23 March, 2009

Belgian Beer Tasted

This photo here is not Dundrum main st. but if I had had the sense to snap you all from outside this is almost what we'd looked like last Friday. All those who didn't attend are now acutely aware of what they missed and I am sure will be joining this orderly queue for next month..........

Delighted to see you all. As I mentioned in my last post, a little unprepared for the masses but we pulled together and thanks for not complaining!!!

The Tasting started with a Vedett, extra white. This comes in at a modest 4.7%. The majority felt that it was too light and boring but being honest I really liked it!!. It had a bready malty nose with a hint of fresh citrus fruit. The palate was crisp and zesty with a slightly bitter and dry finish. I love Beers that remind me of the summer or at least force optimism, this for me did both. I obviously like boring and bland!!!

We went from there to the most popular Belgian of the evening. Barbar honey ale 8%.
I bought this beer on request for a very dedicated beer fanatic. He'd been on holidays and came across it. Apparently, lets just refer to him as K, was contemplating emigrating for this unusual brew. Obviously we couldn't let that happen so it joined the Belgian beer shelf in Dundrum.
It has a malty, yeasty nose with hints of really fresh wild honey. On the palate, although dry, its loaded with honey and white sugar with an orange peel finish. It comes in at almost the same strength as a bottle of Blue Nun but this is really drinkable and not a good alternative to windowlene!!!
I love it!!!

The Goulden Carolus Hopsinjoor I found way too hardcore. The nose was biscuity and spicy but the palate was like runnin' around St.James Gate with your mouth open, Not my thing!! Hoppy, spicy with a little bit of fruit and a really sour-dough finish. No thanks;)......
Hoegaarden, Forbidden fruit. This came a very close 2nd in the popularity stakes with the serious beer boys. A malty Fruity nose, a very full bodied palate, spice- coriander and citrus rind with some residual sugar on the palate, Interesting, I won't have a pint thanks.
Chimay blue, The old favourite!!! Comes in at a stiff 9%.This is like drinking my nana's prune juice, maybe a bit nicer actually. A candy sweetness initially, loads of spice- christmas spice cloves and cinnamon and dried fruit- raisins and prunes. The high alcohol is not at all evident but this splits Belgian beers into some different category its almost like a tonic.
Chapeau Kriek Lambic, 3.5%. This was the token Belgian for those a little inexperienced and not trained by the Trappist monks, ie: myself. What I love about these beers is the method in which they are made. Lambics are completely natural, the brewers encourage spontaneous fermentation which I always think is really evident in the taste. The nose is all maraschino cherry with a slight hoppiness. On the palate its sour cherry and really ripe cherry then ending in a syrupiness and just when you think its all over there's a slight tartness on the finish. My lovely sister bought us 4 bottles - this says it all. An adult Bacardi Breezer with a foreign sophistication in the name and a Champagne cork. We polished them off on Friday night with a large piece Saint Agur and some Johnathan Ross, easy drinking and easy watching.
Again thanks for coming. I think we need bar stools for the next one though!!!
The photos are to follow ;)
Ruth D.


The Beer Nut said...

Thanks for your hospitality, Ruth. My own notes are in the usual place.

I'd never been a big fan of the Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit before, but it was really nice after the more bitter beers: the smooth caramel in it came out much more.

So where are we going next month? I noticed your UK selection is particularly impressive...

Deveneys said...

Was thinking of Scottish ales for next month, I've some new stuff from the cairngorm brewery in Inverness.... Whatcha think??

The Beer Nut said...

Sounds great.