Brewed by Microbrouwerij Achilles
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Heist op den Berg-Itegem, Belgium


on tap

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RATINGS: 148   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.41   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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This hearty amber brew, well-balanced and warming, is the brewer's special celebration of this wonderful season, when the herald angels sing. A Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all, from Brouwerij Achilles!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - MAR 13, 2008
Bottle: Cloudy amber, tons of carbonation, thick self-restorative head. Nose of bright carbonation, apple and alcohol, green pumpkin, light caramel, super fumey with a fig and raisin note. Meaty bready flavor with a strong alcohol kick. Light molasses in the finish. Decent, albeit hot and fizzy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hellbilly (3249) - scottsdale über alles, Arizona, USA - MAR 6, 2008
hazy iced tea colored pour with a gigantic off white head that settles back in at a medium pace. yeasty aroma with notes of cinnamon, banana, orange peel and perfume. perfume carries over to the flavor as well. it’s combined with brown sugar, earth, orange and a metallic maltiness that never disappears. yeasty dryness and spice on the finish. aftertaste is very floral. medium bodied with a soft airy texture.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (8246) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
750 ml bottle from State Line. Pours hazy deep copper with 3-finger, huge fluffy head. Aroma is honey, caramel malt, spicy florals, nutmeg. Tastes of honey, spicy floral notes, caramel malt, some fruit. Remains somewhat sweet and spicy throughout, with a decent palate heft and complexity.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (8788) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 29, 2008
Deep amber-orange colour with a thick very white head. Aroma is quite sweet with lots of pale Belgian malt. Light rummy brown sugar in a pale malt base. Fruity with some peachy lightness as well as some heavier date and sweet plum character. Rich and fairly bready maltiness. Sweet and quite bockish base malts but with a fairly fruity yeasty accent. Softly spicy throughout. Well-integrated, big and complex, but still quite drinkable. A very enjoyable brew.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Rusty (1537) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - FEB 27, 2008
Pours a cloudy light brown with 3 fingers of white foamy head. Aroma of yeast and spices. Taste of malt, yeast, fruit, and bitter funk. Not that great, but not terrible by any means.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BuckeyeBoy (2977) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 26, 2008
Bottle pours out a cloudy amber topped with a foam head almost 1 mile tall. A nice tast of sweet fruit and some spice. Not to bad. Thanks Jake for letting me have some.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jercraigs (8220) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 26, 2008
2008-02-20 Bottle. Hazy amber body with a foamy fingers worth of off white head. (3+) Sweet yeasty aroma, light hints of bubblegum sweetness and alcohol. (7+) Sweet foundation to the flavour, light sugary notes, dry lightly alcoholic overtones and finish. Interesting underlying not-quite-spice character that I can not place. A sharp note on the back of the tongue lingers into the finish and aftertaste. (7+) Smooth average to medium palate. (3+) Pretty solid but does not distinguish itself much from many similar Belgian brews. Bottle in Belgian Christmas pack from Premier Gourmet. Shared with Mabel

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JackMehoff (18) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 25, 2008
(750 bottle) Not an overly malty aroma, but an offensivly overbearing head off of a slow pour. The head almost overflowed my 12oz glass and, after subsiding, left me with about 4 oz. After that initial shock the sweet candy-like flavor left me very suprised and happy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jake65 (2810) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 20, 2008
Bottle: Murky reddish brown with a huge beige head. Aroma is fruity and warming. The 8% ABD is easily noticable tonight. Sweet fruity and malty notes are second. Tastes muddled with bready malts, yeast, dark fruit, and more warming. It was good, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t really get into this brew. Seemingly average to me at this point.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 13, 2008
Pours with a frothy, initially four-finger thick, dirty, light tan colored head that leaves some slight lacing as it slowly recedes. The beer is an amber color, but shows a brilliantly clear, red-copper color and lots of carbonation when held up to the light. The aroma has an interesting soft spiciness to it that accentuates a light, fruity sweetness. Aromatic notes reminiscent to woody black pepper, old ginger, bright plum notes, a touch of apple, some berry aromatics, some soft citrus and a slight musty / slightly moldy cotton note combine with a touch of dusty grain character towards the finish. This is an interesting aroma, it is a bit more complex than I expected. It also picks up some notes of tropical fruit, fresh cut tangelos and even a hint of herbal character to it as time goes on.

Fairly dry and carbonated up front, the beer picks up a fruity sweetness towards the middle though. This is quite light bodied for a beer of this strength, or really it has a lightness that I really like to find in Belgian ales of this strength; the peppery, zippy carbonation helps to keep this light and while ample does not detract from the experience of the beer. The long finish has a touch of musty malt to it, hints of browned vegetables as well as a pepper like bite to it. The sweetness in this brew, which is fairly noticeable, incorporates flavors of plums, caramelized apples, perhaps a touch of sweet citrus fruit and a bright berry note. As the beer loses its carbonation it begins to pick up a soft creaminess to the mouthfeel, but still remains quite drinkable. While the dominant spice note is that of black pepper (with a touch of woodiness) there is also some hints of ginger, clove and ephemeral nutmeg.

This is a nice surprise as I was not expecting too much from this beer for some reason. It really has a nice balance between piquant, peppery spice notes and sweet fruit notes, plus it is all wrapped up in a light bodied, easily quaffed package; all of which fit the bill for a good Belgian beer.

Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson AZ

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