Le Trou du Diable La Grivoise de Noël (2016) – Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 7.5% ABV | 22 [?] IBU

Le Trou du Diable La Grivoise de Noël (2016) Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 7.5% ABV | 22 [?] IBU (C$6.64 at NLC Stavanger, 600 ml, bottle date 8-Sep-2016, acquired 27-Nov-2016, reviewed 29-Nov-2016)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one finger of dense light tan head, good retention, minimal lacing. (4/5) Aroma: toffee caramel, dark fruit, cinnamon and other spices, herbal leafy hops in the background. (7/10) Taste: moderately strong sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate sustained carbonation, and a slightly sticky, mildly spicy and bitter finish. (3/5)

Another vintage of the beer I always think of as the “nekkid xmas ladies beer.” As I’ve noted before, the spices tend to dominate this brew, making it a fairly standard winter warmer, albeit with a bit of Belgian character and a well-integrated ABV that emerges only as a gentle warming as the bottle progresses. I found the smoked peppers even less pronounced this year than the last time I had it, adding only marginally to the “warmer” characteristic. A decent enough example of the Winter Warmer style, but a bit prosaic for a true Belgian Strong Dark Ale. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com