Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Christmas Vacation

Well I am back at home (my German home that is) from a fun filled Holiday of traveling. I went to two very different places so over the next day or so I will cover both of my trips. The first was to Brussels, the home of mussels and some of the most unique beers around. I went with my fiance and had an incredible time. Our first stop in Brussels was to the Brewers guild in the Grand Place and the beer museum. Very cool and I got my picture taking with a statue of Saint Arnold's of Metz the Patron Saint of Beer and the namesake of my favorite Texas brewery. (I'll post the picture when I get them all downloaded). As we toured the city we of course stopped for a few beers. Here are my down and dirty quick notes on them:
Grimburgen Brune: Weighs in at a nice 6.5%. Draught in a 33cL glass. Reddish brown with a thin taupe colored head. Lots of lacing. Sweet malt with some light caramel flavors. In the mouth there was some good caramel, chocolate and coca. Very nice first Belgium ale.
T Kelderke House Flanders Brown: Our first dinner we went our for mussels and the restaurant made their own beer so of course I had to try it. The beer weighed in at the same 6.5% alcohol. Thin head with minimal lacing, but the beer was thick looking, cloudy and unfiltered. The nose was fruity and hoppy, citrusy even. The mouth had a nice taste of brown sugar, citrus, and a lot of bitterness rounded out by some yeasty and bready notes. Very nice.
Kasteel Blonde: Draught. Poured a nice bright gold with a giant pillowy almost cotton like head. Floral hops and a citrus nose. Notes of lime, lemon, and copious hop bitterness at the end of the taste. Very little malt balance but that was OK with this beer. It would make a great summer beer. There was some banana flavor at the finish to round out the flavor along with a bit of burning from what I believe was a good amount of alcohol.
Bush Noel: Ahh yes a Belgium Christmas ale, love it! The beer poured a deep dark chocolate brown with almost no head. Malty sweetness was abundant, loads of caramel and even a bit of chocolate notes. The same in the mouth with a nice level of hop bitterness to go along with the flavors. A great winter beer, low carbonation it sits, coating the mouth, very nice.
Gordon Scotch Ale: Weighed in at 8.6 %. This is a Belgian beer company that makes Scottish ales. A reddish Amber color with a thick tawny head. Thick malt sweetness and heavy bitterness throughout. As it warmed notes of caramel began to show up. The alcohol definitely showed through as well which was a bit of a disappointment on this otherwise very nice sweet ale.

Well that was all for my beer tasting notes. I did come home with a nice large stash of Belgian ales and over the course of the next few weeks I'll do my best to drink as many of them as I can and share the experience.

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