Additional notes 01/14/23 (pictured)
Bottle from Belgian Style Ales, best before 08/08/25.
I try to get a bottle of this every year around Christmas, but the doesn’t always work, and I’ve certainly not had it 20 times since those first notes, but I’ve certainly has a few since 2004. These are the first notes I’ve made since ’04.
The notes below reflect what I thought was that drab, Dubbel-like pour, but this beer in 2023 looks like a COMPLETELY different beer. It has stunning, ruby red highlights against the dark body, and now Ould be an undisputed ‘5’ on the appearance scale.
Very light drinking -easy, and goes down smoothly, but with some dryish, solvent based alcohol in the back end. Seems a little less rich in terms of fruit than it once did, and there’s a bit more of alcohol solvent ring about the beer than I remember, but it’s also a lot cleaner.
Virtually no Christmas based spice to speak of here, but a decent dose of spicy/earthy hop bitterness in the back-end and finish.
It really feels as though this beer has changed a lot over 20 years, but it’s difficult to have any conviction or certainty about that, and either way, I still really like it.
Original notes 11/19/04
A solid performer in the Belgian dark tradition that I enjoyed very much.
The classic dark pour, with a murky body and rather too frothy a head. The head was a little annoying when pouring, and the look – is as often the case with these type of beers – not very special. However, one whiff and then the first taste, soon makes up for the aesthetic disappointment.
Chock-full of all the classic sweet, dark fruit flavors with the added addition of of some mixed spice and some fruit peel.
A warmth comes over you, both in the mouthfeel and on the way down. A nice sipper, enjoy in moderation for full effect.