Belgian beer round-up #5

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Three months has gone since I’ve wrote my last Belgian beer review. The cause is in two last S.I.P. events that forced me to concentrate on featured cocktails. A lot of summaries concerning my beer experiences were set aside, and now I presents a new review based on those notes.

All the previous review can be found under following «beer» tag.

My passion for Belgian beer arose in 2004-2005. I can’t remember what a beer was the very first for me but Kwak was exactly the beer I considered as my favourite. Individuality, strong flavour, eye-catching appearance – all the things attract newbies like I was that time. Now the passion is alive. As before, I love to enjoy a glass of cold amber-colored Kwak.

Kwak

Kwak

0.33L bottle, 8.1% ABV.

Ingredients: barley malt, water, hops, yeast.

Type: Belgian strong ale.

Brewed at Brouwerij Bosteels, small Belgian brewery produced limited range of special types of beer.

Served at  6-8 °С in a special retort-like glass.

Kwak

Appearance: dark amber, transparent. Rich, very thick tan foam.

Scent: burnt sugar, roasted malt, yeast.

Body: thick, even heavy when the beer becomes warm. Pleasant carbonation helps to mask it a bit.

Taste: intense and bittersweet at the start; a moment later roasted malt comes and begins to dominate in the flavour. On the palate Kwak offers wonderful aroma full of floral, fruity and honey notes.

Aftertaste is typical for dark ales: coffee, rye bread, raisins, yeasty fruit hints.

Kwak is a winner. It’s strong, thick, bittersweet and on the other hand it brings pleasant fruit and floral notes in the deep and accurate taste. Give it a try if you think you’re familiar with Belgian strong ales.

Leffe Radieuse

Leffe Radieuse

0.33L bottle, 8.2% ABV.

Ingredients: barley malt, water, hops, yeast.

Type: Belgian strong abbey ale.

Produced by InBev that owned Leffe brand more than fifty years. The beer is brewed according to ancient canons of Leffe abbey.

Served at 8-10 °С in a trappist glass.

Leffe Radieuse

Appearance: reddish brown, copper-like, transparent. Average tan foam.

Scent: fruity, also malt and caramel are detected.

Body: pleasingly thick, with velvet mouthfeel.

Taste: malt flavour dominates in the sip and on the palate while bitterish hops and caramelized malt come to the front on the swallow. Despite bitter notes, the flavour is about sweet side. Yeast leaves various fruity touches, and malt brings mild sweety taste too.

Aftertaste comes with delicate pear note as well as light hint of hops.

Leffe Radieuse is worth sipping. It has some sweetness in the taste but this fruit sweetness didn’t harm the composition so strong malt flavour continues to keep me sipped more and more. Anyway I love Leffe Radieuse much more than Leffe Blond or Leffe Brune.

St. Louis Premuim Kriek Lambic

St. Louis Premuim Kriek Lambic

0.25L bottle, 3.2% ABV.

Ingredients: water, wheat, malt, cherries, cherry juice, sugar, hops, flavouring, ascorbic acid.

Type: kriek lambic.

Brewed at Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck.

Served at 6-8 °С in a flute glass.

St. Louis Premuim Kriek Lambic

Appearance: deep pink, transparent. Pink foam, not too thick but isn’t weak.

Scent: strong cherry, sweet, malty.

Body: light, pleasant. Carbonation is a quite high.

Taste: light and cherry. Wheat adds some sourness but sugar turns the flavour to sweet. That’s not good as traditional kriek should be drier. In the end wheat, hops and cherries improve the composition a bit.

Aftertaste brings cherry flavour close to natural. Hops adds some sharpness but sweet note is present too.

Unfortunately St. Louis Premuim Kriek Lambic is turned out oversweetened beer. Being sipped ice cold, it looks like very refreshing, crisp, light drink with pleasant cherry flavour but warmed it looses all advantages and becomes something like a sweet cherry soda.

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