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Notes on beers in the style

Belgian IPA
Ce n’est pas La Fin Du Monde

Ce n’est pas
La Fin Du Monde

Belgian IPAs. If I'm honest I've never really seen the point. I mean a few have been decent, but as a rule why don't we all just concentrate on what we do well, carry on working to perfect those things, and let others do their things? Lanes are important. Let's stay in them. This beer is heavier than it needs to be. There's a real viscous look and feel about the beer even before we get to the ABV which is a whopping 9.5%! From the deep honey color to the viscous mouthfeel this is a punishing...

Jambe de Bois

Jambe
de Bois

If I'm brutally honest, not a beer for the purist. To be fair, the label does describe it as a 'Hoppy Tripel'. Again if I'm honest, this isn't a great start for me. I'm a big Tripel fan, but mostly for the reason that they offer a sweetness that is not related to hoppy beers, so this angle isn't necessarily where I would start or what I would look for. Having said all of that, De La Senne has sufficient equity with me that I'm very happy to press on. A cloudy orange body with some tremendous...

Duvel Tripel Hop Cashmere

Duvel
Tripel Hop Cashmere

Second time I've had this, last time was the 2020 version that I did NOT take notes on, but did take a picture of. Very light, golden pour whose color has the look of a macro, adjunct lager! Thickish, ice-cream like head retention good, lacing good. I was expecting this to drink in a similar manner to the Citra that I drank and made notes on yesterday, of course with different attributes of each hop coming through, but I was taken aback by the level of sweetness that I got immediately here....

Duvel Tripel Hop Citra

Duvel
Tripel Hop Citra

Belgian IPAs ... ... the best way for me to describe just about every one is, "I don't hate them, but even after all of their years of being around, I don't really understand why they exist." Over-hopped (or perhaps better put, highly hopped) beers are best left to the Americans, and even though this, and other such beers aren't bad per se, I see no point in devoting any production time that could be put to better use making regular Duvel. High, but very wispy and lightly sticky head sits...

De Ranke XXX Bitter

De Ranke
XXX Bitter

750mL capped bottle. Cap has dot-matrixed B137(7 or 1)13 OKT22 and EX 13/10/24. Labeled as a "Hoppy Golden Ale" - yes, yes it is! Damn! De Rankę know how to make these highly hopped, beautifully balanced beers. I'm not remotely surprised, just simply stating a fact. Hazed orange body, magnificent head and unparalleled foamy head with amazing retention and lacing. Nose offers exactly what one would expect. It's absolutely NOT a overlapped nose with any astringency, in fact it is really rather...

Ameriken Pis

Ameriken
Pis

33cl bottle. Recently shipped in from Belgium. A complex collaboration between La Senne and Perennial, Yazoo, Little Animals, Keeping Together, Off Color and Somewhere Else Beer Project. Beautiful, deep orange golden color. Medium head, that has a bone-white color with tremendous lace. Light stickiness to it. Plenty of sweet hops on the nose. It immediately reminds me of an old style, DIPA from the West Coast (please note I'm not using the horrible, dumb term 'WCIPA'). Perfect balance in the...

Belgo

Belgo

Golden, butterscotch, hazed body with a decent head and some minimal lace. White film settles across the surface of the beer. Nose offers some deep, ready hop notes, but very balanced. Tastes begin with a bitterness upfront that is also well-balanced. Nothing harsh here, with the Belgian Pale influence pushing back on the noble hops. It feels stylistically very correct, and that always please me, but it's pretty light compared to some of the early version of the Belgian IPA style. As such, it...

Dubbel Cannon

Dubbel Cannon

12oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. The pour produces a somewhat disappointingly lifeless beer, with head, retention and lace all significantly lacking. The color is certainly 'IPA like' in as much as it gives an amber hue, but at the same time it looks dreadfully 'washed out'. A weak looking beer. Nose offers some light malts and a touch of sweet Belgian candy, but again it seems somewhat light and underweight. The mouthfeel has a very odd feel. There is a weird, fine-bubbled...

Dubbel Cannon

Duvel Tripel Hop (2010 Amarillo)

OK, not really sure what the purpose of this beer actually IS, as it seems as though Ommegang (in its American way) has had a reverse influence on Moortgat. As much as I love Ommegang, this is not an influence or input that is needed under ANY circumstances when you consider the superb, supremecy of Duvel. Extravagant presentation with thick, gold foil and corked & caged presentation with a fancy label. Close to @$20 for the chance to try this. The pour is interesting since on the first...

Dubbel Cannon

Lips of Faith Belgo IPA

22oz bottle in the usual Lips of Faith series presentation. Beer pours out a pretty dark, copper color with a medium head. The lace is surprisingly good and forms a nice pattern. This is one of the better parts of the beer. Nose is largely American IPA without much Belgian influence. The tastes do better, with a healthy dose of Belgian candy sugar and some yeast notes. Some metallic notes appear in the back end with a little coinage. The beer seems very dry to me, and the combination offers a...

Dubbel Cannon

Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA

12 oz bottle. Not quite sure why this did not/has not made it to GA, perhaps it HAS but I've not been looking for it. Was it in the Canis Major mixed pack? Anyway... Hazy, orange body with low to mid-carbonation and a little head and some retention. Not much lace at all. Nose offers some light hop character, a bit of sweetness and perhaps a touch of Belgian yeast. Tastes are reminiscent of the nose, but crank some of the aspects up quite a lot. The sweetness comes first, followed by the yeast...

Dubbel Cannon

Hop Master’s Abbey Belgian-Style Double IPA

22 oz bottle courtesy of DogBrick - thanks Micah. Surprisingly golden/orange pour with good clarity - like a little like a Tripel in terms of color. Head is minimal and limited to sticky film on the surface of the beer and some creamy bubbles at the edges. Nose gives quite a lot of sweetness and a hint of medicinal hop character but not much. Tastes have some chest warming alcohol and more sweet candy notes but a lack of any great hop presence. To me this drinks more like a Tripel than...

Fantôme La Dalmatienne

Fantôme La Dalmatienne

Additional notes: 10/02/2022 (Pictured) - Lot Nr 12 F21 best before end 2026. This is 6%/14°, and not the original review's 8.0% Well, when you look at the notes below, and you consider that some people have considered this beer almost a Tripel in the past, this 2022 version has almost no resemblance to that at all! As you can see from the ABVs as well, this is now a different beer to what it used to be. As pretty as ever (pictured) this is very bitter. Good, but bitter, and it appears to give...

Wild Devil

Wild Devil

Original notes 05/20/2019 750 mL bottle, corked & caged from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Had a hell of a job getting the cork out eventually having to opt for a full-on corkscrew. Given that, the pop and gunsmoke that came with it was a touch disappointing. Poured this one into the Southampton Weizen glass (Pictured from Dec 2020). Orange/copper body with a touch of darkness. Nicely formed, simply bubbly head, but it's a little light and produces no lace. Steady carbonation is apparent....

Dubbel Cannon

Belgica

16 oz pint on tap at The Porter, Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA, USA. Golden body with a little chill haze underneath a pillow-like, rocky head. Good creamy peaks and troughs in the head. Noce retention and lace. Nose has the pre-requisite light fruit and IPA notes. The Belgian yeasts and sweetness are simple and subtle rather than massive, and the same is true of the hoppy notes. The bitterness and hop character only really cut in in the aftertaste, and the combo makes this very drinkable. I...

Dubbel Cannon

Green Flash Le Freak

$9.50 from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, NC, USA for the 22oz bottle. Pour is interesting since it provides a light, yellow, tripel colored body with some slight haze. It is also surprisingly good in the head department with decent retention and some nice lace - surprising because of the high ABV. On subsequent pours the head is bubbly and very high. Nose has light alcohol, light pepper and some spice. Well, I guess that this is pretty true to style. Plenty of hop bitterness against the background...

Dubbel Cannon

Terrapin Monk’s Revenge

Ok, here we go with SP #5. Still looking for something subtle from Terrapin in the SP series, but ho hum...that could be a LONG wait! Presentation is the same as all of the other SP series with the text edited to reflect the new beer. Pour is a golden orange with very little head, no head and very little lace. The second pour (that includes some sediment) removes the clarity and adds a better head and more orange rather than golden character. LOTS of residual sugars in the taste, and it does...

Dubbel Cannon

Stone Cali-Belgique

Interesting beer as is often the case with Stone. 22oz bomber with the usual Stone screen printed bottle. Thanks go out to BA PatronWizard for the chance to try this one. Stone special releases have not yet made it to GA. Very nice, light golden pour with the very lightest hint of haze in the clear body. Head is above average but light but it does leave decent lace. Looks strong. Has a Tripel appearance. Nose is hoppier and more IPAish than the beer drinks. The nose points more toward the West...

Dubbel Cannon

Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor

Corked and caged 750 mL bottle from Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. $8.99 I *think*. I took the cage off this bottle, got distracted with the kids, and about 10 minutes later the cork shot into the air with a huge explosion! Foam everywhere. A good sign I would say. Lots of froth on the pour that leads to an orange body and thin head and lace. Nose has an interesting combo of mild hops and Belgian yeast. The taste reflects that, and as such this seems like a quintessential version of the...

Dubbel Cannon

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Many thanks to Pretzelcity for the excellent trade. 22 oz bottle with the typical Stone VE presentation. Golden pour into the Duvel tulip. Very bright golden hue, but frankly a disappointing lack of head and lace. More head and lace would give it a better appearance score. Aromas are a combination of medicinal hops and floral hop notes. If I had to describe the taste in simple terms, I would say this is a Belgian Pale/Belgian IPA/ Tripel combo. Plenty of sweetness from the Tripel element, but...

Dubbel Cannon

Allagash Hugh Malone

Purchased this one back in November 2007 in Greensboro, NC, USA. I had one bottle around Christmas time and decided to pop this one open to see how it had changed. I don't mind my IPA's with a little age on them, and coupled with the Belgian aspect, I felt this would be a good candidate to put a few months on - luckily, I was right. 750 mL corked & caged affair that opens with a big "pop". Poured into the Val-Dieu chalice it sits as a rust colored body. The head disappears very quickly to...

Dubbel Cannon

Poperings Hommel Bier

Slender 330 mL bottle, Greens, Ponce De Leon, Atlanta, GA, USA. Poured into the Duvel tulip, this creates an enormous, fluffy head with plenty of lacing. A cloudy and hazy honey color, this looks like a classic and typical Belgian Pale. Good looker. Corriander spice notes in the nose. Taste is pronounced peppery and dry, with a hop finish that is very surprising for the style. Like De Ranke XX and Houblon Chouffe, this is a hoppy Belgian that lacks much rich, fruit flavor, but has the mild...

Dubbel Cannon

Urthel Hop-It

Last weekend it was this; http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/321/27804/?ba=Ding This weekend it was Urthel-Hop It. I figured that there would be at least a few valid comparisons, and I think that there were. Both Belgian yeast based with typical Belgian aromas and characteristics, and both exhibiting an unusual addition of lots of hops. For my money the Urthel managed to pull it off nicely, whereas the Chouffe was all a bit of a mess. This poured with a more modest head than the Chouffe and...

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Updated notes, 03/30/2022 (pictured) Sixteen years between these notes! Wow. The bottle pictured is from the latest tasting, and you’ll see that the name has been simplified to Houblon Chouffe these days. I’m not sure when that happened, but it makes sense because the original name (referring to three types of hop), had the confusion of the word ‘Triple’ in the name. Over the years the style has grown on me, but if I’m completely honest I’m just as happy keeping traditional Belgian styles and...

De Ranke XX Bitter

De Ranke XX Bitter

Notes added 07/25/21 330 mL bottle (pictured) purchased at The Liquor Store, Jackson, WY. A beer that has grown on me over the years. Still not a massive proponent of the style in general, but if I want a hoppy edge to something I’d rather reach for real quality like this than perceived quality that surrounds so many US IPAs. There’s a smoothness and a subtlety that comes with a beer like this that doesn’t in American IPAs. Gentler. Better. Nicer. Beautiful golden yellow pour with a typically...