Brouwerij De Musketiers Troubadour Westkust – Black IPA at 8.6% ABV | 55 IBU

Brouwerij De Musketiers Troubadour Westkust Black IPA at 8.6% ABV | 55 IBU (C$2.99 at Okotoks Co-Op, 330 ml, best before 5-Jun-2021, acquired 7-Sep-2019, reviewed 17-Sep-2019)

Appearance: slightly hazy brown with one fat finger of fluffy beige head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malts, coffee, dry cocoa, dark fruits, pine, herbs. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium-full body, moderate-high carbonation, lingering bitter mildly warming finish. (4/5)

A bit of an odd duck, which I’ve classified as a Black IPA, but might just as easily be considered a Belgian IPA, or even a BSDA – is “Imperial Black Belgian IPA” a style yet? Good, though. The flavour profile is definitely more “Belgian” (in the “dark” sense) than “IPA”, with toasty malts and sweetness dominating over predominantly piney hops. On the tongue, the slightly high sweetness is well balanced by the slightly high bitterness so that neither feels excessive. That management of the sweetness extends to the body, which despite being slightly full, is kept from becoming slick or cloying by the slightly higher than expected carbonation, and the somewhat high ABV only makes itself known as a mild warming. It’s an amalgam of things that probably shouldn’t work together, but do – and I respect that. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze

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