FlacoAlto (4133) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 15, 2011 Brewed August 2007, Best By June 2010; Sampled November 2008
A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass easily produces five fingers of head (including a full fat finger above the rim of the glass); the head is a pale, just off-white color and forms an impressive structural surface / mesa and lots of Belgian lace patterns as it slowly subsides. The beer is a nice gold color that shows a bright, yellow-gold color when held up to the light and shows a mad frenzy of carbonation. The aroma smells of lemon zest, touches of apricot, cracker-like grain, notes of black pepper, pink ginger, clove, a touch of pear, honey-like malt and a solid backdrop of tropical fruit notes that seem to have faded over time, but still have a commanding presence in the nose. I have a feeling that a lot more of the base beer comes through in the aroma now, and I definitely like that. This is far more aromatic than the regular version of Duvel; at least in volume, I like regular Duvel for its soft, yet deep complexity, but this is also really nice (plus I am a sucker for Amarillo).
The beer flavor still has lots of Amarillo signature to it; up front flavors of peach, lychee and candied kumquat. The beer finishes with spicy phenolics and a spicy alcohol warming as well a nice, though soft, clean bitterness. Clove, a ginger heat and a turpene driven light palate numbing show a nice, yeast derived phenolic character towards the finish blends in quite well with the up front hop character.. The carbonation died down considerably as I was enjoying the aroma, but still has a prickly tickle to it as well as providing a bit of a carbonic bite. The body of this beer stands up quite well to the carbonation though, it definitely has a touch of heft to it, though in true form it is quite an easy beer to quaff faster than is safe. My second pour only nets me a half finger of beer, while the rest is foam. The spicy & phenolic notes seem to get a bit more prominent as I work my way through this bottle; it actually starts to get quite spicy in the finish. My third pour has me learning a bit and I end up with only a bit more head than beer in my glass.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that the Amarillo character is still pretty apparent; that definitely had me a bit worried. I am sure the hop character has faded a bit, but it is still quite nice. I am not sure I have ever had a beer that is more prone to leaving structural sculptures of foam (a product of the foam positive character of hops and the high carbonation of Duvel), it is quite interesting and visually you really can’t quite ask for more. It is always a good sign when I have a hard time not finishing off a 750ml bottle of strong beer by myself.
heavy (2569) - Split, CROATIA - NOV 27, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
30/10 0.75 l bottle from belgianshop.com, probably the last they held there, so I had luck to get my hands on this. Opened with a big pop, it poured murky golden to orange body with huge and compact white head that was stubborn to get down. Interesting aroma of some hop fruits (apple, lemon) a bit salty but not in the bad way, some spices...pleasant and complex enough. Flavor was moderately bitter, hopped (apple, grassy spices) much more than malted (honey, some darker fruits maybe). Alcohol is hidden very well beyond it all. Medium bodied and quite complex with medium-long bitter apple finish. Quite good, definitely different from anything Belgian, interesting, but not the best for sure.
ogivlado (7076) - Zagreb, CROATIA - NOV 18, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled(750ml). -courtesy of heavy(thanks!), shared with him and Doggythedog.
Hazy yellow/orange coloured, really huge white head, fruity and spicy nose. The taste is also very spicy and very hoppy (Amarillo is dominant) with notes of fruits and coriander in the finish. Very good BSA and the best Duvel.
Marko (4766) - Split / Zagreb, CROATIA - OCT 30, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Heavy’s 0.75l bottle that he shared with me and ogivlado (huge thanks!)
Poured a murky orange-golden body with an enormous thick white head that took eons to go away (yup, it’s a Duvel). Chalky, soft malty nose, some apple, honey.. lightly vinous even. Amarillo shows up. Nice and complex. The taste is soft again, a bit light, but truly pleasant. Aroma hops (yup, definitely Amarillo and Goldings), no big bitterness. Soft, kinda weak (bit nice) maltiness, some apple. Silky mouthfeel. Not the best beer in the world but definitely a nice drink.
dunkpigen (379) - Kolding, DENMARK - OCT 12, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours nice golden with a very big white creamy head with nice lacing and crates a small "cloud" in the middle of the glass. Aroma and flavour are both great, fruity - oranges, hoppy and vinious. it is nice and dry and has a long aftertaste.
finol (2936) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Colour like a light macro lager with a big white head.
A lot of champagne in taste but with a hoppy finish.
hirigalzkar (2791) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 4, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Golden colour with a huge head. Champangeusqe aroma. Tastes like sparkling wine with a hoppy aftertaste. Really nice "belgian IPA".
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 13, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
In short: A bubbly crisp ultra-hoppy Strong Belgian blonde ale. Excellent.
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed some 6 months after the beer release. Sample at Cathschlag birthday party tasting.
The look: Cloudy blonde body topped by a large and long-lasting white head
In long: Unltra hoppy nose of meringue reminding me of Chouffe Houblon. Taste is crisp and dry. Crusty lemon pie with a 2 inch meringue top. Very bubbly. Dry finish. Alcohol a little apparent. I don’t have many notes on this one except that I wrote that it is between a Malheur Bière Brut and a Chouffe Houblon without being as great either of these two... and they’re having a threesome and then a Dark Lord walks in and says: Want something big and black?
faroeviking (10284) - FAROE ISLANDS - AUG 12, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Botella. Nice bit hazy golden colour with a huge great rocky creamy long lsting white head leaving a great lacing, so very nice. Lovely hoppy and grassy aroma with fruity grapes, alcohol and yeast. Great mouthfeel. Lovely fruity grape, yeasty and alco hoppy flavour indeed with a plesant sweetness. Amazing thewolf got his hands on this.
WeeHeavySD (3367) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 10, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow Wow wow, so happy to have had this. Chris of Ebenezer’s broke this bad boy out of his personal cellar for me, my girflriend and some other beer geeks from BA. Pours yellow with a bright white 1 finger head. Nose hoppy and really great. Taste is hoppy and spicy and killer, wow what a combo of duvel and hops into a great new beer.