FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 5, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A steady pour produces a two-finger thick, lightly tanned, frothy head. The beer is an amber, honey hue that shows a hint of haze and a light copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of lychee, kumquat and bright tangelo zest at first. It quickly gets very clean with perhaps a touch of phenolic character and even a metallic note to it. It is interesting, every time I focus on the nose it just disappears, but if I smell it in passing I notice the bright hop fruitiness. There is perhaps a hint of cracker-like malt character, but not much else other than the hops.
The flavor is dominated by the hop character, though I wouldn’t say it is overly aggressive. Up front flavors of lychee, tangelo oil and some grapefruit mix with a nice hop bitterness and perhaps some herbal notes. The finish has more of the same with a really clean malt character that leans towards cracker-like flavors. There is touch of warming from the alcohol in the finish, which brings out a hint of Brandy like fruit character. There is a bit of mouth / teeth coating astringency here; that is almost chalky and perhaps a touch tinny.
My second pour of sees the aroma getting a touch soap-like, with perhaps even a sulfurous smell to it; there is almost a musty, dank cheese note to this even, though this is all pretty faint. The carbonation is nice and fizzy, which compliments the medium’ish body pretty well. The tropical fruit character in the flavor really stands out. The hops and the alcohol combine with the faint malt to accentuate a perceived sweetness in this beer.
This is an exceedingly light flavored beer if you discount the hops. The fermentation character is too light to stand up to the hops, despite the fact that the hop character is not overly aggressive here. All of this is despite the fact that I served this on the warm side. I do like the hop character here, it is perfect for a Pale Belgian beer of this strength, but it really needs some interesting yeast derived flavors to make this truly interesting. Despite all my complaining, this is actually a pretty tasty beer. There are no major flaws and it is hard to screw up bright hops, even if the background is a bit cleaner than I expected; really the fermentation character plays more of a supporting / subservient role than I was expecting, but does compliment the hops well.
jredmond (5334) - Manhattan, New York, USA - MAY 4, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle split with Pat for his birthday. Pours hay yellow golden with an off-white head. Aroma of yeast, grapes, lemon zest, sweet malts and wheat. Medium to full bodied with a crisp. tart mouthfeel, smooth finish. Very good Belgian strong.
beerguy101 (5285) - Newark, California, USA - MAY 3, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled on 3/5/2010. This Belgian Strong Ale pours a medium gold color from a 750ml bottle. Large to medium sized white foamy head, with nice retention and good lacing. The aroma is floral hops, fruity, yeasty and sweet. A medium to full bodied Belgian Strong Ale. The malts are fruity and sweet. The hops are grapefruity and floral. Yeasty and hoppy. Nice lively carbonation. Interesting blend of yeast, hops and fruity esters. Nice beer. Hides the alcohol well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 3, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to Amishland at the Metro Detroit April ’10 tasting. Hazy yellow pour with a loose white head. Immensely floral, slightly yeasty, a nice note of citrus, some faint pepper, a little faint pepper and some white pine needles. Creamy medium-thin body with moderate carbonation.
agl108 (786) - Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 28, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
25.9 bottle courtesy of of lamas. Poured hazy orange with a ring of eggshell white head. Largely floral nose. Flavor of sweet candy sugar and subtle citrus fruits. Finishes with a slightly dry bitterness. Some pepper and spiciness present as well. Lively carbonation, but smooth. Nice offering.
drjay44 (2638) - Salida, Colorado, USA - APR 28, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 ml. bottle. Pours a huge, tiny bubbled, white head, of long duration, with sea-foam lacing, over a hazy golden (SRM 5) body.....nose is light pine, light resin, bit of apple, pear....taste initially has a slightly rubbery tone, then sweet malt, leading rapidly to hop spice with pineapple and a bit of licorice, with a lingering hop bitterness and a smidgen of pepper.....mouth feel is light, carbonation low. The very slight off flavors are probably from yeast breakdown, and I have no idea how the bottle was stored prior to my buying it. This is none the less a very nice Belgian Golden Strong Ale, with a light refreshing quality that is quite sneaky, given the alcohol level. BJCP 8/3/14/4/7
jtclockwork (8431) - , New Jersey, USA - APR 27, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Coriander and orange peel nose and taste. Golden color with a creamy white head. Light and airy offering.
Dedollewaitor (13916) - Odense, DENMARK - APR 26, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ Papsø. Thanks. Pours hazy golden with a small creamy egg white head. Nose is tropical hops and a bit of yeast. Grape and citrus. Crisp, fresh and super dry. Medium bodied. Refreshing and plain dopeness.
Chalsk (1065) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - APR 24, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very good belgian strong ale. Has a golden color with a white foam head. Sweet up front with nicely balanced bitters on the back end. Complex but nice balance. Perfect amount of hops for this Belgian Strong.
Theis (13405) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - APR 24, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle at Papsø 23-Apr-2010 - Thanks. Cloudy yellow - white head. Spicy, citrus, wheaty, herbal, lovely hoppy, high citrus, light yeasty, lovely - high drinkability.