WE'RE OFF WITH THE FAIRIES AND DELIRIOUS WITH THIS BELGIUM BEER OFFER!
Well … I have been hassled by our subscribers and friends to put up a Belgian beer offer. In Belgium, beer is more than just a drink - it is a culture. Belgians take their beer seriously - and with good reason. The country has enjoyed an unparalleled reputation for specialty beers since the Middle Ages. This is partly to do with climate, as it is too cold to grow decent wine making grapes but it’s just right for growing barley and hops. The land is excellent for this purpose also and Belgium is known for its good quality water – the town of Spa after all is in Eastern Belgium. As a result, connoisseurs favor Belgian beers for their variety, real flavor and character.
With this in mind, I had a chat with a couple of suppliers and have come up with a couple of mixed packs that should do the trick. These packs have three great blondes and one dark amber from the country famous for its ‘strong’ beers.
Two of these beers I have been drinking for years. The other two I have only been introduced to recently during this winter in Australia, where it has been damn cold indeed - and the forecast doesn’t look all that better for spring. Which brings me to the point of drinking Belgian beers, as they are higher in alcohol, and this gives the beer an ‘almost warming’ character, adding more power and richness, making them ideal to drink whilst we sit around waiting for some warmer weather. Oops!!! sounds like a good Aussie red.
So what do have on offer? We have put together a Mixed 12 bottles Pack and a Mixed 24 bottles pack, each with the same four beers, being:
- Delirum Tremens – Brouwerji Huyghe
- Duvel – Brouwerji Duvel Moortgat
- La Chouffe – Brasserie A’Chouffe
- Grimbergen Dubbel – Brouwerji Alken-Maes
Delirum Tremens (8.5% ABV) is Brewery Huyghe’s top beer and has long been the standard for strong Belgian beer. Real beer officianardo love it and respect its quality and style. Although I don’t partake in as many bottles anymore for fear of getting the ‘Tremens’, I still absolutely love this beer and every time I do go back and taste it, it just amazes me. Its been awarded the best beer in the world several times and its that good it fully deserves it.
It’s a classic blond beer with a white head that looks amazing in the glass. On the nose it’s quite aromatic with hay, bread, spice/clove and there is citrus/fruity undertones and then banana. Palette is full, there is sweetness, but then the tart citrus undertones balance that out. Bitterness is great and balanced, and finishes slightly tangy and dry. You can see the power of the Alcohol, but this is just hidden away with all the flavour.
Duvel Blond (8.5% ABV) is probably the most recognised Belgium ‘Craft’ in Australia (along with maybe Chimay). I say craft, because whilst Stella Artois is the most recognised Belgian beer, not only in Australia but around the globe, it is a far cry from what Duvel Blond is. I have been drinking this beer for a long time and search it out on lists and on taps if I can find it. Again its high alcohol stops me from the big sessions, but these beers are like fine wines and should be enjoyed and savoured.
With a 90 day brewing process, which is a long time for beer to brew in a commercial sense (I think Budjovicky Budvar have one that breaks 200 days), its again a classic blond with the famous Belgian white head. The aroma I find is richer and more apple/pear than citrus, yeasty. The palette, again, is richer fruit then citrus, almost like apple pie with yeasty characters melded in. Great clean finish with a hint of hops
La Chouffe Blond (8% ABV ) is another blond made at Brasserie A’Chouffe, also known as ‘thehome of the fairies’ and the youngest of the breweries here in this line up. It started off with two brothers and has grown into one of Belgium most respected breweries - so much so that Duvel has now invested in the brewery and has taken the beer to the global market.
Being another blond, the colour is great as is the beautiful white head (Why do we insist in Australia – in some parts anyway, to fill the glass to the top and lose the head). This blond is double fermented in the bottle and barrels, and unfiltered; which in turn puts another swing on the classic blond.
As it is unfiltered, the colour is golden but cloudy, with an off white head. The nose is definitely richer and a little funky, slight herby/coriander like, toasty fruit (I say from the barrel fermentation) and grainy. The Palette is richer, fuller, with a hint of pepper and coriander. There seems to be a sweeter malty character combined with ripe citrus fruits. It is easy to drink for a beer with 8% ABV, and thus could be quite dangerous. It could in fact send you ‘off with the fairies’ without you knowing.
Fish and Chips!
Grimbergen Dubbel (6.5% ABV) - This time we have a Double Ambree (Brown or Dark Amber). I was introduced to this beer, mainly because during this year’s cold winter, I have explored more dark ambers, reds, porters and stout. It’s been a great journey actually and a surprise for myself. I’ve always liked them, but after living in a fairly warmish climate for sometime, I just didn’t see or partake in this particular style often.
Grimbergen is an Abbey beer, with history dating back the middle ages (1128) and was first brewed by Norbertine monks in the town of Grimbergen. It became famous to local travellers that were supplied with their ‘homebrew beer’.
French invaders closed the abbey down at the end of 18th century and hence the production of the beer also stopped. Many years later the abbey re-opened, and with it beer production started again. Then in 1958, Brouwerji Maes approached the monks with a proposal to take the Grimbergen Abbey beers to wider commercial market - and the rest history.
Whilst they say the beer is a brown beer, it in fact has quite a red tinge to it and again with a classic Belgian head. The nose reminds me a bit of a Christmas fruit cake; dark fruit, and spice. You can see malt, but I was just overwhelmed by the fruits etc, how cool! The Palate is similar to the nose, rich, with dried/candied fruit, sour cherry and melded with a cooked/caramelised sugar and finishes quite complex.
Great beer, where’s the slow roasted ribs with quince sauce!
Sean - The Wine Guy
(and aka The Beer Guy)
PS: Remember our promise to you that if you don’t like the any of the Beers, let us know and we’ll refund you straight away. So go on, order risk-free and enjoy.