Alengrin (2815) - BELGIUM - JUL 13, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
One of the more recent additions to the Val-Dieu abbey beer range, a complex spicy brew with beige head and misty, dark bronze colour. Fairly powerful aroma of dates, plums, blackcurrant, raisins, candi sugar, port wine, mint, aniseed; taste full, fruity, creamy mouthfeel, explicitly spicy (aniseed, liquorice), chocolatey malty, finish lightly toasted bitter with some warming, but never astringent alcohol. By far the most interesting of the Val-Dieu beers, in my opinion. Seems to have big potential for further maturing for several years.
koleminer20 (857) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUL 7, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
From notes. Enjoyed at the Ashley’s Rare & Vintage Beer TasteFest on June 07. The pour is a nice reddish brown with a pretty foamy khaki head that fades down, leaving some awesome lacing. The aroma is big on dark fruits, with some clove and some spice, and a strong earthy sweetness. The flavor is much of the same. Spicy, dark fruits, but a resounding clove presence that I just can’t get into... The mouth feel is pretty good, and nicely carbonated to help cling to the mouth. The clove and sweet aftertaste just aren’t my thing at all.
SVD (718) - NETHERLANDS - JUL 3, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
75CL bottle at home, dark brown beer with a medium/large beer, aroma is malty, taste is malty, sweetish, pretty good
StoutHead (778) - DENMARK - JUN 28, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
75cl. bottle. Pours a clear deep red color with an off-white head.
Aroma is of malt, caramel, nuts and fruity notes. Taste is very sweet and of malt, dark sweet fruits, spices, candy, honey and bready notes. The body is medium to full, softly carbonated and has a lot of alcohol in the finish. Very sweet and tasty but a bit unbalanced. Still, pretty good.
superspak (3076) - Michigan, USA - JUN 25, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle into chalice, best before 4/2015. Pours fairly cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, dark candi sugar, clove, pepper, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt sweetness; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding quadrupel style! All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
larsga (6446) - Oslo, NORWAY - JUN 25, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Small beige head. Hazy brown body. Fruity meaty aroma with strawberry notes. Dry-sweet candy, sugar and meat taste with caramelly notes. Mid-to-full body. Mild, slightly hot mouthfeel. Sweet dried cherry aftertaste with syrupy earthy notes. Nice, drinkable, quite sophisticated. (0.75l bottle, shared by MortenR.)
zvsn (827) - ISRAEL - JUN 25, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at Grand Cru tasting at Beer & Beyond shop. Hazy deep brown with a nice stable creamy head. Aroma of dark dried fruits, caramel, spices and yeast. Very sweet with dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, spices, very alcoholic. Medium-full bodied. Rich and complex, but too sweet and boozy.
Rastacouere (6148) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 26, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Deep mahogany pour overwhelmed by a large, Belgianesque demonstration of a beige foam which stubbornly sticks around. Rather rare are strong Belgian ales rated this highly and this was my main motivation for a buy here. I can’t say I’m overly thrilled with my RB confidence bias here. I’m hoping that as I rack on the years, I start to dedicate more trust to my ol’ cynical grumpy bastard side rather than my cheery trusting generally plain wrong side. Anyways, back to that lacey ale that, as you may have been able to decipher so far, got me drunk to the point of mistaking myself for a poet when I meant to be a technical writer. And I doN’t know thAt I’m Halfway DOne. Oh, and never mind the Capitals, that’s where them powerful folks take décisions that have a huge impact upon our lives yet that we never notice. Death and Taxes, those you can be sure of, and a damn fine beer as an aside, subtle and all, not at all like Val-Dieu’s grandest offering, a festival of plums, of Pepper, of gingery spice, of fortified wine forcefulness, if not of distilled candi sugar alcohol, of bubbles and of gentle roasted grains, of alcohol more than your everything else and ultimately, for all of its gentle power, its aroma is not all that potent, its alcohol dominates its fulsome body and its attractiveness is lesser than that of its lesser brethren like that sneaky Tripel. Sometimes, more is less.
BrewGoblin (527) - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, CANADA - MAY 20, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Quite fantastic, I haven’t drilled too many of this style into me but I did enjoy this dark brown/ruby cocksucker right here. She’s got the aroma of buttery raisins, plums, cloves, some anise, figs, nutmeg. Gives a decent tan head but it didn’t last long, lacing was handsome however. It tastes like warm, spiced raisins and dried plums, old growth forest covered in clove-butter and dark winey alcohol. Griggity-great mouth feel, almost like a thin whiskey. I made the mistake of scarfing down a tad too much of this beauty (the bartender gave me a free goblet after I had already had a taster) and had to end the afternoon with a buttery rum flavoured beer-nap.
Case (288) - GERMANY - MAY 20, 2014
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours deep dark ruby red. Aroma is sweet caramel and a distinct whiff of alcohol. Taste is strongly alcoholic, pepper, prunes, caramel. Not as sweet as the aroma promised. Most aroma is just completely drowned out by the alcohol. I’d much rather have a Bush Ambrée than this. Seems like a good candidate for aging and might be better then.