In Bruges

You might be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, and although there are many reasons, (family commitments, moving house, changing jobs) the most fun one is that I have been on holiday to Britain and Belgium, including a city-break to the stunning city of Bruges (or Brugge as the locals call it). Here I visited the local brewery ‘De Halve Maan’ and sampled some of its delicious beer. My wife, daughter and our friends spent most of the time eating wonderful food, consuming vast quantities of ‘real’ cheese, cured meats and of course trying to drink my . . . → Read More: In Bruges

Share

Archiduc Belgian Beer (Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes)

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

Archiduc is an unassuming beer that doesn’t give too many clues as to what it is on the bottle (the Belgians obviously don’t have the same predilection for categorising as we do in North America). It is in fact a strongish Belgian Amber Ale with bags of flavour. It comes in a 750ml bottle that is corked and the beer has a deposit of yeast from the re-fermentation. It pours a rich amber hue with a medium tight head that slowly disappears. The aromas are spicy, rich and fruity, and the taste doesn’t disappoint after such . . . → Read More: Archiduc Belgian Beer (Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes)

Share

Maredsous Abbaye Triple

Wrangler Rating: (Recommended)

Maredsous Triple is golden amber in colour, a touch darker than many triples, and has a strong, spicy, alcoholic aroma, which is not surprising when you see the 10% ABV on the traditionally styled label. The palate gives off a strong hit of the solvent-like alcohol at first, and is followed up by grainy dried fruit, with over ripe pineapple and boozy marmalade oranges leading the way. The finish is dry, with a hint of orange peel and herbiness. This powerful triple is not as refreshing as some and struggles to balance its flavour with its . . . → Read More: Maredsous Abbaye Triple

Share

Maredsous Abbey Brune

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

Maredsous is a true Abbey beer, which means that it was originally brewed in the Benetictine Abbey at Maredsous in Wallonia, Southern Belgium, but now has been transferred to a brewery outside of the monastic grounds, but is still overseen by the monks themselves. Many beers that claim to be “abbey” beers do not have that distinction, and the name just describes a style.

The bottle I had this beer in was a corked 75 cl variety, still resting on the yeast, which would help explain the bready nature of this enjoyable ale, and served in . . . → Read More: Maredsous Abbey Brune

Share

Delirium Tremens

Wrangler Rating: (Outstanding)

Delirium Tremens is a strong golden ale that has a cult following amongst fans of Belgian beer, not only due to this powerful brew, but also the famous Delirium café in Brussels that keeps over 2000 beers for enthusiasts and tourists alike. It pours with a gloriously fluffy, tightly bubbled head, that sits atop a very pale golden liquid. The nose is full of the slightly medicinal aroma of pear drops and spicy hops. This beer manages to be light and full-bodied at the same time; if that sounds like an oxymoron, I apologise, but it . . . → Read More: Delirium Tremens

Share

Nostradamus Bruin (Brasserie Caracole)

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

Nostradamus Bruin from Brasserie Caracole is a medium to full bodied brown Dubbel style Belgian ale. It pours a deep ruby brown colour with a tan head that dissipates without much lacing. An aroma of black molasses hits the olfactory senses, and is followed by liqueur soaked candied citrus peel and morello cherry. The flavour is complex and deep, and fills the palate with a load of dried fruit, like dates, figs and cherries with more molasses and and muscovado sugar notes. The finish has a surprising freshness to it which stops the richness become overwhelming, . . . → Read More: Nostradamus Bruin (Brasserie Caracole)

Share

Chimay Première Rouge (Red)

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

Chimay Première is the red labeled beer of this classic trio of genuine trappist ales from Belgium. Although it makes no reference on the label, this is the Dubbel or bruin style of other abbey breweries. The colour of label is justified by the ruddy brown hue of the liquid, and the beer has many sweet, roasted malty notes often associated with that tint. There are definite soft floral hop characters on the palate, with light caramel and fig flavours following on. This is not a heavy version of a Dubbel, so finishes with crisp spiciness. . . . → Read More: Chimay Première Rouge (Red)

Share

Mort Subite Kriek Lambic

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

Mort Subite Kriek Lambic is a supremely well balanced ale, as the sweetness of the cherry flavour compliments the sharp acidity of this wildly fermented beer. Lambic yeast strains make very sour, yet quite complex beers, but this tartness is not for everyone. Traditionally sugary syrups were added in the bar, but soon brewers like Mort Subite added quality fruit syrup and real cherries to the beer before bottling to create a refreshingly fruity brew. The red cherry notes are not too sweet, but are in perfect harmony with the pleasant piquancy of the Lambic. This . . . → Read More: Mort Subite Kriek Lambic

Share

Piraat Strong Blond Ale (Van Steenburge Brewery)

Wrangler Rating: (Excellent)

This is a lovely example of a strong Belgian golden ale. This beer emits a medium-golden hue and is topped with a tight, slightly creamy head. The alcohol is well hidden within the flavours of the beer and it exudes slightly dried tropical fruits, with a touch of caramelised sugar. Having said that, Piraat is not a sweet brew as there is a dry malty and spicy yeast finish. This beer goes on to warm your insides with its strength and flavour, making it a great sipping beer on its own, or as an accompaniment to a . . . → Read More: Piraat Strong Blond Ale (Van Steenburge Brewery)

Share