Brewtopia Events

Belgian Style Ales #2 
Blind Beer Tasting
(LtoR): Matt Buley is the brewer at Copper Creek Brewing
Company in Athens, GA.  Michael White is one of the
owners of Copper Creek, Basil Press, and Porterhouse
Grill restaurants in Athens.
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events) gathered together some of his fellow beer enthusiasts on November 6, 2002 at Copper Creek Brewing Company to sample and comment on several Belgian style ales.  This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mention were awarded to the beers we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Blind Tasting Comments.

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Copper Creek was kind enough to host our evaluation of these beers.

Copper Creek is Athens' only brewpub and offers a great selection of house-made beers and an impressive menu.  It is located at 140 East Washington Street (phone: 706-546-1102) in downtown Athens.

(LtoR):  Johnnie Sutherland, Kerri Allen, and
Lynn Gieger.  (Photos by Owen Ogletree.)

Liefmans Kriekbier
Oud Bruin with cherries 
Liefmans Brewery, Oudenaarde, Belgium
Aroma: Sour cherries, tartness, vermouth, malt.  Sweet and sour aroma is beautiful.
Appearance: Ruby in color with a nice clarity.  Garnet hints are gorgeous.
Flavor: Good balance of sweet and sour flavors.  Oak, cherry, fruit, raisin, cherry pits.  If you are experienced with sour Belgian ales, this one does not seem overly sour.  This is an extremely complex, elegant fruit beer.

Liefmans Kriekbier  

Kasteel Donker (dark) 
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Van Honsebrouck Brewery, Ingelmunster, Belgium
Aroma: Phenols are complex.  Sweet, malty, nice aromas.
Appearance: Dark brown, thick, and rich looking.  Ruby highlights apparent when held to the light.
Flavor: Syrup-like body that is suprisingly not insipid.  Thick, viscous, sherry-like, malt flavors.  This would be a wonderful dessert beer.  Similar to a tawny port.  Would go well with cheese cake and berries or nuts.  Fruit, raisin, plum, cinnamon, figs, dates, toffee --  all these flavors are here.  A deeply complex ale.

Duinen Dubbel
Brouwerij Huyghe Melle, Belgium
Aroma: Raisins, rum, fruit, plum, malt.
Appearance: Beautiful tan head.  Dark brown and clear.
Flavor: Chocolate and cherries -- cordial-like.  There are hints of nuts.  Hop flavor is low to none (good for style).  Hints of cola, brandy, and vanilla.

New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO, USA 
Aroma: Clove, banana, malt, pineapple.
Appearance: Clear and golden, with a white creamy foam.
Flavor: Clovey, spicy, peppery.  Hops are nice in flavor and bitterness.

La Chouffe
Belgian Strong Golden Ale 
Brasserie D'Achouffee, Achouffee, Belgium 
Aroma: Floral, fruity -- apricots.  Perfumy with hints of aloe.
Appearance: Golden with nice carbonation and an attractive clarity.
Flavor: Creamy body.  Warming, bubbly, phenolic, spicy.  Coriander and ginger hints with citrus.  This is a complex beer that has a crisp dryness that is appealing.

Augustijn Ale 
Belgian Strong Golden Ale 
Brewery Van Steenberge, Ertvelde, Belgium 
Aroma: Honey and yeast.
Appearance: Golden and clear (if poured with care).  Effervescence wants to bring up yeast into beer.  Belgian lacework from foam is pretty.  Big carbonation.
Flavor: Malt, yeast, honey.  Tartness is balanced with malt character. Peppery bite is nice. This is a pleasant beer with a medium body that gives a light impression.

Hell for Certain 
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Bluegrass Brewing Company, Louisville, KY, USA
Aroma: Cara-munich malt notes. Cocoa, plums, prune, phenols, cocoa butter.
Appearance: Color is light end of style for a Strong Dark Ale.  Clear with a reddish/amber color.
Flavor: Very grainy and malty with a lingering aftertaste of dark grains.  Fruity with a medium body.  The dark/roasty grain flavor is pleasant, but not really to style.

Affligem Tripel
Affligem Brewery, Opwijk, Belgium 
Aroma: Citrus, butter, lemon with a hint of diacetyl (butterscotch).
Appearance: Clarity is fair.  Color is golden.
Flavor: Clove/plastic phenols are OK for style.  Honey, spice, fruit.  This is a earthy beer with a warming alcohol content and a carbonation bite.  A well-made Tripel.

Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Brasserie Dubuisson Freres, Pipaix, Belgium 
Aroma: Fruit, coriander, and honey.
Appearance: Dark golden with a nice white foam.  Very clear.
Flavor: Honey, malt, sherry-hints -- not very citric nor spicy.  Pleasant and drinkable.  Needs more fruit and spice character.

La Folie Wood Aged Beer 
Flanders Red Ale
New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO, USA
Aroma: Oak, fruit, cherry/red berry notes.  Fantastic, tart aroma.
Appearance: Deep red/brown with good carbonation for style.
Flavor: Oaky dryness.  This needs to be more sour -- mild for style.  Sherry and wine flavors are nice.  Could be more complex.  Dark grain hints.  A pleasant beer that is a bit too mild compared to Rodenbach.

La Folie

LaTrappe Quadrupel
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
De Koningshoeven Brewery, Tilburg, Netherlands 
Aroma: Sherry, malt, cherries, fruit, toffee.
Appearance: Dark amber/ruby -- clear and beautiful.
Flavor: Malt, caramel, toffee, and fruit flavors are good.  Alcohol presence is notable.  Earthy and sherry-like. Would expect more malty body and complexity from such a strong ale.

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