Beer Club February 2011

Belgian Ales

Always a favorite of mine, we return again to Belgian Ales. We had a particularly good selection this year, with two kinds of Golden Carolus, a new front runner for my favorite Belgian brand.

Belgian Ales February 2011Cuvee van de Keizer Rood

10% ABV Golden Ale [Type 3]. Tastes like cherry and apple. Dry and crisp. One beer.

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

A California Beligan Style brewery, Lost Abbey makes strong, often hoppy beers. This one tastes like raisins and honey. A Belgian dark ale [Type 29] 9.0% ABV. Three beers.

Golden Carolus Hopsinjoor

A hoppier version from Golden Carolus. A Belgian Pale [Type 16], perhaps shading towards the IPA. 8.0% ABV. A great pale ale, with fruit, hops, a dry finish, and lots of fizz. One beer.

Belgian homebrew

Sweet smelling with a cherry finish. Mellow overall. Two beers.

Adriaen Brouwer Finest Dark [Type 29] 8.5% ABV. Sweet, with a quick finish. Pretty easy drinker. Two beers.

Delirium Nocturnum

Pink elephants on parade. Belgian dark, 8.5% ABV.

Piraat

Belgian pale [Type 16] 10.5% ABV. Belgian sourness followed by sweet cherry.

Dogfish Head Red & White

Belgian wit [Type 4] 10.0% ABV. An usual beer due to the presence of pinot noir juice and aging in oak casks. It combines the qualities of a white beer with a red wine. Very unusual, but very good. One beer.

Lucifer

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.0% ABV.

Kwak

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.4% ABV

And three for which I have no notes other than name, for some reason.

Corsendonk Pale Ale

Lost Abbey Lost & Found

Delirium Tremens

Beer Club, Missouri Espens Edition

Blue Moon Grand Cru

I'm out in Missouri visiting my brother because my oldest nephew is graduating from high school. While we were here, my brother asks me whether I've ever had Blue Moon Grand Cru? I hadn't, even though I just reviewed Belgian Whites recently.

The first thing to do was go buy some. This proved difficult, Grand Cru is a small batch beer that was made for New Years, so supplies are limited to what is on hand. We had to go to three different stores before we found some. We placed the beer in the freezer for a bit since it had been on the shelf rather than in the cooler.

Blue Moon Grand Cru

As you can see from the picture, Blue Moon Grand Cru looks much like regular Blue Moon. It is cloudy, with lots of suspended solids, and a orange hue with a thick, white, fluffy head. This is a witbier [Type 4], with 8.2% ABV. As a Grand Cru, it is brewed for celebratory purposes, and it is perfect for this.

It is lighter and fruitier than Blue Moon, even though they are very similar. It is less yeasty, with tangy wheat flavors, coriander, and orange zest. It isn't your typical wheat beer at all, very smooth on the tongue.

Rating

This was an amazing Grand Cru. It is my brother's current favorite, and I highly recommend it. If you can find a bottle, savor it, and appreciate the kind of beer that Blue Moon can make. It goes down real easy though, which is a problem. You will really want more, but given the limited quantities, you may not be able to.

 

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Beer Club May 2010

BEER CLUB

May 2010 SESSION

BELGIAN ALES

This month featured Belgian beers. Most of the typical Belgian beers are ales, but there are also witbiers [Type 4], fruit beers [Type 15], and pale European lagers [Type 12] in this month's selection.

Belgian Beer Lineup

Blue Moon 

Blue Moon

Blue Moon is an American version of the Belgian White, or witbier, brewed by Coors. Witbiers are unfiltered wheat beers, cloudy due to the presence of yeast in suspension. They are spiced with things like coriander and orange peel. Blue Moon is a good example of the style, slightly sweet, with a smell of citrus fruit. 5.4% ABV.

 

 

Hoegaarden

Hoegaarden

Another Belgian White, but this one from Belgium. A bit cloudier and lighter in color than the Blue Moon, but similar in flavor. This beer has hints of cinnamon rather than coriander. I find that I prefer Hoegaarden to Blue Moon, but the difference is small. 4.9% ABV.

 

 

 

Stella Artois

Stella Artois

I've rated Stella before, but I will comment today on the European Pale Lager or Munich Helles style [Type 12]. Pilsner Urquell is the original Pilsner, and after the Pilsner style caught on, brewers across the world began to make their own versions of this beer. Stella is the Belgian version of a Pilsner, that is light, and slightly sweet, but with something of a sour finish.

 

 

Wittekerke

Wittekerke

This beer was a bit of a surprise for me. I hadn't expected to find a Belgian White in a can, but there it is. Lighter and clearer than the previous two wheat beers, this beer would be very easy to drink in large quantities. It just goes down easy. 5.0% ABV

 

 

 

Westmalle

Westmalle Tripel

A Trappist Ale, in the Tripel style [Type 6]. Tripels are high alcohol, and this one is no exception. 9.5% ABV, golden, sweet, and heavy. So named for the amount of malts used in the brewing process [three times as much as a normal Trappist Ale],

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maredsous

Maredsous TripelAnother Tripel, 10.0% ABV. This one is darker than the Westmalle, less bitter, more caramel. The host wanted it noted that this was his favorite Belgian of the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ommegang

This was the first Dubbel of the night [Type 43]. Twice as much malt as usual, the Dubbel is usually dark instead of golden, and very rich. This one is an American Abbey style, sweet and heavy. 8.5% ABV

 

Chimay PremièreChimay Première (Red)

Another classic Dubbel, a bit cloudy, 7.0% ABV

Cassis lambic

Cassis LambicThe lambics are Belgian fruit beers [Type 2], spontaneously fermented by environmental yeasts, and then fruit is added once the fermentation begins. Cassis are black currants, tart and sweet. 4.0% ABV

 

True Blonde Dubbel

True Blonde DubbelBelgian Pale Ale [Type 16], p 8.0% ABV

 

Delirium Nocturnum

Delirium NocturnumBelgian Dark Ale [Type 29], dark brown with a white head. 8.5% ABV

Honorable Mentions

There were a couple of beers I didn't get to, Gulden Draak, Delirium Tremens, Brother Thelonious, and two more I'd had previously, Pranqster and New Belgium Abbey.

 

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