Friday, January 8, 2010

't Gaverhopke Extra

't Gaverhopke Extra

Brewed by:
Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke


Belgian Strong Dark Ale

12.00% ABV


Commercial Description:
* Style: Quadruple, refermentation in bottle
* Abv: 12%/vol
* Format: 11.2 oz bottle
* Color: hazy, murky amber
* Tasting Notes:
Yeasty, estery, fruity aroma. hugely complex palate; sour-ish, caramel, dried fruit, vinous, red wine, striking balance

The bier pours a cloudy dark brown, almost opaque but you can see some amber hues though it. The bier also produced a very rich creamy off white almost tan head.

Oh my want a wonderful nose on this bier. There are sweet dark malts, dark fruity esters and yeasty notes on the nose. It is unmistakably Belgian!

This is one of the most unique Belgians I’ve ever had. It’s going to be difficult to describe what I’m tasting in this bier. In short it’s a sour quad. Let me try to detail this a little.

Up front is sweet almost candy malts, just for a split second then not really behind that but on top of that is a slight sourness. This sourness builds to the must exquisite Belgian funk. Boy this is difficult, let me try it again.

Let me pick it up from the building sourness, then a nice effervescence but without the typical cleansing because you still get that sourness coming through. Just at the top of the swallow the sourness builds to the point that the back of your jaw starts to quiver. On the back end of the swallow you get more of those dark malts that you started with. The finish dries fairly quickly, I assume that’s because of the 12% ABV. The final aftertaste is slightly tart but more malts and lingering yeasty notes.

It is interesting that the finish is not very sour. The whole taste seems to be a building sourness and just at the finish when you expect it to be the strongest it dries and leaves you with a malty yeasty finish with just a slight touch of sourness.

The alcohol in the beer is amazingly masked. I actually had to look this up again, there is no way I would have guessed 12%.

The Lees:

This may be the funkiest lees ever. The lees is extremely tart and of course yeasty.  A very unique lees to go along with this unique bier.

Well, I’m not sure if I have done this bier any justice. It is really amazing. If you like that sour funky Belgian style ale then your will love this bier. To me it is the best of my two favorite Belgian styles, a Flemish Sour and a Quadruple. Rich malty funk, gotta love it. It has all the sourness of a Flemish Red i.e. Duchesse De Bourgogne, and then some. But not quite to that Gueuze level. Plus this bier has all the rich dark malts of a classic Belgian Quadrupel i.e. St Bernardus 12.

Boy, what a treat! This is one phenomenal bier. It is a very unique experience that any lover of Belgians must try; a truly exquisite brew. It really does not fall into any category so I don’t know what to rate it against or compare it to. It’s an outstanding bier in a class of its own. A Solid A+ for me. I can see how this bier could start 12 percent imports.

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