Strong Ale

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, 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.

3 Stars, Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Strong Ale

Brunette by Hopduvel

Pours a dark brownish red… or brunette if you prefer. Very large beige head… Label derived bad pun possibilities aside. The beer gives off strong caramel and malt sweetness aroma right there with Belgian yeast spiciness. Caramel is the dominant flavor with a fruit sweetness undertone. Some bitterness but not enough to balance out the sweetness of the beer.

3 Stars.

4 Stars, Abdij O.L.V. Koningshoeven, Strong Ale

La Trappe – Isid’or by Abdij O.L.V. Koningshoeven

Brother Isidorus Laaber was the first brew master of the Onze Lieve Vrouw of Koningshoeven Abbey. Originally brewed on the 125th anniversary of the brewery’s founding but now part of the permanent lineup.

Poured a rich but hazy amber with small bubbles making up the white head. A combination of malty, caramelly, fruity aroma with some classic Belgian yeasty spiciness. Large amount of carbonation greats you followed by overwhelmingly caramel flavors, light bitterness with a fruity finish. Nice.

4 Stars.

4 Stars, De Dolle Brouwers, Strong Ale

Stille Nacht by De Dolle Brouwers

Poured a murky apricot with almost no apparent carbonation. Aromas of malt, caramel, fruit and some sweetness.  Full bodied, smooth mouthfeel. Loads of complex flavor; sweet fruit (apple, banana, tropical) flavors are at the front, good alcohol punch, faintly herbal, some yeasty spiciness, lightly bitter with fruit and malt as a long lasting finish. Great sipping beer, which is probably a good idea since it weighs in at a hefty 12% ABV.

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.

3 Stars, Brouwerij Huyghe, Strong Ale

Delirium Nocturnum by Brouwerij Huyghe

I have always wanted to try this beer based on the name and packaging alone, yet somehow I had never picked one up. Who doesn’t want a psychedelic pink elephant on their beer label? Pours a dark ruby red.  Tons of long lasting carbonation, huge head. Subtle caramel / toffee notes. Beer is so carbonated it feels like it dissolves on the tongue. Raisin, dried fruit, fading to a dry pleasantly bitter after taste. Overall very similar to last nights Corsendonk Dubbel.

3.5 Stars