Brewtopia Events LLC
Belgian-Style Ales #3
Blind Beer Tasting
Martha DeHart and Michael White
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together Michael White (co-owner of Copper Creek Brewery in Athens), Martha DeHart, Jeff Rapp, Johnnie Sutherland and Thel Melton on December 4, 2003 at Athens' Copper Creek brewpub on Washington Street downtown to sample and comment on several outstanding 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.  Feel free to drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Copper Creek is Athens' own brewpub, and they were gracious enough to host our evaluation of these beers.  Visit the pub soon for a fine selection of house beers and delicious menu items.

Copper Creek Brewing Co.
140 E. Washington St.
Athens, GA
phone: 706-546-1102

Thel Melton and Jeff Rapp

Het Kapittel Abt 
Belgian Specialty Ale 
N.V. Van Eecke Brewery – Watou, Belgium 
Aroma: Fruity and spicy with an earthy, Brettanomyces yeast character.  Sherry-like with a hint of banana bread in the aroma.
Appearance: Creamy white head - clear and medium gold in color.
Flavor: Thick and viscous with alcohol notes and a big mouthfeel.  This is a delicious ale with a great depth of rich, fruity complexity.

Belgian Strong Dark Ale 
Unibroue – Chambly, Quebec, Canada
Aroma: Subtle aromas of alcohol, fruit, spice, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Appearance: Dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head.
Flavor: Wood, toffee, sassafras.  Mouthfeel has almost an oily viscosity.  Flavors include figs, sweet malt, caramel apples, and blackstrap molasses.  A rich, dark ale with layers of flavors.

Stoudt's Abbey Double 
Stoudt Brewing Co. – Adamstown, PA, USA
Aroma: Raisin, plum, honey, clove and other spices.
Appearance: Dark amber with ruby highlights.
Flavor: Malty with undertones of caramel, clove, plum, and raisin.  There is almost no hop flavor or bitterness.  Mouthfeel is full and viscous.  There is also a slightly vinous/cloying sweetness.

Saxo Belgian Blond Ale
Belgian Strong Golden Ale   
Brewery Caracole Falmignoul, Belgium 
Aroma: Honey, slight fruit, alcohol and phenolic hints.
Appearance: Great head retention.  Golden in color with a slight haze.
Flavor: Mineral-like dryness, slightly bitter and spicy.  Starts out dry but ends with a mild, sweet finish.  Nice balance of flavors.

Achel 8
Brouwerij De Achelse Kluis – Hamont-Achel, Belgium 
Aroma: Cellar-like and slightly musty with a spicy, cheesy note.
Appearance: Lacy white head with a light gold color and a touch of haze.
Flavor: Dry, slightly metallic, and mineraly with fruity, sweaty, yeasty, notes.  Tastes bready and wheaty.  A crisp beer with a dry profile.

Koningshoeven Tripel 
Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven – Tilburg, Netherlands 
Aroma: Banana, fruit, and apple notes.  There is also a cream pudding aroma.
Appearance: Golden/orange in color with a small chill haze.
Flavor: Very fruity with a candy-like, sweet finish.  There are also hints of tannins and mild spices.  May be too sweet for a Tripel.

Copper Creek Belgian Blonde Ale
Belgian Strong Golden Ale 
Copper Creek Brewery Athens, GA, USA 
Aroma: Perfume, coriander, fruit, and banana.  Very nice aroma.
Appearance: Clear with a sparkling golden color.
Flavor: Mild flavors of coriander, clove, and other spices.  Malt profile is creamy and nice, but almost dry in the finish.  Hops are subdued.  A very pleasant ale.

Floreffe Abbaye Double
Brasserie Lefebvre Quenast, Belgium 
Aroma: Molasses, anise, brown sugar, spice, sassafras, and birch aromas.
Appearance: Dark brown with red hints and a thick, brown head.
Flavor: Rum, raisins, caramel, and clove.  A bit metallic - could be old.  Dry and a touch thin for style.  Somewhat cola-like.

Chimay Red
Scourmont Abbey – Chimay, Belgium 
Aroma: Malty, yet not very complex.  Slightly burnt smell.
Appearance: Nice light head and amber color.  Color is light end of style range for a Dubbel.
Flavor: Malt, toast and other mild flavors from malt.  Slight paper, starchy flavor.  Could use more fruity complexity.

Dogwood Winter Ale 2003 

Dogwood Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA, USA 
Aroma: Malty and yeasty with hints of ginger and roasted grains.
Appearance: Very light carbonation.  A dark brown color with haze.
Flavor: Roasty hints.  Malty with a thick mouthfeel.  A bit worty.  Fruit, caramel, and spice character is nice.

Belgian Specialty Ale 
Brouwerij de Bie Watou, Belgium 
Aroma: Butterscotch, malt, and honey.
Appearance: Clear and golden.
Flavor: Honey, candy-like sweetness with caramel and toffee notes.  Malty with a bit of an oxidative quality (sherry-like).  Alcohol notes are present with a nutty background.

Artevelde Grand Cru
Belgian Strong Dark Ale 
Huyghe Brewery Melle/Ghent, Belgium 
Aroma: Raisin, malt, and clove complexity with some medicinal, solvent hints.
Appearance: Dark amber / reddish / light brown color with nice carbonation.
Flavor: Dryish with hints of wood, tannin, soap, fruit, caramel, and slight resin.

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