Thursday, December 31, 2009
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Wow, review #90 already.
This bier has been a Belgian Christmas Ale staple. Alright, staple is not quite the right word but I do enjoy drinking this bier and look forward to it arriving every winter. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this has been a nice dependable Belgian Christmas Ale over the last few years. This will be the first time I’ve had this bier since last year. I am not expecting any surprises but at the some time I’ve never put this bier through the paces of a full review. So let’s see how good the Delirium Noel really is.
The bier pours a dark brown with rich ruby hues with an off white head.
Sweet toasted malts on the nose. There is also a sweetness that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Well, after my first sip I realize with I that aromas on the nose was, it’s the alcohol in this bier. Sorry, let’s go back to the beginning of the sip.
It starts with sweet rich dark malts somewhat toasty but not quite roasted. There is a very interesting mid-sip shift in the taste; you start to pick up almost a barely wine type of taste as the alcohol starts to make its self known and thins out the heavier malt mouthfeel, plus a nice effervescence over your tongue is adding to the drying effect. The effervescence and alcohol really take over providing a much dryer finish then expected from such a malty brew. The final aftertaste and mouthfeel leaves a toasted malt creaminess in your mouth.
What a good bier!
As this beer warms, now around 60 degrees, it really opens up. It is also a little less carbonated now so the finish is not quite as dry as it was. The overall experience is much maltier and creamier at this temperature.
Now at 62 it is just amazing; smooth and creamy malty goodness.
I purposely warmed the last few sips caressing the chalice glass in the palm of my hand. Wow, 74 and amazing. This is warm and smooth and delightful; the malts take on an almost toffee flavor at this temperature. This is just exquisite.
This is a solid A for a Belgian Strong Dark. One outstanding brew; especially when you let it warm an open up a little.