Original review form 2/21/09
750 mL corked & caged affair, $7.99 from Tower on Piedmont, Atlanta, GA, USA.
I must admit, when I saw the description that included the honey and the citrus peel I was expecting a beer that fell more into the Belgian Strong Pale category, so to see a Belgian Dark flow from the elaborate bottle was a slight shock. I love the green and gold color scheme.
Pour is a rich looking, thick, tight-headed beer with a reddish Dubbel appaerance. Head has a delicious looking mocha/cappucino color and appearance. Lace is nice, as is the spotty film that forms on surface as the brew sits and warms. Head retention is good.
A touch of sweet orange based liquor in the nose.
Upfront we have typical (and tasty) Beglian yeast and candy notes. NOT overpoweringly sweet, and somewhat surprisingly the beer finishes with some Champagne, dry like character. Light dark fruits as opposed to the more typical heavy figs and raisins.
Drinks much lighter than many in the style and I suppose that you can look at this as both a positive and a negative. To me is *slightly* detracts, but very little. Definitely a “lighter” more approachable version of the style.
This may not be the best BSDA out there, but it is one of the very best American efforts at the style. It’s also as good as some of the Belgian brewed BSDA’s, AND at $7.99 for the 750 mL it’s definitely one of the best (if not THE best) value examples on the market.
Along with Local 1, an instant classic in my book. I’ll be buying more of both.