Maredsous 6 Blond Ale

God has blessed the Belgians with many things, but He has blessed us all with their brewing skills.  The Benedictine Brothers at Maredsous Abbey have licensed their name to Duvel, who in turn has given us Maredsous 6.  The 6 refers to 6%ABV, just enough to let you know it’s there.  Maredsous 6 pours with a HUGE head, it’s a hazy medium gold color and displays a medium amount of carbonation.  The bouquet is wonderfully yeasty, citrusy, a bit clovey and finally slightly earthy.  The firmness of the malt backbone continues to support the whipped cream-like head throughout the drinking experience.  There is a noticeable bitterness on the tongue upon the first drink, but that goes away to reveal sweetness and more citrus notes, and a fairly smooth aftertaste.  The subsiding bitterness remains a distant memory in the finish.  This beer is clean and crisp, and it’s good.  Not great, but very good, and worth a try.  78/100 Abbey Ales

Capital Dark

Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI first produced its Capital Dark in 1986 and it took me this long (I think) to try it.  I’ve had plenty of their other offerings, from bottles, on tap, at their brewery tour, but this one caught my eye the other day as I looked for dark beer for my wife.  Yes, I’m a thoughtful husband.  There’s a good whiff of yeast off the 3/4″ beige head, an average amount of carbonation and a bit of lacing.  The deep ruby/brown hue is appealing, as is the roasted malt notes eminiating from the brew.  Capital Dark is medium-bodied, not really flavorful, but it is lightly smoky, maybe, slightly yeasty and there is some roasted caramel present.  The finish is a touch bitter and dry.  This reminds me of really good homebrew, but I don’t want homebrew at $7.99 a six pack.     66/100 Dark Lager

Guldenberg Belgian Abbey Beer

This unfiltered, unpasturized Belgian abbey beer is hazy orange-rust colored with a 1/4″ head and lots of carbonation.  The bouquet reveals a

A friend of Rosenkranz?

sweet yeastiness up front, but deep within one finds a caramel note.  It is sweet in the mouth, sharp but not spicey, hoppy but not over the top, with a finish that goes from coffee to toffee to aged Gouda and back to coffee.  Nice!  The 8.5% ABV puts some warmth in the belly and in the exhale, and some hops again show up in the dryness of the finish.

http://deranke.be/

Tripel Karmeliet

triple your pleasure

triple your pleasure

This is good stuff.  It pours orange-gold, bubbly and produces a big head.  The bouquet of Tripel Karmeliet is sharp with sweet notes, yeasty and very complex.  I can’t exactly figure it out, maybe citrusy notes are most prominent, but there is more to it.  It has a smooth mouthfeel, is sugary and warms the stomach.  Interestingly, the bouquet led me to believe the taste would be equally complex, but it wasn’t.  Not much of a hops presence.  I would put this in the “very good” category, and a good beer to lead you up to my next post, Trappistes Rochefort 10, which is amazing.

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Bottle Conditioned, Pour Unhurriedly

Bottle Conditioned, Pour Unhurriedly

This piddle-yellow brew is slightly hazy and floats a big, fluffy white head.  Duvel is well carbonated and lively looking, the bouquet is sweet, tart, doughy and yeasty.  It is tart on the tongue and somewhat light bodied. There is a slight citrus note in the finish, and an almost sweet, dessert-like finish.  Not a strong alcohol presence despite it’s 8.5 ABV.  It retains it’s head to the bottom of the glass, but doesn’t leave much lacing.  I’d call it a good introduction to the style.

Bar Harbor Brew

There’s a great restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine, called Jack Russell’s.  Nice bar, nice steaks and wonderful hosts and servers.  On tap they had 3 or 4 varieties of beer, brewed onsite.  Actually, just across the parking lot, at the Maine Coast Brewing Company, a true microbrewery.  Their Pale Ale has a great yeasty bouquet with a mildly stinky floral hop overtone.  The taste is sharp, dry and refreshing.  The finish is dry, particularly at the back of the throat.  The Brown Lager is great as well, with a wonderful malty bouquet, smooth texture and a good overall balance of tastes and ingredients.  Well done.

The End of the World

It sounds dramatic, but it just refers to a beer, La Fin Du Mond, and that just refers to the farthest reaches of the known world to the French in the early 17th century, and that in turn refers to my favorite place these days, namely Quebec.  La Fin Du Mond is tasty, especially when enjoyed at Les Anciens Canadiens, home of Sugar Pie and the best filet you’ll ever have.  And when a very sexy, Mary Steenbergenesque waitress serves it to you and translates the label with a wonderful accent, it makes the whole experience magical.  It is a blonde beer, pretty clear, very bubbly and it produces a fluffy white head.  The bouquet is a tad tart, yeasty, citrusy and a bit spicy, and all in all kind of sexy itself.  The taste is relatively mild, but loaded with subtleties.  Smooth, sweet, tart and lemony nuances swim about in your mouth.  There’s a good whiff of alcohol in the nose on the exhale after the first drink.  It is very drinkable and not too intense or complex, as all of the various taste sensations are well balanced.  It is great with the Quebecer Meat Pie, too!

Have I mentioned that I love Quebec?

Bon Soir!