From the St. Bernardus Brouwerij comes St Bernardus Prior 8. Decapping gives an wonderful aroma of sweet malt chocolate aroma mixed with noble hops. The pour is utter perfection. Dark, aromatic with a head generation that is my idea of heaven. Retention is utterly amazing, leaving a thick white head that lingers throughout the beer experience. Carbonation is spot on, thick and compact with an awesome mouthfeel. A slightly burnt caramel taste, yet thick and luxurious. Bitter sweet, malty and superb. Amazing!
From Brouwerij Van Steenberge comes Gulden Draak at 10.5%. De-capping gives a sweet aromatic beer with Belgian noble hop presence. Taste is sweet, perhaps a little overly so. Carbonation is compact and supports the dark sweet beer. Although this is a pretty good beer, there is nothing too overwhelmingly distinct or memorable. I do like it, but to me, it ain’t anything special. The head generation is good and retention is average. Tasty!
From the Brouwerij De Leyerth comes Urthel Samaranth at 11.5%. A sweet malty aroma on decap, with a deep heady sweetness of wine mingled with a noble hop presence. An excellent pour, deep brown appearance with a thick creamy head. The taste is bitter and sweet caramel with elements of plums and berry. The ABV pokes its head through at the end to remind you it’s there! Super smooth and quite sweet. A dessert beer!
From Northern Monk Brew Co & Cigar City Brewing comes Yeast Tripel at 9.0%. Decapping gives a noble hop aroma, with little to no yeast character coming through… uncharacteristically clean. The pour is a big frothy beast, leaving a good head with decent retention. Appearance is deep amber, perhaps a little cloudy. The taste is clean, with a semi sweet aftertaste merging with a high bittering profile for a tripel. Good mouthfeel, a little over bitter with sweetness poking through as an afterthought. Average to good tripel. Warmth appearing on the aftertaste.
From the Brouwerij Anders comes Broeder Jacob Double Port at 9.0%. De-capping gives a nice choco coffee lasting aroma. Massive heady off white generation on the pour. An aura of headiness, with buckets of dark sugar and molasses coming though with a superb Belgian yeast tang. Almost pitch black in appearance, strong ruby colours coming through when holding up to the light. The strong phenol alcohol flavours come through in the aftertaste, with bitter-sweet dark toasty notes as the most prominent. A bit of a dark flavour bomb! Dead heady and aromatic. Head retention is also pretty darn good. Initial carbonation on the pour dies out to give a semi to low carbonated beer fully supporting the full bodied and decadent nature of the beer. Overall a bloody good ale! Wine Like phenols come through with a hint of noble hops to make this a great dark Belgian beer.
From Magic Rock Brewing & Cloudwater comes Big Dipper Double IPA at 8.3%. A special Cloudwater & Magic Rock Brewing collaboration. De-canning pops a grenade punch of sweet resinous citrus and marmalade aromatics from the hop & malt presence. The pour is New England IPA haze with concentrated visible hop particulate like a beery snow globe. The appearance is wonderful golden orange. The taste is overwhelmingly resinous and hoppy with subtle aroma and orange pith bitterness punching through, supporting the underwhelming malt backbone. Head generation is low and only a very thin skim appears on top. No yeast presence is evident (or makes it through the hop wading). This is ultra hoptastic intense ale. An IPA to end all IPA. On a par with Magic Rock’s Human Cannonball from 2016. intense and juicy hopstrocity and the alcohol is completely hidden. Very well done!