Another month of far too heavy beer drinking (according to my wife at least). The amount of beers was a fairly acceptable number until last weekend in which I both drank some new ones at home, and also went to a beer festival in Sassenheim with my friend RH.
The intention was to take it slow there. But as festivals generally turn out, slow was not part of the game there. Unfortunately the bar that hosted the festival is heavily focused on Belgian style of beers so there was one stout, a couple of IPAs and vast amounts of blonds and triples available. There were even some Radlers for some reason.
How is that unfortunate? Well, apart from it being a very familiar style with almost no variation in it, it generally is a fairly heavy beer regarding alcohol and in a lot of cases that is not compensated by flavor.
Also, apart from some staples I just find triples and blonds not the most interesting of styles. They feel like the supermarket’s choice of specialty brews, at least from a Dutch and Belgian perspective.
So, let’s get these out of the way first.
- De Blauwe Tram (Brouwerij Klein Duimpje)
- Scheveninger Tripel (Brouwerij Scheveningen)
- Baltasar (Stadsbrouwerij De Koperen Kat)
The above three were quite boring and not really worth the liver damage. The Scheveninger was a bit more intense and the best of the bunch.
- Corsendonk Agnus Tripel (Brouwerij Corsendonk)
- Mooi Weer IJsbeer (De Blauwe IJsbeer)
Both were far too sweet, with the Mooi Weer IJsbeer being almost undrinkable.
- Saens Zoentje (Breugem)
- Blonde d’Été (Crooked Spider)
- Steenbrugge Blond (De Gouden Boom)
Barrel aged beers
- White Label Imperial Russian Stout Bruichladdich Peated BA (Bierbrouwerij Emelisse)
What’s great about this beer is that they’ve managed to keep the smoke in check, compared to some others I’ve had from peated Bruichladdich barrels. Great depths and gentleness. A heavy hitter though.
- Gift To Gaspar Barrel-aged (Edge Brewing Barcelona)
I read great reviews of this on Facebook so I got interested. I’ve had great rum barrel aged beers in the past. This one wasn’t for me though. I found it too sweet and leaning too heavy on the rum.
- Rasputin Bourbon BA (Brouwerij De Molen)
Another sweet one, but not that sweet. The intensity of the beer is amped up compared to the Gift to Gaspar, and I simply prefer whisk(e)y over rum. Great stuff, this. Truly epic beer.
- S… Than Ever – Brandy Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale (White Pony Microbrewery)
I don’t think I ever had a brandy barrel aged beer before. I find Brandy an interesting drink but I think I would like more information on this one. Brandy is a fruit distillate, but whether that’s plums, bananas or apples make quite the difference. Nonetheless, this was a rather impressive beer.
- Ship Wreck (BrewDog)
Now this is a weird one. Made with some smoked Agave in the mash, and matured on Speyside and Islay whisky barrels. There was a gentle hint of smoke and the agave gave it quite a different profile. It’s a hugely strong beer at 13.8%, but it works on all levels. Dangerously drinkable while never hiding its strength. I would like to have had a bit more agave influence, I think.
More Wild Beer
I might have said it before, but the Wild Beer Co. brewery in Somerset is quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers out there. They do utterly freaky beers, some of which are interesting to drink but not something you’d go and buy a case of. Still, I’ve had some utterly awesome beers of them in the last few months and I hope this will continue for a long time
Not as bready as I expected, but quite refreshing and nicely acidic. Very light and very summery.
This milk stout could’ve been a bit richer, but the longer it said in my glass, the more I enjoyed it. The caramel is mostly noticable on the finish, but it’s all good.
- Smoke ‘n Barrels Summer
One of the weirdest beers I’ve had in a long time, out there with the Ship Wreck. Quite salty, but with smoke and oranges. The flavors are all out there and it’s one I can now barely remember properly. I know I liked it, but I might have to try one more someday. Freaky stuff, but it kind of shows what beer can be as well.
It’s summer. That normally means I drink more IPAs than I normally do. This month was a bit slow in that regard, but I still managed to rack up a few.
- Six Hops Double Pale Ale (Brouwerij Klein Duimpje)
Almost the only IPA at the beer festival. Therefore it was also one of the best ones out there. It’s not overly hoppy, as the name might suggest. Nicely balanced and some nice mashy notes in there.
- IRA (Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom)
Good red beer. Cloudy as hell, but it might not have been in optimal condition since it was brewed almost two years ago. Still rather tasty. Way overpriced in NL though, at almost € 10. I only got it because it was 50% off.
- U.S.A IPA (Muifelbrouwerij)
Good solid IPA. Nothing to moan about, but not surprising either.
- Amass B&W West Coast Style IPA (Mikkeller)
Good solid IPA. Nothing to moan about, but not surprising either. Normally I expect more from Mikkeller.
- La Dixième (Leidsch Bier)
Fresh and crisp, and surprisingly good. This was my 1000th check in on Untappd. The champagne yeast gives this some crisp edges and a light bitterness that makes for a lovely summery beer. Recommended.
- Grand Prestige (2016) (Hertog Jan)
This stuff is ridiculously big and seen in Holland as one of the best beers to keep for bottle maturation. I believe they sell it in duo packs with one to drink and one to keep as well. Anyway, it’s huge on the palate and ABV. Fairly simple flavors but very well made. I might get some for storing.
- Sweet Blackberry Milk Stout (Brouwerij Klein Duimpje)
The only stout at the beer festival last Sunday. Very good, but the blackberries should have been slightly more pronounced.
- Kutbier Batch #5 (Brouwerij Boegbeeld)
‘Kut’ is Dutch for ‘Cunt’, and one of the most used words in Den Bosch. There’s a lot of corny references on the label, but the beer is not too bad. More of a gimmick than anything else though.
- Strawberry Fields (Brouwerij Kees)
Big on strawberry and chocolate. A dessert in a glass. Good stuff.
- Brass Knuckles (Edge Brewing Barcelona)
Now this one… I wasn’t even planning on buying this but in the end I decided to pick up ‘all’ the new Edge Brewing beers at my local bottle shop. It’s an American Strong Ale, according to the label, which I guess means it’s sort of a hopped up Quad. Which is nice, since I like both hops and quads.
This turns out to be a freakin’ awesome beer, which ticks all boxes of initially rather sweet like a quadruple, but migrating to a more imperial IPA style with huge flavor. It doesn’t feel unhinged anywhere, and is very, very well made.
- Triple Virgin Cherries (Edge Brewing Barcelona)
A true Frankenstein’s Monster of a beer. Made by Americans in Spain, to a mix of two Belgian recipes (triple and kriek). Bright red, with nicely mixed flavors. More or an interesting beer and not one I’d go back to the shop for though. Still, far from bad.
- Arcade Nation (BrewDog)
I don’t even remember what this one tasted like.
- Roasted Nuts Extra (Rebellion Beer Co. Ltd.)
A very classic English bitter, but very well made. I got some from friends and I am very grateful for it. Generally this style isn’t really available in Holland, but it’s quite a gorgeous beer. And nutty, as expected.
- Amass B&W Red Lager (Mikkeller)
Nice, but forgettable.
This month’s beer of the month was a surprise for me. I had some utterly gorgeous beers and many surprisingly good ones. The one I am most thrilled about is Brass Knuckles though. That one is just plain awesome. Massive kudos to Edge Brewing in Barcelona!