TheCorkStops (53) - Connecticut, USA - APR 3, 2012
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A brand new arrival, and a very limited one at that, this is the 668 "The Neighbor of the Beast" from New England Brewing. Even though they’re located just a short drive from here, we get very limited quantities of the 668, and therefore I’ve never been able to try it before. Tonight I thought it was a necessity, so Gunnar and I cracked a can to split.
The 668 comes in 12oz aluminum cans with no discernible canning date or alcohol level. The cardboard flat that the cans arrived on was dated March 28th, 2012, so this batch is pretty darn fresh. The brew pours a slightly hazy golden straw color, with a nice white foam. The main body of foam dissipates relatively quickly, but a thin film of carbonation is present throughout the duration.
The aromas on the 668 are lightly sweet and citrusy. The last brew I had from New England Brewing was the Ghandi Bot, and I totally wasn’t prepared for this soft little guy today. A little bit of that typical ’belgian funk’ is present in the background, but the citrus and spice is definitely the dominate force in the aromas.
On the palate the start is very nicely sweet, followed by some nice fruit esters, and finishes with a crisp dryness in the back of the palate. There’s just a touch of hops clinging to the back of my tongue, but the overall impression is distinctly citrusy, fruity, and a touch sweet. A nice medium body makes the 668 both flavorful and quite drinkable.
All said and done, I’m quite impressed! This "Belgian Strong Pale Ale" is very balanced, smooth, and well-done. If this were available on a regular basis, it would be a staple in my own fridge. Great job guys!
mansquito (5109) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JUL 23, 2016
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tap at the source: pours golden with a white head. Aroma is bubblegum, honey, fruit, and yeast. Taste is pretty sweet with many hocks of bubbled gum. Light light hoppiness. Pretty good but a bit too sweet.
Jow (3319) - New York, USA - JUL 20, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at haymaker during event happy to grab these NEBCO ticks. Golden pour. Nose is yeast and crackers. Tastes of cracker, light citrus, some yeast, grass, lots of bubblegum. Fine palate. Pretty sweet.
tfontana (619) - Fremont, New Hampshire, USA - APR 17, 2016
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap in tulip glass. Aroma is yeasty fruity esters, citrus, clove, trace bubblegum. Appearance is cloudy yellow with 1/2 finger-width white foamy head with attractive lacing; no sparkle. Taste is as aroma with some spicy pepper. Palate is light-to-medium bodied with average to soft carbonation; crisp lightly bitter finish with some warmth. Overall, a nice representative of the style, strong across the board.
superspak (4483) - Michigan, USA - MAR 20, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Got in a BIF from tasterschoice62. 12 ounce can into tulip glass, no can dating. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big lemon, orange, banana, pear, apricot, apple, white grape, peppercorn, clove, light bubblegum, wheat, cracker, biscuit, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, banana, pear, apricot, apple, white grape, peppercorn, clove, light bubblegum, wheat, cracker, biscuit, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate herbal bitterness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, banana, pear, apricot, apple, white grape, peppercorn, clove, wheat, cracker, biscuit, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness and yeast spiciness, that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth and moderately grainy/creamy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, bready malt, and moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.
djd07 (9555) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 27, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Can. Pours a hazy orange gold with medium frothy white head that lasts. The aroma is belgian yeast, sugar, bubblegum. Medium mouth, banana, spice, clove, candy finish, very good.
dagimp (936) - Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 31, 2015
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a 12 oz can into a snifter. Pours a very pretty light blond. Moderate white head and no lacing. Mouthfeel is very dry and astringent. Decent amount of champagne-like bubbles. Taste is dry and Belgiany. Banana, fruits, grapes, lemon flavors abound. Very light alcohol warmth. Really, really liked this one. Not as sweet and heavy as a Trippel. Great beer, would gladly drink again!
ChadPolenz (1654) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - MAY 23, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
New England Brewing is known for making some great beer with odd names and funny labels. Their Belgian Strong Pale Ale – 668: The Neighbor of the Beast – is no exception. It’s not often you see a Belgian-style beer in a can and it’s even rarer than you see such a great example of the style from an American brewery in a can. The name is subtle but clever reference to Duvel and even uses a font found on Iron Maiden album covers. What’s in the can is an outstanding beer – Belgian, American or otherwise.
I poured a 12oz can into a snifter. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.59 ($0.22 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark shade of maize. Extremely hazy body (translucent, but not opaque). Pours to a fairly large, white, frothy head that lace and retains very well.
Smell: Huge banana notes – totally authentic. Some spices. Classic Belgian yeast esters.
Taste: Sometimes I think American breweries actually out-Belgian Belgian breweries. Meaning: they take all the things that make a Belgian beer great and go even further with it. This beer definitely has a familiar palette akin to Duvel, La Chouffe or plenty other beers of the general style. Though not a tripel per se, it does have a lot of spiciness to taste. The yeast esters give it a sweet banana flavor in the front and finish with a strong peppery sensation (akin to white peppercorn or even table black pepper) on the finish. Other spices and fruits can be found lingering in the background from start to finish (especially peach and coriander, respectfully). The palette never gets old or tired – it’s as delectable on the last sip as it is on the first swig. That’s what I call a great-tasting beer.
Drinkability: At 8.5% ABV, 668: The Neighbor of the Beast is certainly a hefty, beastly brew… at least it should be. The mouthfeel is remarkable comfortable; full-bodied to be sure, but not intensely carbonated. It’s surprisingly comfortable with a smooth texture and finish to match. A slight drying/peppery sensation in the aftertaste, though it scrubs the palate clean each time it crosses the tongue. I do feel the alcohol in the taste and a warming sensation in the throat, but it’s not harsh – quite tolerable, actually. From a guzzler, but it’s difficult to simply sip.
ElGaucho (2388) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - APR 28, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Can courtesy of Falco242. Nice Belgian wheat aroma. Murky dishwater body with a large lasting frothy white head. Excellent lace. They nailed the Belgian ale style on this one. Creamy, with banana esters in the finish. At times a tad boozy, but overall an impressive effort.
Franckg (1026) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - APR 6, 2015
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Arômes de levures belges, banane, orange, coriande et pomme. Le tout semble très relevé et on pourrait confondre avec une weisen allemande. En bouche, attaque immédiate des saveurs d’orange et de sucre. Suivent le citron, coriandre, clous de girofle et alcool. La finale laisse apparaitre un goût de pain blanc et de céréale qui s’étirent. Le goût est puissant et le taux d’alcool assez élevé donne une chaleur plus ou moins appréciable. Le corps est soutenu et bonne effervescence. Quoique gouteuse, cette bière manque d’équilibre. Les ingrédients hétéroclytes qui la composent y sont peut-être pour quelque chose.
pineypower (3035) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - MAR 1, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Much thanks to...o man I forget his name now...o well. Pours out a cloudy straw color with a small off white head. Aroma is of some nice fruity yeast notes, some spices, pear, apple, light bubble gum and some bread crust. Taste is fruity Belgian yeast, apple, some spice notes, bubble gum, pear, some light bitterness in there and some mild notes of the alcohol. Lingering hard candy sweetness to it. Solid beer.