Monk’s Cafe Grand Cru
(Flemish Sour Ale)

11.2 oz "stubby" bottle as part of the Van Steenberge mixed, six pack. Beautiful, dark garnet pour, especially as the light catches it. Head is great, nice retention and lace. The nose and initial tastes are that of intense ethanoic acid, BUT after those first bursts the beers falls into that classic, beautiful, sweet and sour mode. Great balsamic, rich dark cherry, especially as it warms. The sweet and sour complement one another. Some oak, not a great deal of fruit for me, just that gently...

Bière Du Boucanier Dark

Poured from the iconic, ceramic stubby bottle, on first look this appears like an ugly Dubbel brown - my favorite color complaint - but in better light there are a ton of red hues and the beer is significantly less dull than it first appears. Head is decent, and consummate with a 9% beer. Retention and lace follow a similar pattern. Fruity yeast on the nose, that is carried into the tastes a bit, but in those tastes we find a drier beer than the aroma might first suggest. Still plenty of...

Witches’ Brew

750 mL corked & caged from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA $11.99. I've passed on this a few times at the store, finally took the plunge when the stock seemed to go down to the last bottle. Van Steenberge is solid, so thought I should go ahead. Pour is very impressive. Firstly the beer pops with a healthy blast and the gunsmoke is good. The color is a deep orange with just the right amount of cloudiness. Even more impressive is the head. Bone white and fantastically sticky and...

Cherish Kriek Lambic

$3.00 for the 8.4 oz bottle from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, NC, USA. This one is poured into the Gouden Carolus small chalice. Appearance is pretty much as expected. A light brown, slightly reddish body with some nice, simple head and some decent lace. Nose is a simple, understated cherry with a promise of sweetness. Tastes are a delightful sweet and sour combo. As with many fruit based lambics the sweetness comes first and then the sour kicks in at the back end. Deep cherry notes are...

Piraat Ale

Additional notes: 06/23/21 Very little to add even over twelve years on from the original review. It's one of those beers that in terms of its appearance, and the overall experience, virtually nothing has changed. That's on the back of my palate no doubt changing over that time, but it's incredibly comforting find such consistency both in product and in my feeling and perception of the beer. Picture from June 2021. Original Notes: 04/14/2009 Having drunk this several times before, I decided it...

Cherish Raspberry Lambic

$3.00 from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, NC, USA for the 8.4 fl oz bottle. Beautiful color on the pour with complete clarity and a stunning, bright, cherry-red pour. A small pink, finely bubbled head forms with a touch of lace. Nose has a touch of an artificial feel about it, BUT it is very fruity. Light tartness, authentic raspberry flavor and an interesting sweet/sour combo. Not as sweet as it first appears. Finishes drier than I was expecting. Drinks magnificently. Tasty.

Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Red Ale

Single, 11.2 fl oz bottle from Michael's in Marietta, GA, USA. I think that this is an oldish bottle, but no matter, age will probably treat this well. Poured into the Terrapin snifter, this sits in the glass a still as a mill pond, looking like a slightly reddish coke. Zero head and lace. Looks suspiciously like a LARGE brandy in that glass! Pretty much a classic example of he style. Strong acidic/vinegar notes along with a thinnish body and an almost completely flat mouthfeel. Taste is less...

Atomium Grand Cru

Enjoyed this one on tap at Deep Ellum, Boston, MA, USA. Surprisingly I had never seen this beer or this brewer with beers on tap in the USA, so I was delighted and excited to try it. It was served in the brewery's own glassware - an impressive, bowl-like goblet that really looked great! Allowed me to take some lovely, large, satisfying gulps that swirled around inside the mouth. Beer feels bigger than it really is. Very solid example of the style. Lovely pale yellow color with nice head and...

Bruegel Amber Ale

Stubbie 11.2 oz bottle, Michael's, Marietta, GA, USA, $3.49. Pour is a light brown murk, with a nice head and a little lacing. Typically light Belgian with candy notes and plenty of mild, dark fruit sweetness. A little typical Belgian yeast, but not a great deal. Slightly sour with a mild lambic tartness. Finishes with a whiff of sherry based alcohol, but very little. Lightweight Belgian with an amber body that is a long way from Blonde or Pale. Mildly disappointed, plenty of other better...

Leute Bok

On-tap at the Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Upstairs in the Belgian Bar. As Dave suggests, the silly glass and wooden block (like Kwak) means the kids love this without understanding the very average nature of this beer. Looks decent with a dirty, Dubbel like color (that I am not fond of) and a nice looking (small) ivory, rocky head. In terms of a Belgian Strong Dark, this is a very weak beer. Its main shortcoming is the mouthfeel, but the whole experience is very muted. It has a lot of...

Bornem Dubbel

330 mL Stubbie. Nice presentation. Typical dirty brown pour, with that distinctive light, frothy head and fairly severe carbonation that can both come with the style quite often. The lacing is fairly reserved, and does not stick. Kind of watery (lack of bady) body. Yeasty and acidic taste. Not very smooth. Some apple character and some citrus notes. Mouthfeel is light and feels a little fizzy from the cabonation. I don't know about the Dubbel style, it's just seems to continue to be a bit hit...

Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)

Very deep, dark appearance with an amazing aroma of cherries, dates, other dark fruits and a little gasoline! Very strong spirit/alcohol smell. This is one serious beer. Lots of character, flavor and an amazing warming effect on its way down. Not much hop character anywhere present, but bowls and bowls of malt fruits and serious alcohol. Mouthfeel is predictably large with overwhelming texture, bordering on a little too much for me. The sheer richness of the drink as a whole took away slightly...

Augustijn Ale

Pale orange pour with loads of soft, ripe fruits in the nose. Not a huge head, but decent with some lacing in my very versatile and much beloved New Belguim glass. Sweet alcoholic pineapple is where this one sets out it's stall. Quite an acidic and dry finish, with some unexpected astringency. Quite sharp in the mouth, not through prickly carbonation, but rather through a peppery alcohol and some alcoholic sharpness. A little sting with some bitterness too. Nice Belgian Tripel but definitely...

Bornem Triple

Light golden pour with a small, frothy head that largely disappears fairly quickly. There is some persistent light film on the body, and some minor lacing as it sits in the New Belgium goblet. Tons of alcohol in the nose, with a sinus clearing effect! There are lots of fruits present too. The fruit is reflected in the taste, with a sherry like alcohol ripeness being the predominant taste. Some darker fruit and some pineapple present as well. There is no doubt about the alcohol content here,...