old potato mash, cooked green beans, soggy bread, old crackers, some light banana, minerals. Fizzy onset, lots of sharpish carbonation piercing through fruity impressions of red apple, halfripe peach and banana peel, sweetish, with some of this honeyish sweetness lingering over a rounded, bready and somewhat soggy cracker-like maltiness, soft and fluffy but still harshened a bit by that sharp carbonation; clear spicy and lightly soapy coriander seed in the finish, paired with a gentle floral hop bitterness and some vague residual sweetness, all tied together by a soft and subtle glow of warming, 'jenever'-like alcohol. Very stereotypical tripel indeed, ticking all the boxes of the style and in that sense nothing surprising (certainly if compared with the output of some of the other Ghent brewers and 'bierfirma's'), but technically very well executed, I hasten to add.
Ghent harbours many client brewers these days and one of them is De 6 Helmen, located in an old neighbourhood called Brugse Poort, which is also the birthplace of local singer Kurt Burgelman, known for his band 'Biezebaaze' (Ghent dialect for 'swing'). This beer honours the band, so I guess it can be - kind of - categorized under that bunch of beers made for and in collaboration with rock bands (see the beers made for AC/DC, Metallica, Motörhead and so on)... As for style: it is apparently intended as a Kölsch, so a top-fermented golden ale of session strength undergoing a long cold storage as is custom in Cologne; this makes it, to my knowledge at least, the second one in Ghent, as Dok Brewing Company already made one a couple of years ago. This Biezebaaze, however, differs from Dok's fully traditional interpretation - and from the actual Kölsch beers from Germany - in making use of dry-hopping, lending it an Anglo-Saxon twist. Thick, frothy, egg-white, very mousy and 'closed', stable head leaving patches of plastery lacing on the wall of the glass, topping an initially clear, pale straw blonde beer with somewhat greenish tinge and fierce sparkling, becoming lightly hazed with sediment. Aroma of starfruit, halfripe banana, drying white bread, withering grass, vague hint at guava, dried lemon zest, ripe cucumber, field flowers, hints of soap, chalk and lemonbalm. Clean, very restrainedly fruity onset (as, indeed, in a Kölsch), green banana and starfruit with a dash of Granny Smith apple, lively carbonation though nowhere harshly stinging; lots of minerality accompanying a supple, smooth cereally malt body with a light soft-bready edge and a vague underlying sourish touch, green-fruity aspects lingering until a floral hop character appears, offering retronasal impressions of field flowers (sweetclover), some vague lime blossom and some equally vague lychee, as well as a soft, gentle, grassy end bitterness. The 'purity' of pale malt and minerally brewing water remains intact, though, so in that sense I think the Kölsch intentions (or 'Gölsch', Ghentish Kölsch, as the brewer calls it) are well achieved. If Dok's interpretation came close to the cleaner, drier side of Kölsch (think e.g. Dom Kölsch), then this one leans more to the softer, 'sweeter' side (think e.g. Früh Kölsch). The dry-hopping does add an interesting fruity accent but does not completely ruin the Kölsch idea, contrary to what I was fearing - so in all, very well made, I'd happily drink several of these, perhaps ending up singing "Loetsebollekezoetse", the only Biezebaaze song I can think of right now...
Heller herber Beginn. Mild hopfig, zurückhaltende Bitterkeit. Etwas grasig, ansteigende Herbe, süffig. Mittellanger Abgang. Einfach, fehlerfrei. 10/9/12/9/8/10
Bottle at home. Deep hazy ruby colour with a fast disappearing off white head. Aroma dried fruity tart to sour. Crisp body
@home poured into a pint glass. Hazy amber brown colour, good loose moussy beige head, dissipating slowly, light lacing. Aroma roasted malt, caramel hard candy sugar (kandij), something vegetal and/or herbal, brown bread. Taste medium sweet and below medium bitter, malty, light roast, caramel, liquorice, sugar syrup. Medium body, oily to sticky texture, soft carbonation, short malty sweetbitter aftertaste, sourish undertone, syrupy and herbal notes, light liquorice, not a clear profile nor style but nice.
33 cl. can shared with Hilde @ home, bought @ Coop Culemborg.
Hazy old yellow with a white head. Tropical fruit aroma with some mint. Some malty notes as well. Sweet taste with a mild bitter finish. Not as sweet as most other NEIPA's, which to me is a plus.
375ml can from Monster and Beer, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Poured a hazy orange light amber colour, with a mostly lasting frothy white head. The aroma is malt, tangerine citrus. The flavour is moderate bitter, light sweet, with a fresh, crisp, juicy, light tart orange/tangerine, mineral, light hop bitter palate. Medium bodied with average carbonation.
Pours deep golden, hazy, and a small white head with some retention. Aroma's: sourish, wheaty, Berliner Weisse style, tropical fruity, jam. Retronasal its's sourish, sweetish, tropical fruit/citrus. Flavour is moderate sour, fruity with a sweetish touch, and citrus zest. Light bodied. Quite nice and refreshing.
330ml bottle from Monster and Beer, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Poured a clear dark amber colour with a short-lived frothy, off-white, head. The aroma is malt, light woody hops. The flavour is light bitter, with a light, watery, bland, light malt, cardboard, mineral, light metallic, light hop bitter palate. Light bodied with soft carbonation. One of the worst beers I’ve ever had. It’s like drinking coloured water. There is seriously very little flavour. This beer makes Bud Light seem like a classic. Does the brewery ever taste their own beers?? Absolute drain pour.
Can from Livonia Liquor. Pours a clear dark gold with a finger of off-white foam that lingers. Sweet malt aromas right off the bat...notes of fresh dough, corn and sweet roll. More of the same on the palate. I can't believe this is so sweet. Nah, not for me, should've kept this one in the UP.
Black IPA by Birrificcio Rurale – the ‘rural brewery’ located in Lombardia in northern Italy; thanks Jonathan for sharing! Greyish off-white, irregular, moussy, uneven-bubbled, slowly opening but partially retaining head, misty very dark chocolate brown robe with burgundy hue. Aroma of burnt pine wood, hard caramel, old bitter chocolate, elderberry, hint of smoked meat or bonfire ashes in the background, roasted pecan nuts, diluted coffee, prunes, dried figs, wet leather. Fruity, somewhat sweetish onset, a touch of dark sugar sprinkled over dried figs and prunes, with a very subtle porcini-like umami touch somewhere, fizzily carbonated with a full, oily body; hard-caramelly, pecan-nutty dark maltiness ensues and fills the mouth, aspects of fondant and coffee, with a sourish streak subtly but undeniably running underneath. The roasted bitterness is there but remains generally soft, with caramelly sweetness prevailing; still a firm dose of leafy, herbal and even lightly piney hops provide enough end bitterness, spreading out over the root of the tongue. This beer never becomes harshly hop bitter though, with that sweet aspect remaining all too strong for the intended genre; could do with a bit more New World hop aroma as well. Otherwise a very decent attempt, even with a bit of that typical Italian elegance to it.
Strong dark chocolate beer by Damse Brouwers executed at Gulden Spoor, making use of a dark chocolate type (Criollo) by recommendation of renowned (and popular) Bruges-based chocolatier Dominique Persoone. Many thanks to Jonathan for sharing! Egg-white, thick and moussy, stable head on a clear, dark chestnut brown beer with ruby red glow, misty with sediment. Aroma of hard caramel, liquorice, chestnut, bubblegum, toasted brown bread, fried pear, bayleaf, ‘Koetjesreep’, clove, old tea bags. Sweet onset, fruity notes of pear and fig, medium carbonation with full, slick, very smooth, somewhat resinous mouthfeel; caramelly and Ersatz-chocolatey maltiness with brown-bready edge and a vague touch of actual bitter chocolate, sweetish at first with some dark residual sugariness (as in a quad) but quickly shifting to toasty bitterness, though avoiding full-on coffee-like roastiness so that the sweetness keeps prevailing. Spicy notes of bayleaf and liquorice towards the finish, along with a ‘deep’ herbal hop bitter note and some warming, brandy-like alcohol; caramelly maltiness remains the key factor here, though. The added chocolate ironically remains very faint – in fact I had imperial stouts without chocolate at all that had a more chocolatey profile than this… Implicitly intended as an imperial stout the Belgian way I suppose, but going all Anglo-Saxon on this and creating a thick, roasty, jet black stout would have been the better option, as it would only have accentuated the chocolate intentions, which now remain too understated. Otherwise a fine, warming sipper, decently constructed on a pure technical level.
Hazy session IPA, one of Brouwbar’s most recent to date, and arguably one of their most ‘summery’ beers to date as well. Hopped with four different varieties, namely Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy and Sabro. Eggshell-white, medium thick, moussy, membrane-lacing head, hazy yellow-golden blonde robe with pale apricot tinge. Aroma of lime zest, green banana, some light passionfruit, unripe mango, minerals, gypsum, white bread dough, slight stewed onion or even armpit sweat dankness – but only very faintly so. Clean onset, unripe banana and unripe melon with a touch of green apple, less tropically sweet and sultry than is usually the case in this genre, quite lively carbonated for the NEIPA idiom as well, with a persistent minerally undertone; supple, feather-light body, very light white breadiness aromatized by zesty and ‘green-fruity’ hoppiness, again unripe mango and lime zest with a distant echo of lychee, providing a soft white-peppery end bitterness too – but very soft indeed, as it ought to be in a NEIPA. Light-footed, even thinnish, but highly quenching session IPA, very clean as befits the Brouwbar house style; could perhaps do with a tad more (aromatic, not bitter) hoppiness to fill the gaps as now it is clearly the Citra and to a lesser extent the Mosaic that dominate while Sabro and Galaxy, both delicious when applied generously, remain very vague. That said, this little summer beer does have its own personality, distinct even from other Brouwbar SIPAs and NEIPAs from the past, and went down so easily that other guests at the same table could not get enough of it – an important part of this type of beer, I would say. Recommendable on warm late summer days – hopefully we will get a lot more of those in the weeks to come.
Blonde ale intended as a summery quencher, with a new recipe differing slightly from earlier blondes or tripels by Brouwbar, hopped with Hallertau Blanc. Egg-white, moussy, membrane-lacing, small-bubbled and stable, only slowly opening head, misty ‘old gold’ with pure yellow-golden glow. Aroma of apple peel, ripe pear, minerals, freshly cut grass, green melon, apricot, sweetclover, touches of white soap and gin somewhere faraway in the background. Clean, sweetish onset, fizzy carbonation, fruity notes of pear, melon and apricot, minerally undertone, very smooth and slick mouthfeel; a thin layer of honeyish sweetishness stretches out over a rounded, cereally pale malt sweetishness but nowhere does this combo become too sweet, instead it develops to a floral, grassy hop bitterish finish, very mildly so but adequate enough, topped with a subtle retronasal whiffs of lime zest and green melon. Clean, streamlined and very elegantly balanced blonde, easygoing for sure but not heavily estery, not spiced with coriander or anything else and not overly residually sweet like most other Belgian blondes, most of which fit in a more traditionally oriented and more commercially ‘broad’ approach.