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 aCOMPLETELY 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 ab it 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.