Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer

1380507_10101484476918320_823335324_nRating: 4.8/5

Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer is a 10% ABV Strong Golden Belgian IPA

Label: 
Aromatic hops of European origin. Malheur Zestig has a high level of bitter units and a balanced hop flavor.
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Get this from the Rarebeerclub.com While trying to order, Jolly Pumpkin’s Los Vivos y Muertos Saison, they had to replace that beer with this one due to the Government shut down in early October 2013. While I was a bit disappointed, great talks about this beer made me think otherwise. Since I had ordered previously to get the JP beer, I was sent this one instead. Not a bad choice at all considering that it is made by the brewery who has ties to De Halve Maan Brewery. I was pleasantly surprised.

Aromas are of white peppercorns, cloves, peach, floral and herbal hops, apricot, biscuit bread, herbs, coriander spice, citrus, vanilla, slight oak hints and pears

Flavors are of the awesome Belgian IPA goodness I like but with more fruit and herbs. White peppercorns, peach, phenolic spices, cloves, coriander, flowers, honey, herbal hops, apricot, biscuits, vanilla bread, waffle cone, citrus, lemon, pear, apples,

Aftertaste is mildly hoppy but floral, herbal, fruity and honey sweet. This is one good Belgian beer. Very nice, smooth and refreshing. Hidden alcohol and moderate drinkability.

Overall, an amazing great Belgian IPA. It hits the right places. Nice Flowers and hop character and releasing some very nice bread, yeast, spicy and fruity flavors. Definitely recommended if you love Belgian beers for sure.

Anime Corner:
Alkaid from the Dothack series. A character with a fiery and pride driven personality defending herself at any moments notice (Hop and white peppercorn influence of the beer). While maybe hot headed, she is a very loyal friend and a protector to those she trusts and respects. She would defend their honor as well (fruit and vanilla sweetness). This beer not only matches some of this characters personality but also her colors, red hair with the yellow and black outfit. If you see any other pairings to this art piece let me know

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Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium

992999_10101358398191100_635887340_n 1185481_10101358398121240_606586928_nRating: 5.09/5

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium is a 6% ABV World Class Flanders Red Ale aged in oak vats. Composed of 33% “young” ale and 67% ale matured for two years

Label: 
Rodenbach Grand Cru is an exceptional Belgian ale known as Flemish Red Brown Ale. It enjoys a special status in Belgium as a “Traditional Regional” product. A mixed fermentation ale, Rodenbach is matured in oak vats, giving this ale a signature sweet-sour taste and intense bouquet with a very long after taste like a Grand Cru wine. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a blend of “young” ale (33%) and ale that has matured for two years (67%).
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While looking for the old Lips of Faith New Belgium Grand Cru, I was recommended to get this one instead as it was highly recommended by one of the personnel at the store. I have had may experiences with Grand Crus and those have become a progressing favorite style of mine as I try more. When I read this was a Flanders ale or Flemish Red brown I was was kind of surprised. At first I thought, well, most grand crus are red or brown in color but a lot of Belgian Strong Dark Ales or even Quadruples. At that point I realized, this I had to see. To my surprise, this was not a sour beer at all, it was more delightful

Aromas are of wine grapes close to funky beer, but then I got a rush of greater dark cherry yogurt fragrances as well as dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, apples, pears, buttery biscuit, butterscotch, raspberries, cherry cobbler, cherry pie, figs, raisins and brown sugar.

The flavors was definitely not what I has presumed. You don’t get much sour notes, but instead more tangy cherry notes and more fruit driven flavors like apples, apricots, raisins, figs, wine grapes, raspberries, tart cranberries, currants and black berries. You also get dulce de caramel, vanilla, cherry cobbler, cherry pie notes, oak wood, light lemon dash, earthy spices, and Black cherry yogurt.

The aftertaste is caramel sweet and cherry tart with some nice light acidic and bready notes. Not your typical sour at all. Dark crimson blood body yet pleasing to drink.

Over all, I was highly impressed. This is the first time I try a Flanders that was not more tart to sour flavored. This is the sour noted beer that many of those people that love fruity beers but don’t like sours would absolutely love. Now I see why its simply amazing. Leave it to Belgium to create the best beers in the world. If they can take a lighty funky beer and make it compete with the quads and dark strongs as “Grand Crus”, that has got to be Godly.

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu

1239642_10101353312512840_1852664825_n 1234101_10101353312562740_447530807_n 1011629_10101353309933010_684180145_nRating: 5.15/5

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu is a 10.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadruple

Label: 
This authentic Abbey ale is based on the recipe perfected centuries ago by the monks of Abbey du Val-Dieu.

Anno 1216
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While browsing for grand crews at the store near my house, I was looking for a grand cru beer to try as this type of beer has become a favorite of mine (like Belgian quad or strong dark weren’t already lol) The person at the tells me to try this one as it is lower in prices than even Alesmith Grand Cru. So I go with it as it is authentic Belgian stuff. Hell yeah!! Now the interesting thing is, many site cannot compare this as a quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I’ll say it is both. Grand cru is already kind of borderline anyway in terms of beer styles.

Aromas were rich in dark fruits like plums, raisins, figs, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate notes, grapes, pears, oak, earthy spices and blackberry preserves

The flavors are much better than the aroma. Very rich raisins covered in dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, plums, pears, dates, figs, sweet bread, butterscotch, flan, cinnamon, grapes, cherries, blackberry preserves, peppery notes, loads of candi sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and rye bread. As the beer warms up, you get more complex flavors of pecan pie, hazelnut and banana which is definitely awesome.

The aftertaste continues with raisin and caramel sweetness and leaves an nice dark fruit and pecan taste in the palate. Full to medium body yet, the flavors cover up the alcohol a lot to the point where it is quite drinkable. I almost want to finish the whole bottle as it is is damn good. 

Over all, to me knowing it is an Abbey Ale (I love authentic Abbey and Trappist ales) and the fact that it hits it home with the caramel and the raisins, it is a phenomenal beer. May not be to the Alesmith in terms of complexity or even as buttery raspberry preserve on toast as the Avery beast, but it still hits those Belgian lover spots in my heart reminding me of the St. Bernardus. In fact, I may actually get this over other grand crus. Especially since it is cheaper in price and easier to find. The best part is that it is a complex Belgian so this actually starts to transform in flavors as it warms up, this is why I gave it a higher rating.

SeVIIn Anniversary Ale by Surly Brewing

972030_10101265131737820_1140015423_n 992784_10101265133803680_1906668729_n 970772_10101265137027220_1406577916_nRating: 5/5

SeVIIn Anniversary Ale by Surly Brewing is a 12.5%ABV Belgian Strong Ale brewed with Rye, Oats and Wheat.

Label: 
Get Surly
Seven years! It seems not that long ago that I was delivering beer and Todd Haug was splitting a 30-barrel batch between kegs and cans. Now we’re planning a new brewery that will brew more beer in a week than we sold in our first year.
The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to give Todd, Surly’s head brewer free rein to use whatever ingredients and methods he wanted to brew the beer. This year’s bottle artwork is a one-of-a-kind illustration collaboration between Todd and local artist Brent Schoonover. Here’s to Seven, and many more.
-Omar Ansari

Continuing our quest to despoil and desecrate conventional beer styles, we’re raiding Trappist traditions to produce this Belgian Style Ale brewed with Rye, Oats and Wheat. Our first beer EVER brewed with Wheat! Belgian yeast creates classic clove-spiced banana aroma and flavor. Dry hopping brings floral and citrus aromatics to the biscuity-smooth malt body.
-Todd Haug
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So another year comes and this time Surly is trying to make mends by releasing their anniversary ale in the way of the Trappist monks. Ofcourse, Surly being Surly, always has a scheme. Though, Trappist ye may be, your colors and Soul can clearly be seen as tainted.

Aromas of this beer are like a Belgian Pale Ale but with Rye. Sweet bread, caramel, toffee, herbal hops, citrus oranges, candi sugar, wheat, rye, funky notes, peppercorns, honey, apples, floral notes and slight oakyness.

The flavors are of caramel, wheat, rye bread, honey, Oatmeal, candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel, orange, raisins, plums, bananas, apples, clove spice, peppercorns, herbal and floral hop notes, dried apricot marmalade on biscuit bread, pears and a small bit of wine grape notes. 

The alcohol can be noticeable but just a bit. It is not strong in the sense that it affects the flavors of the beer but only adds along the way to remind you, hey, this is a 12.5% ABV. The crazy part is that it still felt pretty drinkable to me. That is where you could fall into danger. Take this only in moderation and share with others. While it is a great and deliciously sweet, bitter and only tad funky, it will creep up fast and take over. You are dealing with sinister powers here. Their previous anniversary ales proved it. The conspiracy of the Trappist styles is hidden within the flavors of each sip. Is this an Evil beer? Well, you be the judge.

Palmero by Hangar 24

971536_10101182706383890_2022236916_n 734187_10101182710485670_1241422919_n 205518_10101182708165320_399920245_nRating: 5/5

Palmero by Hangar 24 is 7% ABV Local Fields Series Dubbel brewed with Dates

Label: 
Named after the skilled laborers who tend the date palms from the Coachella Valley. The delicate sweetness of dates brings out the fruity esters of the Belgian yeast, producing flavors of caramel, raisin, rum, and spice. This rich, dark beer can be enjoyed now or reserved to deepen its wonderful flavors and aromas.
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Here is another release from the Hangar 24 Local Fields series. This one was released in April and it is their Belgian Dubbel inspiration ale. First time trying it and pretty exited about it too.

Aromas of this beer start off with strong scents of dates, caramel, raisins, cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, spices, rum hints, some bananas, toffee, bubble gum, candi sugars and a slight coca cola fragrance. The flavors are rich like a lot of the Belgian beers I enjoy. It actually has some nice quad flavors even if it is a dubbel. You get dulce de leche caramel, bananas, raisins, toffee, dates, bubblegum, slight coriander citrus, apricots, cherries, molasses, slight rum and coke flavor, raisin bread pudding and pecans. The local fields series has had a very nice array of beers. This is no different and is very delicious. Although somewhat clear, the mouth feel is not too heavy making this one nice and well drinkable. I would like to say that this one is a lot like the Doppel Dubbel from He’brew but more smooth. I really like Doppel Dubbel, but this one is smooth and drinkable and still has some great flavors.

2013 He’brew Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel by Shmaltz Brewing

295315_10101154825118170_110104178_nRating: 4.85/5

2013 He’brew Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel by Shmaltz Brewing is an 8% Hybrid Ale consisting of a Belgian Dubbel and a Doppelbock Euro Lager brewed with all natural dates and Figs

Label: 
How better to celebrate the evolution of the year than with recipes inspired by generations of the original craft beer warriors, the Monks! Top with a healthy dose of Shmaltz and witness the rebirth of Rejewvenator! “The winter of bondage has passed, the deluge of suffering is gone, the Fig tree has formed its first fruits, declaring all ready for libation.” -Song of Solomon. Dates were used to sweeten beer in Ancient Egypt as early as 3500 BCE. Genesis 3:7: “Their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked; they sewed fig leaves and made themselves aprons.” Queen Vic commissioned an 18″ plaster fig leaf for her cast of Michelangelo’s David. “The statue that advertises its modesty with a fig leaf brings its modesty under suspicion.” -Mark Twain. Under a fig tree, Romulus and Remus, mythical founders of Rome, were nursed by a she-wolf and worlds away Buddha found enlightenment. Zechariah: “Nations shall beat their swords into plowshares – all will sit with their neighbor under a fig tree, never afraid.” Mohammed: “Whoever eats seven Tamr (dates) at breakfast shall rise above magic and poison that day.” The Hebrew word for Date palm “Tamar” connotes a woman’s grace. “The only difference between a first date and a job interview is not many job interviews have a chance you’ll end up naked.” Jerry Seinfeld. Psalm 92:12: “The righteous shall flourish like the Date palm.” Thankfully all we need to do is pop open a bottle and rejoice… L’Chaim!
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I picked this one up since I was really curious. Dubbles and Doppel bocks are both really good beer styles in Belgium and Germany. However but to put them together and with figs and dates, this was definitely up my alley in terms of sweet beer goodness. The aromas of this beer include raisin bread, nuts, caramel, figs, toffee, fruit cake, bananas and cloves. The flavors are quite pleasant. You definitely get those nice Belgian bready notes and some toffee rich notes of the doppel along with bananas, raisins, dates, figs, plums, dried fruits, pecans, some hazelnut, caramel, earthy and spicy notes, fruit cake, slight vanilla, tangy and slightly tart cranberries, passion fruit, very small minty, molasses and licorice hints as well as a slight port wine flavor to it that reminded me of a Trois Pistoles light (If there ever was one). Ofcourse this is not the almighty Trois Pistoles, but needless to say, this beer turned out to be good. The earthy and minty or licorice like notes keep some of the excess sweetness away which tries to keep this hybrid balance. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a lot. Definitely worth trying. So much so that I might get another one soon.

Chocolate Indulgence (2012 New Label Version) by Ommegang brewing

548317_10101133234650640_121298062_n 533263_10101133228602760_1098229231_n Rating: 5.5/5

Chocolate Indulgence (2012 New Label Version) by Ommegang brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Stout brewed with Real Belgian Chocolate

Label:
Chocolate Indulgence offers a thick tan head of foam resting atop of the rich onyx-hued liquid. The aroma immediately speaks of dark chocolate and dark malts. The gentle herbal notes of perle hops compliments the darker aroma notes, making the ale savory to all the senses
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I have had this beer last year. The 2007 version which was Ommegang’s 10th anniversary beer. I loved the way the beer was back then so when I hear it was re-released, I had to try it fresher to taste the difference. The aromas are of dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, slight toasted barley, dulce de caramel, coffee, some dark fruits like plum and raisins, banana and hazelnut bread, cloves and spices. The flavors are fresher than the last time I tried the 2007 version. You really get a great amount of chocolate covered raisins on coffee hazelnut bread dipped in banana pudding all layered with dulce de leche caramel. That is the just of it but to pin point this with individual terms, we get very rich dark, sweet and milk chocolate, raisins, prunes, plums, slight cherry notes, bananas, hazelnut, coffee and mocha bread, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, slight peppery spices and smoked barley flavor to even out all the sweetness. Ommegang makes some of the best beers in the world. This beer just happens to be perfect into the category of my favorite Belgian Stouts like Thirteenth Hour, Buffalo Stout, Art of Darkness and many others. I have never tried it fresher but it does seem that the chocolate does fade a bit over time to give way to a more complex smokey and dark fruit flavors. Which is not bad at all, but what can I say, I’m cuckoo for cocoa beers. I already gave a 5/5 rating to the original but I think really enjoyed the greater chocolate flavor of the fresher version of this beer. It is way too amazing for words. Even when it warms up, the chocolate becomes very abundant and very pleasurable. No wonder its called Chocolate Indulgence.

2007 version review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/chocolate-indulgence-by-ommegang/

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing

524681_10101129754165560_1250385001_nRating: 5/5

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing is a 10.7% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
Hand picked – imported – specialty malts, and a yeast strain from the Brasserie de Rochefort gives this Belgian-style strong ale aromas of dried stone fruit, raisins and dates atop caramel and toffee. Rich and malty-sweet but with a dry, warming finish.
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Looking back at the first time I tried this beer in Pasadena’s own King’s Row Gastro Pub, I remember I had to order this one like 3 times. What can I say I realized it was an amazing beer. I only recently was able to get one of these for review. Aromas are of delicious Belgian beer goodness. Dark fruits like plums, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, dulce de leche caramel, whole cane unprocessed sugar cones, sweet bread, biscuit, like a port wine reminiscent of Trois Pistoles, grapes and some minor chocolate. The flavors is where it’s at. The flavors are close to the Cherry and Belgian bread from Three Philosophers but lighter in terms of mouth feel. You get raisins, cherries, toffee, dulde de leche caramel, dates, apples, plums, minor banana esters and cloves, grapes, brown sugar, honey biscuit and Belgian bread dipped in a light port wine. This beer is great since it allows the great complexity of some Belgian beers but drinkable level. It is not a quad, but it is close to the Trappists as it is using Rochefort yeast. Overall, this is definitely a must try. Now I need to go back to Pasadena and get some more on tap. This little bottle was kind of pricey but very worth it. Just supporting local breweries here in California 😛

Iron Throne Blonde Ale collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

540730_10101119930602060_2001122632_n 58908_10101119930567130_336831625_n 533432_10101119925227830_1700813834_nRating: 4.25/5

Iron Throne Blonde Ale collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Blonde Pale Ale

Label: 
Blonde ale with malty sweetness and a touch of fruity spiciness, Noble Hops aromas and notes of citrus. Suitable to serve to kings, or pretenders to the iron throne.

Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.
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Ommegang makes some of the best beers in the world but this beer seems like a marketing gimmick really. Regardless, I was able to get a bottle to review for a couple of bucks. The artwork is amazing I will give it that 😛 so I tried to pair some awesome artwork to go with it. The aromas are of some of the best beer fragrances but typically the same as you would find in a tripel or Belgian blonde with fragrances of caramel and honey biscuit bread, banana, bubble gum, apples, peppercorns, citrus, flowers, lemon grass, slight apricot and spices like cloves. The flavors are close to an Allagash Curiex or even the Duvel Rustica. Peppercorns, honey, toasted biscuit bread, slight lemon, grassy notes, slight sour apples, peach, bananas, bubble gum, orange juice, whole grains, clove spice and coriander. It is a very awesome beer for sure, but don’t expect nothing new from what you would get from some of the best Tripels and Belgian Pales out there. Even so, this is a great gateway beer for those seeking into trying Belgian beers. Hence the reason why it is more of a lighter bodied beer than some of Ommegang’s best (Art of Darkness or Three Philosophers) in my opinion ofcourse ;). Still worth a pickup. I will admit that as the beer warms up, it does get even sweeter flavors, almost like a vanilla and burnt sugar flavor, so I guess just give it a moment while drinking it, it could surprise you.

Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale

8947_10101113148099250_2146186661_n 559164_10101113151492450_1823794525_n 575657_10101113150953530_1818817387_nRating: 4.8/5

Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale is 6.9%ABV Belgian India Pale Ale.

Label: 
The name “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA” both begs a question, and answers it at the same time. It begs the “what exactly is that?” question, and then answers it: “Stone” designates this ale as one brewed by the Stone Brewing Co., “Cali” hints that it is a California-style IPA (which all of our IPAs are, as Stone is certainly one of the best known progenitors of the West Coast IPA style), and finally, it has an undeniable Belgian influence, indicated by the word “Belgique” (which is how Belgium’s French-speaking population say the word “Belgian”…the Dutch-speaking Belgians say “België”*). “IPA” of course stands for “India Pale Ale”—but this label is not the time nor place to delve into that storied history. Of course, there is the implicitly posed and as yet unanswered question of what exactly the Belgian/Belgique/België influence is. And “yeast” is the answer. We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the ale that is otherwise ostensibly and simply Stone IPA. This is a yeast that showcases Stone IPA from a completely different angle. The result is both completely new and different, while still being altogether recognizable as a Stone brew, an IPA, and Stone IPA in particular. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.

Now, all grown up and standing next to each other, they look the same…yet different. We’d say the Belgian one sounds a bit funny when it talks, but yeast and ale being decidedly non-verbal (except through you), that’s not literally the case. Their aromas have some similarities, but the Stone Cali-Belgique IPA is decidedly a bit more, shall we say, aromatically funky. (No, we are not saying that Belgians smell funny…we didn’t say or imply that at all in any way…no angry cards or letters please…really, some of you people simply have too much time on your hands!) All in all, we find it all quite fascinating. But we’re brewers, and that’s the way we think. You might find it merely delicious. We, as brewers, most certainly do too, actually. And so…C’est avec le grand plaisir que nous le présentons vous! / Het is met geweldig genoegen dat wij het naar u voorstellen!

* Even though yeast cells are non-verbal, and arguably have no firm affiliation that shows preference for either the Flemish or the Walloons, we don’t want to accidentally misrepresent the little buggers. As such, approximately 50% of the Stone Cali-Belgian IPA bottles are labeled “Cali-Belgique” and the other half “Cali-België.” We at the Stone Brewing Co. respect both cultures highly and equally.
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The last time I tried this beer was at a Bev and more tasting special in 2011. I thought it was awesome but I really haven’t had a chance to grab it and sit down with it. When I went to the Stone Company Store in Pasadena California I decided to grab a glass. I was very surprised because this reminded me so much of the As Follows Eschatological Ale by Stillwater Artisanal. The aromas of this beer are simple amazing. Strong Belgian sweet and honey bread fragrance with a lot of herbs, spices, peppercorns, minor grassy, piney and grapefruit hops some tropical fruit like pineapple and mango as well as oranges, cloves, and lemon. The flavors are of nice herbs, honey, pepercorns, cloves, coriander, Italian basil spice, bubblegum, orange, lemon, mango, pineapple, apricots, honey, french bread, some slight grape sourness, grapefruit, slight grassy and piney hops but mainly herbal and floral notes.This one is almost like the Saison du Buff too. The flavors are better on tap. Hence the reason I got a growler of this to go. Better as fresh as possible, but even if not, the Belgian side takes over to address even more complexity. So choose wisely 😛

Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium

577377_10101092847541730_1773082401_nRating: 4.75/5

Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium is 10%ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with dates and coffee cherries added

Label: 
Local roasters Novo Coffee turned us onto Central America’s Cascara, the fruit or husk that surrounds coffee beans. When dried, it can be made into a tea with hints of cherry and tobacco. Blend that into a quad fermented with gorgeous malts and date sugar for a crazy complex beer to warm winter nights. 
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Freaking sweet. Quads are some of my best styles out there. To know that NB brewed a quad, definitely had to get 2 of these. The aromas are somewhat apparent but still there. Chocolate, cherries, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, some dark fruits, a little bit of bananas and very faint oakyness or brown sugar. Flavors are almost like Three Philosophers, almost. Cherries, chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, cloves, phenolic esters, biscuit bread, coffee cake, raisin and pecan pudding, dates, toffee, tobacco, candi sugars, . In terms of flavor, that is what hits this one home. Maybe not as aromatic as other quads but the flavors are great. The balance could use a little work as you can sense the alcohol but doesn’t detract too much from the flavors of this one. I picked up 2 since I thought it would be awesome. Well, I sure was not disappointed. This is still a very good beer and would pick up again if no other quads available. Also, at 10% this is definitely a winner. Just be careful because if it warms up then the booze becomes more apparent but the complexity is still complex but not supremely complex. Some people may like this while others may not.

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing

522731_10101089985212860_2041559936_nRating: 4.45/5

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing is a 7%ABV Belgian Stout brewed with chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle.

Label: 
Change is the only constant in life; and this year has been marked with exiting changes. Staff moving on, new staff joining our team and construction plans for the new brewery (Yes, still on Maui). Our final limited release of the year celebrates change and bids aloha to our friends new and old. 

This Belgian stout is brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle. It pours deep black with ruby highlights. Layered with roasted malt character hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, clove, cinnamon and subtle peppery notes in the nose. 

The year is ending, the world is not. Raise your hand and toast with us to all the great things to come. Look forward to four new limited releases in 2013.
Mahalo Nui Loa. 

‘Okole Maluna,
Garrett 
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Belgian Stouts are some of my favorites. So when I found this one I had to get it. The fragrances are are roasted coffee, bakers and dark chocolate, bready notes, raisins, slight peppercorns, mild pepper, tobacco, molasses and slight caramel. The flavors are mainly of coffee, dark chocolate, slight tobacco, smokey (in the glass), dulce de leche caramel (mainly when in the can), bready notes, raisins, slight chocolate covered cherries, slight peppery notes of chipotle but hardly enough to detect heat at all. I tried it both out of the glass and the can. Frankly, it taste better out of the can than in the glass. I guess like heady topper, certain things taste better when out of certain containers. Although after letting it sit for a while in the glass, the flavors like that of the can were there. All and all, an awesome beer, very good Belgian stout but kind of not as full flavor impacting like Thirteenth Hour or Buffalo Stout. Still, great pick up and one I would try again 🙂

Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d’ Orge

544440_10101072548785600_1010024809_nRating: 4/5

Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d’ Orge of France is a 13%ABV Belgian Strong Blonde Ale.

Description:
Bottle (13% abv) and can (11.8%): Filtered.
Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Wheat, Rice, Sugar, Hops.
Alcohol content lowered in 2002 from 15% to 13% when brewery changed name from Jeanne d’Arc to Grain d’Orge.
“The dark amber coloured Belzebub offers an intense alcohol flavour with a strong supporting maltiness.”
The 11.8% version is canned in Holland.
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When opening this little bottle you notices that there is definitely not a lot of beer. Exactly 8.4oz of it. This is the second time I try the beer and I have been meaning to do another review. It has been a couple years actually. The aromas are nice. Fragrances of honey, biscuit bread, citrus orange, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, boozy almost like a sweet bourbon, oak, pears, grapes, peaches and some raisins. The flavors are pretty sweet. Belgian yeast phenolic, grapes, caramel, pears, peaches, orange, grape jelly, possibly a strawberry, honey, vanilla, slight raisin bread pudding and quite a good amount of alcohol. While the beer does have some really nice flavors worth checking out, for some, the alcohol could be distracting a bit. It is not as balanced as it could be and it semi hides the alcohol. Regardless, you can still tell about the flavors in this one. Quite good, not the best, but still quite good. Besides, a 13% Belgian style ale from France, you cant go wrong there 🙂

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang (New Label)

526229_10101069453857860_931053769_n 313764_10101069469122270_1245414941_n 382348_10101069469087340_1594364830_nRating: 5/5

Already did a review on this beer a while back. This is the version with the new label. Still one my top favorite beers in the world.

Label:
The Belgian motto is “Strength in Union.” No phrase better describes Ommegang’s delicious Three Philosophers Quadrupel, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut color. Pair with Strong Cheeses, desserts, or sip as an after dinner ale. 

https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-three-philosophers-by-ommegang-2/

Blasphemy (2 year aged edition) by Weyerbacher

484917_10101066229968560_1726995094_nRating: 5.9/5 (2013 2 year aged)

Blasphemy (2 year aged edition) by Weyerbacher is an 11.8% Trappist Belgian Quadruple/Quad Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels. I found a 2011 bottle last year (based on the bottled date) and aged it for close to a second year. So this is a 2 year old aged quad. The ABV is probably higher, in the 13-15% maybe

Label:
Blasphemy is our award winning QUAD aged in bourbon barrels. But not overaged, so we’ve picked up gentle vanilla oaky notes which complement rather than supercede the complex qualities that already make QUAD such an incredible beer.
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Based on the label… another year of aging may probably make it more complex. In fact, some beers with ABV’s (except some hoppy IPAs, lagers, some pilsners and others) above 9% can age nicely. Some can age for as much as 10 to 15 years. I was not gonna risk this one too much although technically I could have >:). Upon opening the beer, it explodes with complex aromas of pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, hazelnut pecan pie crust, whipped cream, buttered toffee, bananas, coconut, oak and a ton of dark fruits, wine characters and even champagne like characters. IS this really a quad? The flavors are very orgasmic to say the least. I took this beer into the upper echelons of craft beer flavors. In the past year when I first reviewed this beer, I made it a top 10 favorite. Well, now it just butted its face into the territory of my top favorite beers in the world. It is butting heads with St. Bernardus, Trois Pistoles, Chocolate Rain, Black Tuesday and Grey Monday. For a beer to meet such a rich completion is just too good to be true. The beer envelops the taste buds with with strong complex flavors of Dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, hazel nut honey, walnuts, capirotada, vanilla ice cream, waffle cone, Irish cream, bananas, coconut, oak wood, butterscotch, bourbon, cherries, dark fruits like raisins, plums, blue and black berries, wine grapes, port wine, champagne flavors like apples, peaches, pears and some graham crackers and marshmallows. The only thing missing is chocolate although I could have swore some notes in there… maybe … maybe not. But then it would be a Belgian Stout aged in Bourb-… oh wait…lol. The beer is quite heavy in flavor and the alcohol can only be savored with the rest of the flavors and not diminish from the other rich flavors. A mind blowing experience!! Well at least for me. Way better than last years review. Well played Weyerbacher, well played….. 

2012 Review:
Rating: 5/5 

Blasphemy!!!! is what they will be saying…Blasphemy!!!. How could you drink, Weyerbacher’s 11.8% ABV Quadruple ale!! is what they will say. Yes you will be expelled from the rights to eternal salvation…yes you will be kicked out of society…yes you will be disowned and abandoned….but never fear…maybe this time you can make your mind straight and pursue something you really want out of life. No one should lay and die…life is about giving it your all!!

This is what I thought at first try. I didn’t even know this was gonna be like this. I am a major fan of Quadruple fermented ales. This one adds to one of my easy favorites. How did this happen you say? Well, it happened at the first sip. I got a ton of bourbon, whiskey caramel angel share like flavor along with a pecan pie. Yes a PECAN Pie. Adding vanilla, caramel, raisins, bananas, cherries and other dark breads, fruit and other complexities…… WOW….I have had many good beers that I am super thrilled about but this one just waltz into my cathedral of top ten beers, took a drunken piss all over…made me clean it…and said …”I’m the new fucken beer in these parts”. How could I say no…DAMN Little bitch!!!.. (Remembers the Raven’s Nevermore of Edgar Allan Poe). Let me just say one thing about this beer, aside from tasting like pecans and pecan pie with sweet dark fruits, The devil really is in the details. The 11.8% ABV is masked way too well. Like there is no burn or bitterness to it. How could this be from a beer that is not well known? Sorry to those that do not understand extremely good beer….Our taste may differ, but while one drinks to justify his social habits …another works in the arts of taste, art and experience….and social…depending if I see the same point of view ofcourse. My Belgian Beer Brethren will not be disappointed by this one. Whether the alcohol, the devil or the beer talking, whether Blasphemous or not…I have to tell you…this one beer is supreme!!

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store

574676_10101059918930930_2080890803_n 75541_10101059918222350_2095235923_n285263_10101059917453890_633345016_nRating: 4.5/5

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store is 6%ABV Belgian IPA.

Label:
It started out as a Belgo-American menage a trois, but then the brewers arrived and transformed the trans-oceanic affair into a beery lover pentangle. The collaborative minds at Louisville Beer Store, De Struise Brouwers and New Albanian Brewing Company offer this, a willfully disobedient Blonde India Pale Ale with a hop on her shoulder. 
Malts: Rahr 2-Row, Rahr Premium Pils, Castle (Belgian) Aromatic, CaraPils 
Hops: Cascade, Galena, Golding, Cascade for warm dry-hopping 
Yeast: De Struise House Ale 
OG 14.4 degrees plato 
IBU: 69
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Naughty girl sounds like an awesome name for a beer. Blonde Ale, Sweet and Bitter. Aromas of this beer are of light bready notes, banana, mango, herbs, peppercorns, some underlying grassy hops, grapefruit and orange. The flavors are more grassy and hoppy bitter up front. The sweet bread, biscuit, wheat, honey, peppercorns, banana, pears, apples, light apricot, grapefruit and citrus comes alittle bit afterward. There is some spicy herbal almost agave like notes in there as well. Pretty nice. Some of the sweetness I get is reminiscent of the De Struise yeast while the hop profile is that which I remember from New Albanian Electoral Ale. I have had some more world class Belgian IPAs but this one is good for those who like a refreshing experience as well. Not just a lot of full bodied type of beer but medium to light type which provides a good amount of flavor while still keeping it crisp and refreshing. Belgian IPA lovers may like this one

Plum Riot by Bootlegger’s Brewery

223427_10101057095339430_506205679_nRating: 4.8/5

Plum Riot by Bootlegger’s Brewery is a 7.8%ABV Belgian Dubbel brewed with plums and rock candy. Dubbel is an Belgian beer style that uses a double fermentation process.

Label:
For too long the plum has played second fiddle to more prestigious fruits. Biding their time in angry passage, the raging plum flavors have been plotting an uprising for centuries. The time and place for such a revolt is now. With the release of the cork, the first wave of plum flavors will attack your nose leaving nothing but the mark of their sweet and tart aromas. As this effervescent beer enters your mouth, the second wave strikes as the plum notes pummel and pillage your taste buds, surrounding them with an assault of flavor that demands respect. The age of the plum has finally arrived!
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Aromas are of sugar cane roots, plum, pears, apples, cinnamon, apple pie, peach cobbler, wine grapes, piloncillo sugar cone and dulce de leche caramel. The flavors are of plums, pears, slight pineapple, dulce de leche bread, vanilla creme, apple pie, peach cobbler, piloncillo sugar cone, unrefined sugar, raisins, dark berries, cherries, and figs. In a sense it is mainly a sugary plum beer. It is quite nice and Belgian like mainly focusing on fruit sweetness. While it doesn’t bleed more bready flavors and focuses more on dark fruits and sugar as well as some pie crust. Even so, it is still a nice beer if you are into sweet tasting beers. Which I sure as hell am so this is very delicious for me.

Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Monks of the New Clairvaux Monastery

26316_10101052519783880_1276305417_nRating: 4.75/5

Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Monks of the New Clairvaux Monastery is a 10.2%ABV Belgian Abbey Quad brewed with Sugar Plums.

Label:
Ovila Abbey Quad with plums is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit-balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This beer features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey, and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.
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Ahh just like my favorite style but with stronger dark fruits. The fragrances includes lots of sweet Plums, raisins, prunes, cherry, vanilla, candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel bread, capirotada, banana and pecans. The flavors are of plums, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bread, chocolate, raisins, plum sauce, prunes, cherries, bananas, candi sugars, Belgian yeast, capirotada with plums and raisins, molasses, clove and coriander spice, nutmeg, pecans and minor port wine. The after taste taste dry but plum fruity. The regular quad was more focused on the overall Trappist balance. While this is really nice and awesomely good, it still was more plum driven than the original Ovila quad. Not a bad thing at all but I enjoy the more caramel like Ovila quad. This is still pretty epic and up there with the dark fruit concentrated types. Belgian beer lovers get this one. Surely a must try and a must pick up again 😛

I go into depth about the New Clairvaux Monastery in my original review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/ovila-quad-by-sierra-nevada/

Hoegaarden Original Belgian Wheat Beer by Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

379260_10101022798350870_1014131793_nRating: 3.9/5

Hoegaarden Original Belgian Wheat Beer by Brouwerij van Hoegaarden is a 4.9% ABV Witbier

Label:
Unfiltered, naturally cloudy. A delicious and surprising refreshing taste, naturally cloudy and brewed using a unique recipe of wheat, malted barley and a subtle hint of coriander and orange peel
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Aromas of lemon, hops, orange peel, coriander spice, wheat bread, honey, banana, cloves, peppercorn, flowers and biscuits. The taste is of light coriander and clove spices, light Belgian wheat bread, oranges, lemons, honey, peppercorns, some grassy hops but with minor bitterness, bananas, pears and pineapple juice notes, The biggest thing about this beer is that is is quite refreshing. Belgian flavors that come not so overwhelming but enough to be pleasant, easy to drink and is low in ABV. While not the greatest of Belgian beers, still above average from normal beers, easier to find in some cases and definitely one to get for the summer. Very good beer to check out 🙂

Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke

542549_10101006082434700_1736660231_n 602841_10101006082524520_237501492_nRating: 4.8/5

Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. A pretty rare beer made in a Belgian Brewery that is in West Flanders known of some of the many that do not export or hardly export their products. This beer is known to be heavily hopped. 

Label:
Bottle: Unfiltered.
Ingredients: Water; Barley malt; Hops; Candi-sugar; Yeast.
The heaviest ale on our menu with a very rich taste, coming from the six different kinds of malt we use. These malts also give it that rich, dark, nearly black colour. The royal doses of Challenger and Saaz hops bring the typical balance between sweet and bitter.

The De Rank brewery was founded by two good friends; Nino Bacelle & Guido Devose. Their story is a classic in Belgium, where the very best craft brewing usually begins as a passionately pursued hobby, not an occupation. For Nino and Guido, brewing is literally a weekend obsession. For a few hours on Friday and Saturday, every week, the marvelous turn-of-the-century Deca Brewery in West Flanders is turned over to the De Ranke brewers, who make small batches of what many consider the best specialty beers of Belgium. Their beers are robust and flavorful, and famous for their massive hoppiness.
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The aromas are of raisins, cherries, figs, slight chocolate and coffee, slight rum, bread pudding, caramel, molasses, anise and spices. The flavors are of mocha, dulce de leche caramel, candi sugar, raisins, cherries, raspberry pomegranate , earthy notes, slight grassy and grapefruit hops, molasses, anise, raisin bread pudding, walnuts, baker’s chocolate and rum. This beer almost reminds me of the Decadence quad but with more earthy hop bitterness. It is an awesome and must try beer. Although the hops may come overwhelmingly at times yet it still does not detract how interesting it is.

Samaranth Quadrium Ale by De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)

549968_10100997917567160_192167254_nRating: 4.9/5

Samaranth Quadrium Ale by De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel) is an 11% ABV Quadrupel Ale

Label:
Urthel Samaranth 12 Quadrium Ale is a malty, full-bodied special Ale, brewed in a way that only Belgian Brewers can. Huge mouthfeel and layers and levels of flavor make Urthel Samaranth the perfect beer for the end of a meal or at the finish of a special day. And when you want something different, Urthel Samaranth 12 Quadrium Ale is with its fine bitterness, definitely something different… Try it! First brewed at Van Steenberge, now brewed at Koningshoeven – La Trappe brewery.
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I was recommended this beer by a friend advising that it was pretty awesome. In fact, seems like most things from Belgium are very awesome. So I decided to give it a shot. This one however is actually brewed in the Netherlands for The Leyerth, Ruiselede, Flanders, Belgium. The fragrance starts off with caramel, candied sugars, raisins, grapes, oak, slight boozyness, and some sweet bread. Upon trying it I noticed a good amount of rich dulce de leche caramel and raisin bread pudding, toffee, walnuts, cinnamon, apples, plums, grapes, bananas, nutmeg, cloves and a little bit of that yeast phenol . The aftertaste is almost like yogurt trail mix with a slight boozyness. The alcohol is mildly present in the taste but does not take away from the sweet overall flavors of the beer. It is a great beer if you can find it. 😛

2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery

379663_10100997912622070_59218585_nRating: 5.2/5

2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery is a 12%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale Brewed with Cocoa nibs & Toasted Pecans

Label:
The second verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga begins with caramel and toasty, nutty malt with a luscious layer of chocolate. Happy Holidays!
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The 2nd bottle their 12 days of Christmas. As soon as I opened the bottle I got a rush of amazing dark fruit character. Raspberries, cherries, grapes, raisins, plums, cranberries, blue berries, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger spice, hazelnut, dulce de leche caramel and some sweet bread mocha fragrance as well. The flavors are of dark chocolate covered raisins, cherries, slight wine funkyness, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, coffee, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan pie, roasted almonds, chocolate mocha, whipped cream and coffee cake. This is a luscious desert in a bottle. I would only have to assume it is to die for when floated with ice cream. I will admit, I almost wanted to chew although it is just liquid ;). The aftertaste is a lot like a caramel, chocolate mocha, whipped cream and coffee. As for the alcohol it does no deter from the drink-ability or the flavor. It is kinda smooth going down for a 12% which is quite unheard of. What really wins for this is the flavor. Just way good. This beer has probably been aging for quite a while and has developed a great amount of complexity. It is freaking delicious.

Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel) by Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Rating: 5/5

Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel) by Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl is a 12%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Label:

“Brewed especially for the Christmas period, Scaldis Noel is a brilliant red amber ale that will delight the most demanding connoisseurs.”

The Prequel to the Scaldis Prestige De Nuits (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/scaldis-prestige-de-nuits-cuvee-speciale-2009-by-brasserie-dubuisson-freres-sprl/)
Like it’s epic counter part, this beer has fragrances of banana, caramel, some dark fruit noted, nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice. This awesome beer is only a small sample of a strong Belgian beer that screams with flavors like a quad or a Dubbel. There are some flavors of a litle bit of bourbon, cinnamon, banana cloves, coriander spice, all spice, nutmeg, sweet bread like, citrus, raisins, blueberries, pilsner grain, vinous grapes, and graham crackers. It is indeed a lighter version in terms of flavor complexity than what is found in the aged version. Still complex and strong though. A strong Christmas beer with a lot of delight. Drinks like a Trois Pistoles as well. So yeah, I think I am being reasonable to say that is is worth a try and a sipper :P. One if the best Christmas Belgian beers for sure.

Ommegang XV 15th Aniversary Ale

Rating: 5/5

Ommegang XV 15th Aniversary Ale is a 9.6% ABV Belgian Trappist Dark Ale Reserve. I am already a huge fan of Ommegang as they do Belgian beers very well. This is no exception and I seriously think it can go toe to toe with the Trappist styles of Belgian. Just like Westvleteren 12. This is pretty good and hard to find. Probably because it is still trickling down the distribution chains.

 

Label:
Ommegang XV Reserve Ale is an Extraordinary and uncommon ale, even by our refined standards.

One year in creation-and brewed but once- Ommegang XV Reserve Celebrates Fifteen years of creating fine Belgian-Style Ales.

This Celebratory ale honors our ancestry, and pays homage to the world’s most desired ales- The Legendary Trappist Ales of Belgium.

Like the revered Trappist Ales, Ommegang XV reserve is brewed with only the finest ingredients and with devotion and care-creating an ale with strikingly complex aromas and flavors.

Deep, Dark, and Elegant, this ale will delight and satisfy today and will age gracefully in the cellar.
-=—

No kidding, the fragrance and taste of this ale is quite complex and delicious. The Aroma of dark fruits like raisins, banana nut bread, dulce de leche caramel, some minor citrus, and bourbon. The flavors are just like the awesome Trappist beers and quad ales. Raisin fig and banana pecan bread laced with rich dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cherries, blueberries, wine grape tartness, minor coffee notes in the aftertaste but nothing removing from the primary Trappist focus. I still think that this can go toe to toe with the ever elusive Westvleteren 12, but hey you be the judge of that one.Truly a Belgian worth trying once it arrives in greater quantities 😛

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang

Rating: 5/5

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a 9.8%ABV Belgian Quadrupple ale blended with 2% Belgian Kriek (Cherry Belgian Ale). This, is my third next best beer in the world, right next to Trois Pistoles and St. Bernardus 12. It is simply remarkable. This is the 2012 edition and I have tried this beer several times to know I really like this one. This beer is now available at Downey Brewery. 

Label:
Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, a classic cherry ale from Belgium, our Quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.
And remember “Phisolophy Begins in Wonder” – Plato
—-

The fragrance of the beers is like that of mix of sweet bread, vanilla, caramel and cherries. It is really robust with fragrance. The flavors are very rich. While in some reviews I mentions flavors where in small amounts, medium or rich, this is really rich. Dulce de leche bread, vanilla, capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding with raisins, except this is with cherries and raisins), cinnamon, tangy cherries, raisins, dark fruits like figs and plums, some banana clove, minor pecan, hint of dark chocolate, brown sugar, alittle bit of wine sour grapes but not a lot, just a hint. Many people that have tried this beer enjoyed it. So I don’t see why it would be one of the best. This talking from my personal experience. It is widely available year round in 750ml bottles or in 330ml 4 packs an many craft beers places. Yes, amazingly enough, some of the best beers in the world for me are closer to home than some of the other beers I tired 😛

2011 Review:
SO….. this year I tried the 2011 version. LOL well it is almost the end of the year :P. The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a true Belgian Quadruple brewed with Cherries. This style is called Kriek where you find a diversity of wine like/beer like flavors as a cherry ale is mixed with this Belgium beauty. Caramel, cherry, bread, unique deliciousness as only found in brews that are the best in 
the world. This is one of my top 10 beers. Originally introduced by my friend Chino, this is a world class for sure. Once that is often missed but surely a necessary pickup. Sometimes I wish they could invent an X-ray tongue tasting device where I can walk into the bev mo or any other craft brew store and learn to pick out the brews of ultimate deliciousness for myself. Sure, there are reviews and all but taste is everything. Until you try it for yourself then you will understand for sure….For anyone that reads my albums here on Facebook you should probably send me some feed back let me know what kind of brews you would like to see posted on here and I will try them and write about them….let me know :)…thanks for reading 😀

Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Rating: 5/5Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) is a 10.2% Mother of all the Beers in the world and leader of all quadruple fermented Belgian ales. Rated one of the best beers in the world right next to Pliny the Younger and Elder as well as others. One of the hardest beers to find due to its exclusivity or the Monasteries of Saint Sixtus Westvleteren. Meaning you have to buy it there physically or be stupidly lucky to find it *Ebay…ahem*. Founded in the year 1838, the brewery has been brewing and selling beer to support the monasteries as a non profit organization in Belgium. This beer goes without saying, but it doesn’t even need the label to show that this beer is something close to the Divine. You know, the stuff that Ben Franklin said about how “Beer exists because God wants people to be happy” kind of thing. Good news is that they will soon be working with distributors to make it available here in the states. 

So how is this beer really… and is it really the best in the world? Well, for starters, how does it compare to St Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistoles which to me are the best in the world? This is one is very similar but more flavor intense. Like trying to eat an entire jar of sweet dulce de leche. It is actually overwhelming. This is the second time I try this beer and in comparison this one is alittle more awesome. Almost feels like my body was going numb just it was hard to describe all the good flavors. Almost like a sugar comma. The flavors just explode leaving no taste buds untouched in sweetness. The 10.2% does kick in fair. So the flavors I can make out are a ton of caramel, dulce de leche, burnt sugar, honey, raisins, grapes and plum bread, chocolate, oak and other good spices. Very chewy and creamy beer as well :P.Just like I said last year I will say it again though. It is only the best beer in the world only in comparison because I can easily find St. Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistole 1000 times much easier than this one. Trust me, even though St, Bernardus is not considered Trappists by Belgian Standards, they should be as they make the beer using the same yeast as Westy 12 made since they obtained the licensing in the 1940’s A time when Sixtus needed money and St. Bernardus, a cheese producing Monastery assisted them. After the 1990s is when Bernardus decided not to renew the license though. Either way, in a taste test, even though Westy 12 may have it down more complex, St Bernardus 12 has the 2nd best complexity that comes the closest to the Westy 12. As soon as this beer hits the states, go get one…LOL unless your willing to get on ebay or a special beer shop that knows some hookups 😉

2011 Review:
The Westvleteren 12, known as the best beer in the world is only sold by monks in Belgium to be drunk over there and not resold. They do not make any money off of this and the proceeds go to their monasteries. I was finally able to get a hold of this beer and I will wait for the special occasion to give it go. Of course being a beer geek, I will have to get the right glassware and all to give this one a go. Drinking this will probably be like reaching the peak of beer tasting experience. I’ll see how it goes..lol

UPDATE: So me and my brother finally got around to trying this beer. It was the same beer I gave to my friend as a wedding gift. The smell was very rich and fruity. A wiff of this reminded me of a lost abbey. When I finally got around to tasting it, the first thing that came to mind was a combination of a less sweet st berbardus abt 12 but as strong and deliciousness of the deliverance ale of lost abbey. Nice and creamy beer full of extreme complexity and nothing too overwhelming as another. You have your caramel, malty, dark fruits of figs raisins, alcohol sense, bready flavor from the yeast, spices and minor bitterness. Not like the st bernardus 12 where it is more sweeter, but the balance of all the flavors put together is like a roller coaster of Belgium awesomeness. It is more dry and creamy than lingering forever, but the instant you have it in your taste buds is like trying to taste everything at once but your mind isn’t fast enough…. A beer to truly remember as I had this in celebration of my new car, but also because this is a beer that is very hard to get a hold of and also once in a life time opportunity for me. I was glad I had ya westy :)…Truly the best beer in the world….LOL…only cuz I can find other beers easier too :P…..

Serpent’s Stout by The Lost Abbey

Evil Evil beer…LOL my friend Nataly called it the blood of Christ, a very viscous but sweet stout….One of their strongest and a fav 😛

REVISIT: Another year has passed by and finding this beer on the shelves is hard as it is a seasonal ale. Luckily it is out while supplies last. This is the evil brew, Serpent’s Stout by The Lost Abbey brewing at a whopping 11.0%ABV. Story goes about the tree of life and how it is forbidden to eat the fruit of Knowledge. Long behold, the serpent with his cunningness convinced Eve to partake of this fruit of knowledge. She also was able to convince Adam to partake of the fruit. So it goes, original sin is born!! However according to the story, the serpent was not satisfied with his evil deeds. So he brought forth this dark liquid of temptation. Those who would try it would be mesmerized by evil. For those seeking cleansing, they would find nothing. Struggling between good and evil, or so is told by Lost Abbey. After trying this liquid, yeah its pretty evil, but it is so sweet and tasty. So let me explain what this is all about if you ever want to try it >:)….. It has hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla and caramel, some earthy and oak bourbon (possibly from the strength of the alcohol). The amazing thing too is that it does contain some hoppy bitterness and some minor yeasty bread flavor. Chocolate chip cookies anyone? There is some dark fruit like raisins which is big with The Lost abbey brewing. The aftertaste of chocolate and cookie cream linger after every sip. You will notice the alcohol in this one and it has to be taken with small sips at a time. If your doing something really bad like sinning by having this beer…at least enjoy it while you are at it :)…Also, moderation is very important.

Prior 8 by St Bernardus

ImagePrior 8 by St Bernardus is the Dubbel version of their great ales. By Dubbel or Double it is double fermented unlike the quad abt 12 which is quadruple fermented. This ale I had to give a try as I was stunned by the number 12. Well for this beer, they sure know how to impress at Belgium. This ale has that caramel, brown sugar, bready taste from the yeast and malts but it is not as strong. In fact if I ever wanted a lighter version of the great 12 this would be it. This beer also has some kind of nice wine feel to it as well. Very complex and ages extremely well. Sweetness hints of dark figs, raisins as well as a very subtle hint of hops. Sure a Belgian brew I would try again as I like the different St. Bernardus ones and this would equate to their “light” version. Low in alcohol, full in complex flavor. 😛

St. Bernardus Abt 12 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus

ImageOMG!!!…put it simply, like drinking dulce de leche with a nice bread. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is rated one of the best quad style ales in the world. It is up there next to the westvleteren 12, but not as expensive and recently easy to find at the local Bevmo. I got this one in Wally’s Wine house but say it at the Bevmo in Manhattan beach. Quite frankly, one of the best trappiste Belgian ales I have ever had. I will soon be trying the Westvleteren but this beer is by far really good. There is Belgian yeast, some roasted malts, what I believe caramelized sugar, no hops,dark fruit, raisins, cherries, and fig flavors. The sugar rush hits you instantly but it feels really good. Alcohol is there but you honestly cannot tell as it is extremely well masked by that caramelized Belgian yeast combo. This reminds me of the time I had the Black Xantus. However with this one, no chocolate dessert needed. THIS IS YOUR DESSERT!!. Right next to franzy dark, my next favorite beer 😀

REVISIT: Hands down, truly the best beer in the world in my opinion, right next to the unreachable westy 12 and the common Trios Pistoles. Ahh Quad ales…simply the best in the world. I read more about this beer. These ales are brewed with the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped from a depth of 500 feet. Truly monks beer…as brewed in those Belgian monasteries. The ales are actually “alive” mainly due to the yeast strains that consume sugar to produce the alcohol and carbonation. If the nectar of the gods was truly this, this is it and its very easy to find thank fully :). Wonder if Jesus ever had a go at beers aside from turning water into wine :P.