fishonmyplane (503) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - NOV 10, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy golden color, thin white head with good lacing on the glass. Some witbier characteristics with lots of spices, Belgian-style yeast, and orange peel. A bit of caramel and lots of bready malts to fill out the palate.
Chad9976 (1417) - Albany, New York, 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 (2299) - 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 (462) - 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 (2733) - Pine Barrens, 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.
tectactoe (3116) - Michigan, USA - FEB 26, 2015
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2015 Can: Completely opaque golden-amber with a sunburst center. Creamy, off-white head with decent retention on top. Light, spotty lacing. Dense floral aroma, peppery hops, Belgian yeast, clove, peppermint, overripe banana, a touch of tart pear, & some perfume pungency. Flavor is very hoppy, floral, & leafy. A touch of ashy hops with bubblegum & clove spice heavy from the yeast. Notes of coriander, phenols, banana, pears, grapefruit rind, & Candi sugar sneak in & lead into a bitter, earthy, yeast filled finish.
kevd193213 (928) - Hope Valley, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 11, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Can. Light hazy golden pour with a medium fizzy off white head. Aroma of bread, bananas, caramel and brown sugar. Slight bitter finish.
jackl (5804) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - DEC 24, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Can @ Three Notch’d Tasting. Deep gold pour with a small head. The nose is quite fruity. Estery banana and nectarine. Fruit leather. Taste of Belgian countryside, earthy apple skin. Peaches. Sweet finish. Medium body, soft carbonation.
j12601 (7859) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Can. Pours a lightly hazed gold with a fairly large white head. A little bit of hops on the nose, dusty grain, musky yeast. Medium bodied, incredibly smooth. Nice clean mouthfeel. Gentle crackery grains with some soft wheat and light bitterness into the finish. Easy drinking and quite sessionable.
chinchill (2986) - South Carolina, USA - DEC 7, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz can poured with a hazy, light golden body and a small head.
Fruity and floral aroma suggests some dominance of Belgian yeast. The flavor follows but has some funk too and feature more light bready malt. Yeasty.
Light body with adequate carbonation.
Drake (10501) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - NOV 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Can shared at a tasting, 10/6/14. Pours a hazy yellow with a thin fizzy white head. Decent head retention. Aroma of citrus, banana, bread, spice, mild butter. The taste is pale bready malt, spicy, tropical hops. Medium bodied, moderate lingering bitterness.