Brewed at Gulden Spoor

Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Kortrijk, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 41   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.78/5   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Brewed at Gulden Spoor by Hugel/ZevenZonden

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Boxereddy (476) - BELGIUM - FEB 4, 2016
Bijna zwart gekleurd bier met kleine beige schuimkraag. Aroma is toffee, donker fruit, zoethout, koffie en chocolade noten. Smaak is middelgrote tot zeer zoete mout, gebrande suiker, chocolade en koffie met donkere vruchten en zoethout. Mondgevoel is zwaar met zeer povere koolzuur (spijtig!). Lange afdronk neigt naar koffielikeur met bitterzoete afwerking en blijvende nasmaak. Goed werk Koen!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
kajser27 (1362) - Zagreb, CROATIA - JAN 25, 2016
Almost black colored, small+ tan creamy head, nice lacing. Aroma is toffee, dark fruits, licorice, coffee and chocolate notes. Taste is medium to very sweet malt, burnt sugar, chocolate and coffee with dark fruits and licorice, some rather light alcohol with alcoholic warmth, medium coffee liqueur bittersweet finish and lasting aftertaste. Full bodied, soft carbonation, sticky-creamy.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
dpitinga (101) - Mountain View, California, USA - JAN 10, 2016
The detes on the version of this beer I drank are as convoluted as Hieronymus Bosch’s "The Garden of Earthly Delights". Here’s what I have been able to piece together (probably somewhat erroneously) from webpages and a video chat with Koen Hugel broadcast at Schubros Brewery in San Ramon, California. Koen is a young artisanal brewer from Kortrijk, Belgium (who parenthetically shares my disdain for beer-style "accuracy"). He made a chocolate-flavored beer called Zeven Zonden Invidia (Seven Sins Envy) which was apparently inspired by Bosch’s painting and which won a gold medal at the Brussels Beer Challenge 2015. Koen’s beer is distributed in the US by Schubros. Collaborating with Koen (Koen came to San Ramon, I think), Schubros took some Zeven Zonden Invidia and aged it for a year in cabernet-sauvignon barrels. And that’s what I was lucky enough to drink on tap in Schubros’ taproom, where it was called "Tree of Life" (another reference to Bosch’s painting?). Cab and chocolate and a whole lot of Belgian body...memorable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PeatyPete (930) - NETHERLANDS - SEP 16, 2015
Black coloured beer with mocca colored foam collar that instantly disappears. Aroma of chocolate, licorice and vanilla. Taste of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and some wood in the background.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (4529) - BELGIUM - SEP 5, 2015
One of the seven ’indiscretions’ this beer company intends to make over a seven year period - frankly, one of the weirdest beer projects going on in Belgium at the moment, if you ask me. Brewed at Gulden Spoor, bottle from Wijnegemse Drankenhal. This is apparently the ’invidia’ (envy) version... Enthusiastic foam formation upon opening the bottle, almost gushing; thick and frothy, creamy, dense, rocky, pale yellowish beige head, retaining very well considering the ABV; colour is a hazy dark bronze bordering on black. Aroma of freshly cut nettles, baker’s chocolate, ripe walnuts, earth, Scotch whisky, bubblegum (gaining strength as it warms up), toasted bread, dry moss, old cloth, hints of coffee grounds, brown sugar, quite a lot of (artificial) iron probably hauling from the chocolate in this particular case, rye bread, old fashioned cocoa powder, old cloth and cardboard, dried banana slices. Some candied, concentrated sweetness in the onset, candied dates, raisins and dry banana, but not overly sweet or cloying; the chocolate (effectively applied here but I don’t know in which form) is apparent from an early stage. Carbonation is fairly soft but perhaps still a bit too strong for the style, somewhat distracting from the actual flavours and a bit ’rough’, but softening as the bottle progresses. Thick, oily, fatty, layered, deep malt character, caramelly, nutty and very chocolatey, the latter being reinforced with actual chocolate - which, I could swear, is palpable, as if someone melted a milk chocolate bar and added it to this beer. A light sourish touch keeps the flavours in place, and so does a deep, leafy, sedate hop bitterness in the finish; a glow of warming, kahlua-like alcohol appears in the very end, accompanying the continuing chocolate and caramelly malt sweetness with a slightly wry edge to it, but not becoming overly astringent. The aroma is a bit weird and even seems rather uninviting at first, but once I got used to this, I enjoyed it a lot, without any envy. I wonder about the period of time this ’brewery renter’ will take to develop his entire project - and I cannot help feeling a bit gloomy about it, also considering the religious intentions... This particular edition, though, is a very enjoyable, rich Belgian strong, one to sip slowly next to the open fire or something; the usage of actual chocolate, however, seems a bit ’easy’ and in my opinion, it would have been a better idea to use chocolate malts and turn this into a real imperial stout (though I would still fail to see the link with jealousy then). In this form, this is a strong Belgian Scotch- or Belgian Christmas beer-like ale, lightly burnt but mostly rich, malty and sweet, with an extra addition in the form of chocolate. I would therefore not recommend judging this as an imperial stout - it does not even claim to be one. Perhaps we can classify it as a kind of dark Belgian style barley wine? Does this even matter with strong Belgian ales?...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hednom (146) - Messelbroek, BELGIUM - MAY 26, 2015
Bottle 33 cl, dark Brown colour with creamy beige head, roasted aroma, Coffee, dark fruit. Sweet start, Slight bitter finish

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kermis (11000) - Where the wild whales are, NETHERLANDS - MAY 7, 2015
Bottle shared. Pours near black with a beige head. Aroma of roast, dark fruits, coffee, toffee, leather, marzipan, licorice and dark chocolate. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet and bitter with a big marzipan/licorice/dark chocolate palate. Light full bodied with soft carbonation. Like a very strange Belgian RIS.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
deanso (8982) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 7, 2015
33cl courtesy of and shared with Kermis. Thin creamy tan head. Clear deep burgundy pour. Lots of liquorice. Very well done

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
corkyrory66 (1394) - BELGIUM - JAN 23, 2015
Pas seulement une belgian strong ale … mais un imperial stout en bonne et due forme, de 10 % abv, réalisé par Hugel au Gulden Spoor pour les Zeven Zonden. Couleur noir intense et opaque. Mousse qui forme un fin nappage beige foncé. Arômes de superbe de malt torréfié, malt à whisky, épices indiennes fines, bois de santal en arrière. 1ère bouche souple sur du café, pointe de garrigue et muscat. Arrière-bouche sur le malt torréfié, avec un peu de tourbe. 2ème au goût très plein sur du malt, houblon, fruits noirs , avec une pointe de fruits exotiques discrète. Arrière-bouche qui dégage un imperceptible quelque chose de plus … chocolaté. 3ème bouche qui est un délice pur, avec bois, fruits et arabica. Arrière-bouche longue, fine, remarquable. La longueur avance nettement sur le fût, mais léger (si l’on peut dire … vu les 10 % abv!!). Jambes purement lisses. Levure forte, terreuse, un vrai caractère. Alcool magnifique, progressif, très beau travail. Finale au superbe fondu. CONCLUSION : très grand imperial stout, bien au-delà d’une belgian strong ale … Très grand œuvre, superbe réalisation, merveilleux breuvage. Pas seulement un des sept péchés capitaux, mais un péché capiteux ...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
thewolf (12079) - Kolding, DENMARK - DEC 21, 2014
Bottle. Pours deep black with a small, creamy beige film head. Aroma has sweet malts, lots of licorice, chocolate. Low carbonation, lovely creamy mouthfeel. Flavour has licorice, light salty, chocolate. Light coffee, mild esters. Soft vinious touch.

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