Posted by simonpo on March 3, 2009
Avast there, me hearties! There’s another drop of Belgian goodness passing my way, and boy is this one a winner… Piraat hails from the Brouwerij van Steenberge in what must be the fine town of Ertvelde – lucky, lucky people who live there, for every day they have on their doorstep fine beers like this.
Poured from a woefully small stubby bottle into the glass, Piraat delivers a fine head that fades away much more quickly than you’d expect, a hazy golden body and an entirely enticing aroma of yeasty bread and fresh citrus fruits gets things off to a good start. First sip – nectar. A sweet malt undercurrent supports the typically Belgian yeast and coriander spiciness, with a healthy helping of hops to give it that final bitter twist. Check out the website for a tartly amusing description of why it’s called Piraat, and why it’s so strong, too.
So: smells good, tastes good, and probably does you good. This is one Piraat you’d do well to welcome aboard.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win
Posted in Amber, Belgian Ale, Belgium | Tagged: ABV 10.5%, Belgium, Brouwerij van Steenberge | 6 Comments »
Posted by simonpo on October 25, 2008
Ah, Belgian white beers – something of an acquired taste, and something I like to get my hands on now and again. Not having seen many examples of them around here in the old Pacific NW, I was pleased to spot this in QFC the other day, and the logo of the Manneken Pis on the front made me smile… taking a bit of a chance there lads, eh? Some very unfortuante comparisons could be made…
Fortunatley for Brasserie Lefebvre, no such analogy is required – this bottle pours out a straw-yellow pint with a characteristic white haze and a well-defined thick head of foam that’s a delight to the eye. On the nose, a definite spiciness, with coriander and orange-peel (says so on the label, I’m not just pretentious) well to the fore.
Refreshingly light and with a strong level of carbonation, this would go down fabulously well on a warm summers day. The only drawback was a slightly too astringent aftertaste which took a couple marks off at the end, but you should probably seek this out and give it a try some day. With a big bowl of fries and some mayonnaise on the side.
JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again
Posted in Belgium, Brasserie Lefebvre, Wit | Tagged: Belgium, Blanche de Bruxelles, Brasserie Lefebvre, Brussels, Coriander, Manneken Pis, petit Julien, white, Will Buy Again, Wit, witbier | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simonpo on June 16, 2008
Not quite as devilish as one would hope for, but the first mouthful of Brouwerij Riva‘s Lucifer has a spicy kick that catches at the back of your throat and lets you know this is one decent bottle of beer. In the glass it’s a vivacious little thing, a dirty blonde ale with a whallop of carbonation from the secondary fermentation that really tickles at first but soon settles down as you work your way through it.
Winner of a World Beer Cup Gold in 2004, it’s pretty yeasty on the nose (in a good way) and served very cold it manages to hide some of the high ABV so the alcohol doesn’t overpower the light notes of fruit (apples?) and a certain spicy hoppiness that gets stronger as it warms up. Refreshing and strong, it’s a good combination and one I’ll be back to in the future.
Of coruse, the obvious question is “how does this stack up against Duvel?” – and right now, I really don’t have an answer. I like them both, but in different ways… perhaps that’s another idea for a comparative tasting
JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again
Posted in Ale, Belgian Ale, Belgium, Pale Ale | Tagged: ABV 8.5%, Belgian, Belgium, Duvel, Pale Ale, Secondary fermentation, Will Buy Again, World Beer Cup 2004 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simonpo on February 27, 2008
Ah, those crazy, clever Belgians – masters of chocolate, comics and world-famous beer, I’ve been an admirer of their renowned cultural heritage for years. Funnily enough, probably for about as long as I’ve been a fan of Duvel, a brew I haven’t managed to sample in quite some time.
Luckily I hadn’t forgotten how to pour myself a drop of this fine ale, for you should be forewarned that it produces the mightiest, foamiest, longest-lived head you’re likely to encounter this side of Amsterdam*, a head that can take you quite unawares. If you’ve got the wrong kind of glass and don’t have a gentle wrist, there will be trouble – so take a look at the pouring guide before you take the plunge, and maybe leave that last little bit with the yeast in it in the bottle.
You’re also best off with a special glass – like this one you can buy online.
Now that might seem like a bit too much hassle, but with the right container and with the pour mastered, you’re in for something of a treat. Awaiting your attention is a beautiful golden straw-coloured beer, with a meringue-like topping of tasty foam. Super-high carbonation keeps things looking really interesting, and helps overcome what could otherwise be a pretty heavy pint. Beneath the head lies a dry, hoppy and slightly yeasty ale that’s both refreshing and potent.
Now almost certainly, you won’t want to tip back pints of this, but paired with some bread and cheese you’d probably manage to polish off a bottle or three at lunchtime and feel very happy afterwards. Or at least, I would – it’s got reasonable legs at 8.5%ABV, and I can see myself laying down a few bottles in my cellar for a special occasion in the future. As it’s triple-fermented (twice at the brewery, once in the bottle) it’s only going to improve with a bit of aging, apparently… so if I can keep my hands off it for a while, who knows what’ll happen.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win
*Dutch beer being well-known for it’s long-lived heads. Honestly.
Posted in Ale, Belgium, Duvel | Tagged: Duvel, For the Win | Leave a Comment »