De Struise Brouwers

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.

Blonde, De Struise Brouwers

Kloeke Blonde by De Struise Brouwers

Very light cloudy straw color in appearance with white head collecting in the center of the glass. Strong, strange, herbal aroma with some yeasty esters. Same strange aroma is the predominant flavor, though not as strong.  Fairly dry. Overall an odd beer that is full of a flavor I cannot quite place and do not think I have experienced in another beer. I also cannot say that I particularly like it.  This beer has no expectation date on the bottle but I am going to surmise that it has passed.

De Struise Brouwers, Wit

Struise Witte by De Struise Brouwers

Pours a cloudy, light golden color with a small amount of rapidly dissipating white head. Herbal, citrus and yeasty notes, very balanced and quite inviting. The first sip reveals loads of citrus flavor. The second more citrus followed by coriander. Semi-sweet, a bit watery but still a flavorful beer. This beer is really quite a pleasant surprise as the bottle say best before 2014 and in a style not expect to age well.  I would love to taste a fresh bottle.

Simply not fair to rate at this point (but 3.5 as is).

4 Stars, De Struise Brouwers, Tripel

XXX – Rye Tripple – Reserva 2013 by De Struise Brouwers 

Best before November 2019, only half way there. Pours a murky dark reddish brown with a small amount of rapidly disappearing head.  Complex aroma of peach, spice and faint bourbon. Fruity at first quickly switching to bourbon and charred oak, honey like sweetness, leading to a spicy, peppery finish. At 10% the alcohol doesn’t disappear but complements the other flavors very nicely. I would bet this will continue to age well. Aren’t all bourbon barrel aged beers stouts? Not this one and that’s a good thing.

4 Stars.

4 Stars, De Struise Brouwers

Pannepot Grand Reserva – 2010 Vintage by De Struise Brouwers

Old Fisherman’s Ale Aged On Oak.

Appears black in the glass but pours a dark brown with a very small amount of head. Aromas of chocolate and oak with some whiskey character. Creamy mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation, particularly for a beer with this much age. Bitter chocolate, fruit and spices finishes with oak followed by subtle vanilla. Full flavored; a great sipping beer.

4.5 Stars.

5 Stars, De Struise Brouwers

Black Albert – Batch ‘0’ by De Struise Brouwers

Bottled December 2012, best before February 2018. The label states “very strong beer” and at 13% ABV I would have to agree.  Pours a deep black with a dark brown head.  Aroma is very inviting with dark chocolate and roasted malt with some alcohol punch.  The first sip reveals coffee, chocolate, coffee flavors (in that order). Some sweetness but not overly so. The alcohol lingers on the tongue but is well balanced and complementary.  Very mellow with no hot alcohol bite.  I am happy to sip this one all night.

5 Stars.

4 Stars, De Struise Brouwers

Yepres – Reserva 2011 by De Struise Brouwers

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a finger of quickly dissipating brown head. Loads of fruit, predominantly cherry, as well as vanilla and oak aroma.  The first impression is tart, followed by sour fruit, cherry and oak again, some acidity but not overly so.   Like any good Flanders Red it is an incredibly complex beer that is difficult to describe; compares very well to the gold standards of Duchesse and Grand Cru.  I tied reviewing this beer once before but the bottle I opened was a gusher and I lost the vast majority of the beer all over my counter, very happy to have no such problem this time.

4.5 Stars

5 Stars, De Struise Brouwers, Strong Ale

Rio Reserva – 2011 by De Struise Brouwers

Brewed in 2011, bottled in 2014, drank in 2015, best before 2019. “Golden quad” aged in 1 year in wine barrels then racked to bourbon barrels.

Pours brown but when held to the light turns ruby red-brown (trust me that’s a thing). Plenty of beige head; dissipated quickly. Aroma of red wine, oak, vanilla, toffee, fruit sweetness, enough alcohol to let you know it’s there. No sour notes but catching whiffs reminiscent of Flanders Red. One sip dispelles any thought of a Flanders. Strong flavor of oak, vanilla, bourbon, complex malt flavors. This is a thick beer with a pronounced alcohol punch. Finishes is very pleasant with lingering alcohol, some bitterness and fruit flavors.

I am going to call this one a Belgian strong for lack of a better category. Very unique, I really like this beer and I think this it could be even better with some more time, good thing I have another.

5 stars.

4 Stars, De Struise Brouwers, Quad

Pannepot – Old Fishermans Ale – 2014 by De Struise Brouwers

Pours a dark brown, tinge of red, small amount of beige head.  Smells of caramel, fig, dried fruit and a hint of booze.  Full flavor, strong malt backbone, again with the dried fruit, finishes spicy with a mellow alcohol flavor.  Incredibly smooth considering it comes in at a stout 10%.  A perfect beer for a stormy night (like tonight).  I think I have enough of these for a multiyear vertical… Stay tuned.

4 stars