Bellwoods Brewery Motley Cru (2013) – Sour Belgian Ale (Tripel / Quad Blend) at 11% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Motley Cru (2013) Sour Belgian Ale (Tripel / Quad Blend) at 11% ABV (Trade – thanks, Beelzebeer!, 750 ml, packaged on 15-Mar-2013, acquired 6-Sep-2014, reviewed 17-May-2018)

Appearance: clear deep ruby with a short, short-lived fizzy head, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: overripe cherry, caramel malt, port wine, oak, leather. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, low bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-lively carbonation, malty mild tart slightly astringent finish. (3/5)

Very interesting to compare this to its newer vintage. Admittedly it might not be a fair comparison, since this has had two years more in the cellar to (potentially) fade (not to mention being their first anniversary!), but how else can you compare vintages except with a vertical? The character of this vintage, though, is completely different than later years’, with far less complexity and far more malt character. It’s pretty apparent that the barrel program has developed by leaps and bounds in the intervening two years. That being said, there’s one aspect in which this is extremely impressive: the complete absence of any heat despite the double digit plus ABV. When your sophomore outing is this good, it’s clear that great things are in store. There’s a reason these guys have been my favourite Canadian brewer for a long time now! (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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