Archive for category Wallonia

Archiduc Belgian Beer (Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes)

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tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg (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 an inviting whiff. This beer is rounded, balanced and delicious. There are notes of marmalade, allspice, citrus peel with a sweet herbaceous finish. This fantastic Belgian ale is rich in flavour but totally drinkable in every way. This is a real gem that sits silently in the beer store, but definitely is worth shouting about!

ABV: 6.2%

Best Served: 9°C

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Maredsous Abbaye Triple

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tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg (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 alcoholic strength; having said that, it is still a worthwhile beer to try, and if you are comfortable with the warming mouthfeel, then savour the notes of fried fruit and spice with pleasure.

ABV: 10%

Best Served: 7°C

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Maredsous Abbey Brune

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tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg (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 a genuine Maredsous chalice. There are notes of dark, malty rye bread, with a touch of dried fruit and caramel.  This beer seems to go down all too easily while still maintaining its richness, which is a testament to the easy integration of all the flavours, and the crisp, slightly earthy, but lengthy finish.

ABV: 8%

Best Served: 10°C

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Delirium Tremens

delirium_tremens

Wrangler Rating:

tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg (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 manages to pull off an intense flavour, while being surprisingly drinkable and refreshing. That’s not bad for a beer weighing in at almost 9% ABV. The flavours that fill your mouth mingle clove with banana and and lightly honeyed malt with subtly spicy hop notes. This complex and enjoyable beer hides its alcohol well, which means its easy to sit down and have a few, but not so easy to stand up…..

ABV: 8.7%

Best Served: 8°C

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Nostradamus Bruin (Brasserie Caracole)

nostradamus

Wrangler Rating:

tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg(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, having said that, this is definitely a sipping beer, and one may well be enough. It is rich and flavoursome, so I would prefer to have this on its own after a meal as it may well smother many dishes.

ABV: 9%

Best Served: 9°C

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Chimay Première Rouge (Red)

chimayrouge

Wrangler Rating:

tankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpgtankard.jpg(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. The 7% alcohol is not particularly obvious, which makes this an ideal beer to have with a big meal. Roast Pork with roasted root vegetables, and a gravy made with Chimay would be my choice, but this is a versatile beer, so be daring and try it out with a variety of Autumn fare.

ABV: 7%

Best Served: 9°C

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