Additional notes 07/15/22
33 cl bottle.
It’s a beautiful beer to behold. A massive white head that forms fantastically and perfectly, leaving behind rich lace that sits splendidly atop a classically golden body. Nose offers clean bread notes and a little yeasty sweetness.
The beer starts with banana esters and a light hop touch, but soon enough the ending becomes much more bitter. There’s pineapple, and the hop element builds a little with time. The dry hopping definitely has a distinct presence here.
There’s also a big, honey-like sweetness to this beer, and when one considers the beer as a whole, it’s rather complicated. Bitter-dry hopping appears; sweeter, soft fruit esters are present; honey heavy notes are around and about too. And although the beer drinks under its 9.5%, there is even an alcohol burn in the far back end.
If anything, in the end, this is a bit too complex (if that makes sense). There’s so much going on I kinda wish the beer was either a straight up Tripel, or perhaps a more distinct, ‘ordinary’, Belgian Strong Pale. It ends up in between these two styles, and with too much bitterness, and as such I might even say it’s a touch muddled. I like it, but in the end the beer is quite hard work. It requires thought and attention. Sometimes that’s OK, sometimes not so much.
Original notes 01/29/22
33 cl bottle.
The pour is a slightly hazed, golden body with a high, wispy head. This is not a simple beer, and I don’t mean that in the normal way of recognizing this as a complex one. Rather, I mean that it’s complicated! Confused? Me too!
The tastes are surprisingly bitter and hoppy* (at least if you’re going to put this beer in the BSPA category which is where it belongs). In fact, the hoppy nature of the beer builds rather a lot, and it finishes in some much more serious hoppy territory than one would ever think it could possibly do. By the time all is said and done, this is more reminiscent of an early Belgian IPA clone rather than say, a Tripel influenced BSPA that one might expect. It’s true that the hoppy note does sit against the backdrop of a sweet backbone, but still, that metallic, drying finish lingers.
*To be fair, this is, as the label tells us, “dry hopping”, but that’s never going to be front of mind with this beer.
As the beer drinks down we get more honey sweetness and a little ester and yeast, but not a great deal. Alcohol is present and warming, so all of the elements end up being present that make me feel better about some of the stylistic attributes, but as I say, in the end this is a bit of a hybrid in the glass. Is the alcohol there? Yep, but it feels below the 9.5% advertised, and to be honest, quite a way bit lower. More paradoxes!
Some nice, sticky lace, and the beer remains very drinkable despite some of the surprises.
All in all this is not the beer that some (including myself) would necessarily think that it is. Is that a problem? Maybe not, but it will jar the senses a little if you’re expecting a certain thing, and then get this higher hopped beer than the style might suggest. I see other people don’t get the hop note that I do, and they describe it fully as a sweet, candy sugar based BSPA. For my part, it doesn’t drink that way to me.