Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - SEP 18, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
’Massieve ale’ (Belgian strong dark) made exclusively for De Keersmaeker, a quiet, small and old-fashioned drinks center in the village of Bazel. Bottle purchased there. Contrary to many earlier reviews here, my sample showed no gushing whatsoever, but then I have a closer look at the label and see that its brewer has changed from Boelens to Paenhuys meanwhile, which probably explains this, and must have resulted in a somewhat different beer, with a slightly higher ABV of 9%. Strangely, the label also mentions that it can be stored "until 2 years after selling date" - now there is a way to ditch Belgian law imposing diary product laws onto beer when it comes to "best before" dates... Initially clear (but cloudy with deposit), deep burgundy brown coloured beer with ruby hue, very dark but transparent, bearing a creamy, irregularly formed, egg-white, very stable head. Aroma of dried plums, hazelnuts, Kirsch, diluted coffee grounds, cold tea, nutmeg, old cocoa powder, dry branches, damp cloth, old ’jenever’, white pepper, baked banana. Taste starts with a restrained, not too estery, pleasant ’dried’ fruitiness of raisins, dried banana and dito prunes with just a subtle touch of candi sweetness and soft to medium carbonation; very smooth, lightly oily, soft and agreeable mouthfeel, fairly thick, caramelly and toasted maltiness, a tad chocolatey and even a little bit roastedly bitterish in the end with a brief and volatile hint of coffee. Bitterness builds in the finish with leafy, peppery hops providing enough structure and flavour for the style, a bit herbal, pairing well with the malt sweetness and rounded off with a glow of ’jenever’-like alcohol going down the throat and warming the chest without becoming too astringent, though a certain alcoholic wryness lingers on the root of the tongue, very reminiscent of young ’graanjenever’; the hops spiciness and softly bitterish roasted maltiness also remain behind after swallowing, leaving a gentle bittersweet aftertaste, reinforced with powdery yeast in the end. I can easily imagine how this was of a far lesser quality when Boelens made it, in those days Boelens had technical issues and delivered pretty ill-fated beers every now and then (yet in the meantime, I hasten to add, these issues have been resolved apparently, resulting in much better - and more stable - quality). In this new Paenhuys version, however, this is quite well-balanced and technically accomplished, with a restraint, not overly estery yeastiness, a thick, pleasantly filling maltiness and well-dosed hoppiness. Certainly worth a try, though I would not make the detour to Bazel for it as such (although that is exactly what I did today). Quite a pleasant surprise, actually.
tderoeck (6906) - Gent, BELGIUM - JUL 1, 2014
2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
8/VI/14 - 33cl bottle from Willems (Grobbendonk) @ home - BB: 21/I/16 (2014-611)
Gusher alert! This one went total mayhem, a complete gusher, bottle was almost empty after the gushing. Oh joy, I just love cleaning up gushed out beer from my coffee table, and my floor, and my rug.
Clear red brown beer, huge aery fizzy beige head (actually, most of what I managed to capture in my glass was head). Aroma: lots of orange peel, spicy, cloves, bit sourish, coriander, soapy, rotten fruits, bit dusty, caramel, some banana. MF: soft to no carbon (well, all the gas went out during the gushing part), medium body. Taste: sweet start, caramel, somewhat bitter, hoppy, bit sourish, dried fruits. Aftertaste: caramel, little hoppy, some mocha, fruity touch, bit spicy. Meh.
TBone (14782) - Pori, FINLAND - APR 12, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle at Tuulensuu.
Gushing bottle. Dark brown color, big off-white head. Yeast, dark fruits, alcohol in the aroma. Medium-bodied. Dark fruits, alcohol, grassy hoppyness, slightly tart. Homebrewish.
mjs (5614) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAR 8, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(Bottle, 0.33 l - BB 21/01/2016, at Gastropub Tuulensuu, 20140308) The beer poured dark brown and clear. Its head was medium sized and white. Aroma had yeast, spices, grass and malts. Palate was medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavours were malts, yeast, herbalness, spices, sweetness and bitterness. Aftertaste was spicy, hoppy and bitter. A complex and confusing brew.
77ships (6129) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - OCT 1, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
33 cl. bottle @ home. Procured from Willems. BBF 21/01/2016. HUGE GUSHER, lost prob. 85 % of the bottle. Dark reddish, tanned, creamy disappearing head. Nose is fermenting sour red berries, slight vinegar, sour malt, yoghurt, candy caramel, definitely off, reminds me of an Oud Bruin, mind you an okay one. Thick bitter yeast taste, creamy yoghurt, candy sugar, sour wild red berries, light wood & touch vinegar, bit varnish, thick spoiled dough, light oud bruin notes, mineral. Thick old yoghurt & way to high carb. Body totally off but actually not that bad if you like sours, it is by no means a good beer & certainly not a good sour, I have had worse sours. This is actually drinkable.
Martinus (4280) - Baarle-Nassau, NETHERLANDS - AUG 23, 2013
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Reddish brown colour, white head. A bit of a gusher. Sour aroma, yoghurt, caramel, candy, light liquorice and mint. Sour malty flavour, sourmalt, bit sweet, light liquorice (drop) and spices. Lots of carbo. Finish citrus and caramel. Not my favourite.
(From 33cL bottle @ DutchDrebus’ place. Thanks for sharing, Rene!)
ansjelaah (1746) - Westelbeers, NETHERLANDS - JUL 25, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Gedronken met benzai, martinus en dutchdrebus, bruin en oranje kleurtje, ruikt en smaakt kruidig en een beetje fruitig, veel koolzuur
Benzai (11312) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - JUL 25, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle shared with Dutchdrebus, Ansjelaah and Martinus. Gusher! Hazy reddish color, medium sized off-white head. Smell and taste malts, some sweetness, some alcohol, a touch of overripe fruits. A bit fizzy carbonation, ok body.
DutchDrebus (5093) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - JUL 25, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle @ home thx to benzai. Hazy amber to copper with a big off-white head. Smells banana, yeast, herbs. Tastes sweet, banana, herbs.. Not a fan. Medium body, heavy carbo.
FatPhil (11818) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - JAN 10, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
330ml bottle (Delerium Cafe, Brussels) As "Baudelo" but at 8.5% BB long gone, label largely worn off
6 Purple grape and cranberry aroma. Also stale and dusty, but that’s hardly surprising given how old this is.
4+ Dark brown, small ring head
7 Lovely figgy date taste, soft sweet toasty malts.
4+ Soft mouthfeel, carbonation low. Almost buttery texture at times. Tingles in the mouth with noble hop bitterness. Finish very aged malts, sweet and figgy.
14+ This feels old, but is just hanging on. Autolysis and oxidation working quite well in this one.