Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A trio of Belgian Beers

As promised I began this past weekend digging into the stash of beers I brought back from my recent trip to Brussels. They were random selections based on what I felt like that day. There are two blondes and a Christmas ale mized in for good measure. All are from different brewery's and one I can actually get in the states but have never picked it up (I will in the future):
La Chouffe Belgian Blond Beer: This is the one that can be picked up in the states, I've seen it as a pretty standard selection at my neighborhood Spec's. This was a big beer both in size (750 mL) and alcohol (8%). The beer poured a deep honey golden color with an inch or so head that quickly dissipated into a thin film topping the beer. Strong hoppy notes, flowers, honey, melon, citrus and some spice filled the nose. The same flavors filled the mouth with cinnimon and coriander adding to a full mouthfeel. The flavor profile ended with some yeasty bread notes that created a smooth brew that hid most of the alcohol. Very nice beer.
Ciney Blond: My fiance tried this beer while we are in Brussels, liked it so I picked it up. It was a single small beer that weighed in at 7%. The same color of golden honey with hints of orange streaks showing through. Capped by a strong thick white head. Hops, orange peel and spice filled the nose. Same flavors in the mouth, with a bit of alcohol warmth at the end. Amazingly different from the La Chouffe, but something that I liked more.
Gordon's Xmas Ale: Ahh a sad day as this will probably be my last holiday beer of the season. Gordon's is a pretty large commercial brewer in Belgium brewing everything from traditional Beglian beers, to Sweet Scotch Ales. This one is a Strong Brown Ale and it weighed in at 8.8%. The beer poured a dark rich coffee brown with a thick foamy taupe head. Roasted sweet caramel, a bit of toffee and a hint of floral hops on the nose. The mouthfeel was thick with coffee bitterness, light on the carbonation, a bit of chocolate and toffee. Right at the end there were notes of sweet figs. I didn't feel any warmth at the end either so the beer did a great job of hiding its robustness. A very nice beer.

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