Bières de Chimay S.A. Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante Tripel at 10.0% ABV
Pours a clear gold (some lees in the bottle) with a fat finger of fluffy white head, great retention, and chunky head. Nose is muted, candi sugar, Belgian yeast, faint floral hops and dark fruit. Taste follows suit, sweet and complex. Medium to light body, with a somewhat fluffy texture aided by the sustained moderate carbonation, and a lingering, sticky, boozy finish.
I’m a little torn here – it’s a decent enough tripel, albeit a touch on the sticky side, and missing the dry, floral aspect I tend to prefer in a tripel – but I feel like it would cellar really well. There’s a hint of dark fruit that I think would integrate very well with the booziness to make something partway between a tripel and a quad. As it stands, it’s a little exuberant and naïve. At the end of the day, though, it’s a Chimay, and if they do anything wrong, I haven’t seen it.
8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Honey Brown American Amber / Red Lager at 5.0% ABV
Pours a clear deep gold to pale amber with a short white head dissipating rapidly to a thin ring and no lacing. Nose is honey, light grain and malt, slightly floral. Taste is caramel and biscuity malt with hint of honey. Medium body and smooth, with moderate to prickly sustained carbonation.
Well, it’s not brown, but it’s sorta honey. (I’ll be generous there, since it’s local, and assume it’s more “honey” and less “corn syrup”.) I’ve of course had a great many of these over the years, but really the best one can say about it is, it gets the job done. Eventually. If “the job” is “quench thirst” and/or “impair judgement”. It’s better than an adjunct lager… barely. Fairly mediocre, overall.
5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Bulmers Cider (Heineken UK) Foundry Golden Cider Cider at 4.5% ABV
Pours a clear medium amber with a fluffy one finger white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim. Nose is sweet apples, some grape and skins, slightly spicy. Taste follows suit, mildly sweet and finishing tart. Mouth feel is medium-bodied, with moderate sustained carbonation and decently dry.
Surprisingly decent for an industrial cider. Certainly better than the Magners that Bulmers also makes – certainly the Foundry is not as sweet, and is missing the slightly metallic note I didn’t like in the Magners. That being said, it is what it is, and suffers badly by comparison to artisanal ciders like the Domaine de la Minotière Cidre Fermier Bio Brut Normandy Cider I reviewed a few months ago.
6.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
The Alchemist Heady Topper American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.0% ABV
Pours… Well, doesn’t. I decided to follow the recommendation and drink from the can. (Hard to get used to!) Nose is hoppy and fruity, citrus, pine, and dank. Taste follows suit, with tropical fruit and citrus, pine resin, fruity and floral against light sweet malt. Medium light body with very little alcohol presence and a sticky finish.
Well, damn. Ain’t that some shit! Next one I get my hands on is gonna have to go in a glass so I can evaluate appearance as well, but other than the inability to evaluate appearance, this is perfect DIPA. And since DIPA’s are pretty much my favourite style, I guess I officially have a new favourite beer ever.
10/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Allagash Brewing Company Allagash White Witbier at 5.1% ABV
Pours a cloudy but bright straw yellow with a short white head settling down rapidly to a thin cap and minimal lacing. Nose is muted wheat, coriander, yeast, banana, and orange peel. Taste is predominantly light sweet wheat on the front end, finishing with a mild spice. Medium to full body and sustained slightly prickly carbonation, with a clean, off-dry, slightly tart finish.
Decent witbier, definitely a good one for a summer evening on the patio. I haven’t had the greatest of success with witbiers, making this one the best so far out of an admittedly mediocre lot.
7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Founders Brewing Company Founders Double Trouble Imperial/Double IPA at 9.4% ABV
Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a very short head giving way immediately to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is pine resin, mango, pineapple, citrus, light malt. Taste is pine resin and orange zest on light biscuity malt, giving way quickly to medium bitter. Medium bodied with low sustained carbonation and a pleasant warming.
Very nice DIPA, with a pretty sneaky ABV apparent only as a gradual warming on the finish. Pleasant fruity and piney hops with just enough malt to balance it out while maintaining a nicely bitter finish. I like this a lot, even accounting for the fact that DIPA’s tend to be among my favourites.
9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Brasserie Cantillon Cantillon Gueuze Gueuze at 5.0% ABV
Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber with a short head diminishing immediately to a thin skim, no lacing. Nose is slight barnyard funk, woody notes, apple and citrus. Taste is tart and sour, funk, and citrus. Medium body and low but sustained carbonation, puckering and dry finish.
Bloody marvellous. Tangy and tart, with a pleasant funk. The standard by which gueuze is measured, and with good reason. I don’t see how this can be given anything but full marks.
My 96th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 90th by the 2013 Edition, and 99th overall.
10/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com
Bottle trade with a local beer club member. Not a bad haul for a single bottle. (Mind you, it was a Cantillon Kriek, so it was a good bottle!)
Belgium 2014 roundup. Here’s the final tally of new beers before going to the airport in the morning:
Brouwerij Mort Subite (formerly De Keersmaeker) – Kriek
Brouwerij Mort Subite (formerly De Keersmaeker) – Gueuze
Brouwerij De Ranke – XXX Bitter
Brouwerij Huyghe – Delirium Red
Brouwerij Alken-Maes – Maes Pils
Brasserie Piedboeuf – Jupiler
*Brasserie Cantillon – Iris
*Brasserie Cantillon – Single Barrel 3 Year Lambic
*Brasserie Cantillon – Rosé de Gambrinus
*Troubador – Magma Tripple IPA
*Brouwers Verzet – Oud Bruin
Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren – Trappist Westvleteren 12
Duvel Moortgat – Duvel Gefilterd (Green)
Brouwerij Bosteels – Kwak
De Halve Maan – Brugse Zot
Brasserie de la Senne – Zinnebir
Duvel Moortgat – Duvel Tripel Hop (2014)
Brouwerij Mort Subite (formerly De Keersmaeker) – Faro
Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Martin’s IPA
Brouwerij St. Bernardus – Tripel
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck (Castle Brewery) – Kasteel Donker (Bruin-Brune)
Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Bourgogne Des Flandres Ambrée
Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste (Bockor) – Vanderghinste Oud Bruin
Brouwerij Oud Beersel – Oude Geuze (Vieille)
Brasserie Dubuisson – Cuvée des Trolls
Brouwerij Bosteels – Tripel Karmeliet
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden – Hoegaarden Grand Cru
Brasserie Dubuisson – Bush Ambrée (Scaldis Amber)
(* No photo)
That’s, what, 27 new beers in five days? And small-ish tasters (250ml) and/or spread out so that I have not been drunk once. Fairly well-behaved, I’d say…
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV St. Bernardus Tripel Tripel at 8.0% ABV
Pours a cloudy, slightly greenish pale amber with one finger of white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and moderate lacing. Nose is light malt, yeasty, orange peel, slight alcohol. Taste is sweet and yeasty, clove and pepper, finishing bitter. Mouth feel is medium bodied but sticky, with mild warming.
My 91st from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers, 86th by the 2013 Edition, and 94th overall.
8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com