Brewed by Brouwerij Bosteels
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Buggenhout, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 877   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
First brewed at Bosteels, transfered to the Champagne region of France were it is treated much like a champagne with the bottles inverted and the yeast expunged and bottle recorked.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
bartlebier (2817) - Belchium im Biersgau, GERMANY - FEB 14, 2015
75cl bottle pour@BBF ’15, ZA. Dullish, less than expected pétillant pour, strawgrey. Aroma of finely curated wheaty grains, dried grasses, husks, almond peel, more pure wheat! Sme apple blossom at best - was really expecting a bit more of an apricot/green apple/citrus tart note here. Taste operates in the same contained, layered continuum of the grainy wheat register: white bread, older pretzel, luxury cereals with a wisp of finest selection beige nuts, etc. Again only a hint of fruit here. Might have to revisit under less competitive conditions, but as the 5th sample of the day the marketed exquisiteness of this once-singular upper echelon champagne beer of the Belgian brewing landscape was totally lost on me. Won’t be investing in bottles soon - rémuage & dégorgement, the snooty nephews of the corked & caged beer world, can go beg for investment elsewhere.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - FEB 7, 2015
I remember the excitement among beer lovers when these champagne beers first came onto the market around 2000 and I opened many bottles of this since then, but apparently never bothered to make a proper rating of it so I bought a new one today solely for Ratebeer... Poured into a wine glass after managing to unleash the firmly seated cork and trying to reduce the loss by gushing like a champagne bottle having been shaken for minutes on end, this shows a bright golden blonde colour with a haze of ’dust’ suspended in it, disturbed by fierce, indeed somewhat champagne-like fizz; the head, loudly crackling at first, is equally champagne-like, breaking open in instants, off-white in colour and irregular, but remaining stable around the edges and in ’isles’ over the liquid’s surface. Strong, very ’feminin’, perfumey and, frankly, weird aroma of soap and shampoo, lavender, liquorice, cider, cava, cloves, white rhum, orange zest, pineapple in syrup, lime, papaja, young cheese, star aniseed, freshly cut peppermint, basil and lemon grass, green apple peel, vanilla, passion fruit liqueur, flowers, hay and biscuit. Sweet taste, sugary but in a pointed, delicate kind of way, vanilla-ish, very fruity with impressions of exotic fruits, apple and some citrus, honeyish backbone with a sharp but refined, very ’champenoise’ fizz, smooth, with retronasal ethereal spiciness (aniseed, lavender, mint, cloves - and I have no idea which of those actually goes in, I only know this is heavily spiced, considering the numerous bags of spices that were lying around in the brewery when they were making this); caramelly and very subtly toasted malts only play a background role, some bready yeastiness building up to a drying, warming finish of lingering minerally and chalky carbonation, lingering sugary and spicy sweetness, aromatic and floral hoppiness (not bittering as such) and a fair amount of rhum- and liqueur-like alcohol, warming the throat but managing to stay on the ’friendly’ side without burning too much. Perfumey, spicy sweetness remains as the last impression after swallowing, as well as a ’powdery’ effect which should probably be linked to the champagne yeast. Interesting to revisit after seven odd years... When this new beer type first appeared, this topped Malheur Brut Réserve (now Malheur Bière Brut for legal reasons) by nearby competitor De Landtsheer for me in being less ’beery’ and more exotic, as a kind of hybrid between strong beer and champagne; I kind of liked it for that, and with this tasting I find that I still do. This is something you’ll either hate or love, ’unbeery’ indeed, but a complex, well-crafted beverage. Do not let the bulky champagne bottle impress you, but do try this one, preferably ice cold from a champagne glass. If you’re open minded towards beer experiments, you will not be disappointed. As for its heritage: all the champagne grandeur aside, this is clearly related to the famous Tripel Karmeliet, in its sweet and perfumey, shampooish spiciness; I have a suspicion this is actually the same beer, but with increased spiciness and of course undergoing the champagne treatment, which is elaborately explained on the hangtag. I also have a suspicion that like Karmeliet, a considerable volume of this is not brewed at the premises of Bosteels in Buggenhout but elsewhere. But I will remain silent now, out of respect for this old brewery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kirunavinter (12) - Linköping, SWEDEN - FEB 3, 2015
Golden color with white head. Aroma is very herby, sweet malt, some notes of coriander, perfumy with fruity esters. Medium body, slightly dry with high carb.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Iznogud (1549) - CROATIA - FEB 2, 2015
Bottle, 750 ml, courtesy and shared with JFK10000. Pours light golden with white head. Lively carbonation. Herbal, yeasty aroma. Very perfumy. Pretty sweet, spicy and light fruity flavor. Disliked the sweetness and perfume.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cervmagpt (485) - PORTUGAL - JAN 19, 2015
Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18A - adapted). Bottle 75 cl - Batch L.48 (?). AROMA: sweet malt background with some faint notes of coriander mixed with spice (pepper) and herbal notes. APPEARANCE: golden color and translucent. white frothy head with good retention. TASTE: sweet taste with notes of coriander and gainy malt, low bitterness with a sweet finish. PALATE: medium body with high carbonation. smooth alcool warmth. OVERALL: a sweet "belgian blond ale"-like beer, done in Belgium and France with some characteristic qualities.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
HenriqueBraga (125) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - JAN 18, 2015
Amarela palha, boa espuma, perlage evidente. Aromas herbáceos e florais intensos, gengibre. Corpo médio com boa carbonatação. Aftertaste floral, picante.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
gregorymconway (218) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 11, 2015
Carbonation is obviously high, but nowhere near offense or inappropriate. Well integrated with some under-ripe green apple aroma, some white pepper and some clove. Wasn’t expecting this to be so incrediably sessionable. A little pricey at $48, but well worth it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
scanovajr (663) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - JAN 4, 2015
Bottled 750ml. A pale yellow beer with a white champagne like head. Aroma is spicy, flowery/herbal and sweet. Taste is spicy with citrusy notes, some fruity notes as well. Very high carbonation with a nice mouthfeel. It is a great beer but a bit too expensive

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oldschool_Mike (207) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 1, 2015
Bottle into flute glass. Pours a hazy straw yellow with plenty of head. Aroma is of hay and lemon and leather. Taste is of lemon tartness mixed with liquid leather and hay. Good replacement for champagne on New Years. -- rated via 'Find A Beer' for Blackberry 10

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
SuperTiti33 (817) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 31, 2014
2012. Bonne année. Blonde très légèrement voilé. Gros collet à grosses bulles ephémère. Très forte effervescence. Sucré. Très mielleuse. Bien aromatique. Herbacé. Romarin. Menthe. Épicé. Gingembre. Fruits exotiques. Lychee. Papaye. Pomme verte sucré. Un peu de banane. Légèrement boisé/liège. Finale sucré/mielleuse et très légèrement amère. Un vrai délice.

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