Belgian beer round-up #1

Almost ten years are gone since I’ve fell in love with liquors.

To be honest, nor whisky nor cognac or other noble spirits were the reason for my love. It was beer that caught me and turned me to alcohol enthusiast.

Yes, it wasn’t just cheap lager but German weizenbier (wheat beer) and  rauchbier (smoked beer), Czech velvet beer and other unusual things. And the most interesting beer for me were Belgian ales.

This is short Belgian beer round-up, just three kinds among others I sipped recently: two ales and one kriek.

Grimbergen Blond

Grimbergen Blond

Bottle 0.33l, 6.7% ABV.

Ingredients: water, barley malt, sugar, hop, ascorbic acid.

Type: blond ale, top-fermented.

Grimbergen brewery was established in 12th century by Premonstratensian monks in the abbey near the town of Grimbergen. Now this brewery is owned by Alken Maes brewery group. All Grimbergen beers are abbey beer.

Served at 8-10°С in trappist glass.

Grimbergen Blond

Appearance: transparent light amber, with weak white foam.

Nose is weak, malty, a bit yeast at the background.

Palate: light, malty with hops and wheat aftertastes. The mouth feel is very mild but definitely  the taste lacks depth and complexity. In addition, this ale is short of hop bitter undertones. That’s not an advantage too.

I think Grimbergen Blond is good everyday beer to be consumed with cheese, vegetables or chicken and nothing more than that.

Leute Bokbier

Leute Bokbier

Bottle 0.33l, 7.5% ABV.

Ingredients: water, barley malt, yeast, hop.

Type: strong ale, top-fermented, refermented in the bottle.

Produced at commercial brewery Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

Served at 8-10°С in special egg-like glass.

Leute Bokbier

Appearance: dark brown, reddish with thick creamy foam.

Nose: a bit sweet, yeasty, with prune notes.

Palate: bitter with roasted malt, coffee and hop flavours. Aftertaste is yeasty with pleasant fruit notes, and finish is bitter.

Full-bodied dark ale, Leute Bokbier has awesome aroma, well-balanced taste and nice mouth feel. I love its fresh yeasty flavour similar to kvas, Russian traditional low-alcohol fermented beverage based on rye bread, yeast and sugar or honey.

For me, definitely it’s a good choice for quiet evening sipping.

Belgian Kriek

Belgian Kriek

Bottle 0.33l, 3.5% ABV.

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, yeast, hop, cherry juice (15%), sugar, sweetener, flavorings.

Type: kriek, top-fermented, macerated.

Produced at commercial brewery Brasserie Lefebvre.

Served at 5°С in flute glass.

Belgian Kriek

Appearance: dark red with rich pink tint. A bit weak foam is pink too.

Nose: fresh sour cherries, malt. Nice but slightly artificial aroma reminds of cherry-flavored pipe tobacco.

Palate is very pleasant, natural, fresh and sour. Nice carbonation, thick wheat and malt notes without any alcoholic traces as well as hop bitterness.

Verdict… Refreshing summer drink based on wheat beer, perfect under certain conditions but definitely not for everyday drinking.