Author: Jim

3 Stars, Amber, Brasserie Du Buisson

Bush by Brasserie Du Buisson

Appropriately amber in color with a small amount of white head around the rim of the glass.  Fruit and malt on the nose with a mellow alcohol presence. Sharp fruit flavors and caramel followed by a long alcoholic finish. Definitely a sipping beer. Shares similarities with a brandy. Bottle states that it is “The strongest Belgian Beer” at 12% it is hefty but strongest?

3 Stars.

3 Stars, Brasserie Vanuxeem, Tripel

Queue de Charrue – Triple by Brasserie Vanuxeem

Pours golden straw with small amount of long lasting bright white head. A pleasant  spicy aroma greats the nose, additional floral notes and nice juicy orange. High carbonation makes the beer feel to dissolve in you mouth, well balanced, fruity and spicy with light sweet grains and light bitterness, finishes dry leaving a nice aftertaste. Overall nice but the body is a bit thin. Not a hint of the 9% ABV. 

3.5 Stars

2 Stars, Blonde, Brasserie Vanuxeem

Queue de Charrue – Blonde by Brasserie Vanuxeem

Pours an amber gold with a finger of frothy, long lasting, cream colored head. Aroma of pit fruit, citrus rind, light spicyness and a surprising amount of hot alcohol (it’s a small amount but any amount is unexpected for the style).  Well carbonated, smooth mouth feel, fairly sweet, some fruit, some spicyness, some bitterness and grain flavors at the end. Meh. Sweetness overwhelms the rest of the flavors.

2.5 Stars.

4 Stars, Brouwerij De Molen, Strong Ale

Spanning & Sensatie by Brouwerij De Molen

Pours a deep brown with next to no head. Full aroma; molasses, sweet malt, chocolate and faint chili pepper. Full bodied but not too sweet, very smooth. Flavors follow the nose with the faint chili pepper masking what little alcohol flavor there is (impressive for a stout 9.8%). I do not think I have ever had a beer that pulled of chili pepper so well. I will admit I not a fan of chocolate and chili pepper candies otherwise I think the score would have been even higher.

4 Stars.

4 Stars, Brouwerij Huyghe, Strong Ale

Delirium Tremens by Brouwerij Huyghe

Delirium Tremens the beer and not to be confused with the alcohol withdraw induced delirium of the same name. Pours a nice golden straw color with a small amount of lasting bright white head. Very complex aroma; strong fruit and raisin, caramel and less forward spicy Belgian yeast character. Honey malt sweetness, fruit flavors followed by a bitter after taste with some alcohol character. All-in-all a very different different beer than your typical Belgian strong and I think that is what I like about it.

4 Stars.

4 Stars, St. Bernardus, Wit

Wit by St. Bernardus

Light straw in color, with a fine bright white head. Aroma is intensely fruity with plenty of Belgian yeasty spiciness. Initial impression is very nice, well carbonated, light body. Very flavorful; sweet citrus fruit, light spiciness, some soft graininess. I could drink a few of these.

4 Stars.

4 Stars, Brassiere du Rochefort, Quad

Rochefort 10 by Brassiere du Rochefort

Dark brown with a tinge of red, long lasting tan head. Fruit aroma, subtle yeasty spiciness and malt sweetness, tracking right with the 8. Dark fruit, caramel tones, more bitterness to balance out the stronger flavors and high alcohol (11.3%), finishes lightly sweet. Like all good Trappist beers the results are complex (secret code for hard to describe), balanced, and the alcohol well hidden. The 6, 8 and 10 taste like increasing versions of each other, subtle difference are there, but overall more flavor comes with more malt and as a result more alcohol. Of the three I give a slight edge to the 8. It is rare that you have to give up so little in the way of taste when going with a lower alcohol beer.

4 Stars.

Brassiere du Rochefort, Dubbel

Rochefort 8 by Brassiere du Rochefort

Pour appears a hazy brown but once held to light reveals a dark red, same tan head as the Rochefort 6. Strong fruit aroma, subtle yeasty spiciness and malt sweetness. More body than the 6, flavor follows aroma with fruit spicy and malt, bitterness provides a good balance, finishes nice and dry. Balanced and very drinkable though you better not drink too fast as the 9.2% AVB is nowhere to be found. Much like a the 6, this dubbel is a little outside the lines typical to the style.

4 Stars.

3 Stars, Brassiere du Rochefort, Dubbel

Rochefort 6 by Brassiere du Rochefort

Pours a deep amber with a large tan head. Aroma is predominantly malty with fruit and subtle alcohol tones. Taste is strong of both fruit and malt, finishes slightly sweet and alcoholic. This is the oldest of Rochefort’s three beers and represents about 1% of their total output. Overall I would say this is a bit of a departure from your typical Trappist dubbel and that is not a bad thing at all.

3.5 Stars.

3 Stars, Dubbel, St. Bernardus

Prior 8 by St Bernardus

Pours murky brown with an off-white head. Aroma of toffee, malt, dark fruit. High carbonation, nicely balanced, slightly sweet, malty, dried fruit, some bitterness on the end. Overall a fine easy drinking beer, but to me, it is a thinner, less flavorful, version of Abt 12 and who wants that?

3.5 Stars.

5 Stars, De Struise Brouwers, Imperial Stout

Cuvee Delphine by De Struise Brouwers 

First let me start. Oh man, this is good.

Brewed in 2012, bottled in 2014, drank in 2016, best before 2019.  The disavowed offspring of Black Albert.  This beer takes Black Albert and was aged on Four Roses Kentucky bourbon barrels.  Described as a “Royal Stout”.  Artwork by Delphine Boel.

Pours a midnight black with a small amount of long lasting brown head. Inviting aroma of sweet roasted malt, subtle dark fruit and as the beer warms the bourbon becomes more pronounced. High carbonation gives this beer a smooth mouthfeel. Complex and well balanced makes the beer difficult to describe.  Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, vanilla, light bourbon and some sweetness as a counter to it all. Long bitter and bourbon finish. 11% alcohol as mellow as can be. No need to sip but you are going to want to savor this great beer.

5 Stars.

4 Stars, De Struise Brouwers, Strong Ale

Tsjeeses Reserva – 2012 by De Struise Brouwers

Strong Ale, bourbon barrel aged, 2012 vintage, best before the day after Christmas 2018. Poured a hazy amber with a decent amount of off white head. Strong aroma of fruit, orange and apricot, mellow bourbon character. Complex fruit flavors, long lasting interplay between a pleasant bitterness and bourbon warmth to finish. The 10% alcohol is there but so damn smooth you would be forgiven for not noticing.

4.5 Stars.

4 Stars, St. Bernardus, Tripel

Watou Tripel by St. Bernardus 

Pours a light gold with bright white head. Orange citrus and faint floral aromas, surprisingly light spiciness for a Tripel. Flavors playing very well with each other, fruit, grain, plenty of spicy character and a nice lingering spicy bitter finish. Maybe not the most classic Tripel but very enjoyable.

4 Stars.