Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Belgian Dark Strong Ale Recipe

I brewed this beer in early 2013 and let it ferment and age for ten months. The aging was to let some of the harsher byproducts of fermentation mellow out a bit. Aging big beers has almost always improved them in my experience. The priming yeast worked its magic again offering a well carbonated beer after only 2 weeks in the bottle. a bit of haze in my sample could be attributed to this yeast because the beer was beautifully clear at bottling. 

Appearance: (B+) A bit hazy and only garnet colored against the light. Without the light it was brownish and without clarity it looked like a thicker darker beer than the recipe intends for.

Aroma: (A) Significant fruit in the nose. The fruity esters filled the glass and my nose. Deep aromas of blackberries and raspberries were identified by myself and Kyle. 

Flavor: (A) Trappist monks know their stuff. The recipe was spot on and I wouldn't change it. The same fruity esters are the show in the glass. You get a lot of them. I don't know if it's the candi sugar or the yeast but it works in this style. The beer is not to sweet and without knowing the finishing gravity I would guess that it's around 1.010.

Mouthfeel: (B+) Carbonated to my desired level. Allowed a larger beer of greater strength to be less formidable than it should have been. The ease by which it went down surprised me.

Overall: (A-) No complaining here. I loved it.

Improvements: I will do a side by side with my lone bottle of Trappist Westvleteren 12 around Christmas time and discover more. I remember not liking 12 as much as the 8. I liked mine a whole lot more than 12. Being that mine was a clone of the supposed 12 recipe I think that there is insight to be gained here. Look for a tasting notes post later this month.

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