Het Anker Gouden Carolus Indulgence 2016 – Cuvée Sauvage

Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
Country: Belgium
ABV: 9.8%
Style: Euro Sour Ale
Other Notes: Strong blond ale blended with Lambic from the Zenne valley. Limited Edition 2016

Brewer Description: (from the bottle and booklet around the neck) Gouden Carolus Indulgence [Indulgence, noun, \in-’dәl-jәn(t)s\ something that is done or enjoyed as a special pleasure] is a limited series of beers brewed every year with varying content. These ‘Indulgence’ brews are exclusive delights to be savoured at special moments or shared with special people.

Cuvée Sauvage is the 2nd taste to be produced under this label. Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Rood was blended with 2- and 3-year-old Lambic (20%) from the Boon Brewery (Lembeek). This union combines the best of two brewing traditions: full-bodied and subtly flavoured, fruity and refreshingly sour.

The 2-year-old Lambic comes from oak foudre N°21 (9,000L). It offers aromas of apples, citrus fruits and oak.

The 3-year-old Lambic has aged in oak pipes (600L), and contains more volatile acids that give the beer a powerful, full-bodied and vinous taste with a slightly smoked touch.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.94
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle, released in Summer ’16, with a best before end 2018 date. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A slightly hazy golden orange colour with a big almost three finger off white head that had pretty good retention and left lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Sweet champagne-y, sour fruit, peach, pink lemonade, sparkling apple cider, lemon zest, light oak and hints of funk.
Taste: Moderately sweet, champagne, peach, lightly sour, lemonade, lemon zest, apple, pineapple, Belgian yeast and a mix of spices.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: Quite nice overall, but I’m unsure of the necessity to make the ABV so high. With its aroma and flavours, I would have preferred an easy drink rather than one that’s more like a sipper.

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Trappistes Rochefort 10

Brewery: Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint Remy Rochefort
Country: Belgium
ABV: 11.3%
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
Other Notes: Blue cap. Trappist beer

Brewer Description: (from the Trappist website) Reddish-brown colour, begins with a density of 24.5º Plato and ultimately reaches 11.3% ABV.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.83
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.7

Intro: A 330ml bottle, with a best before date of 3rd October 2022. Poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with an almost two finger tanned head that had decent retention but eventually settled to a nice self replenishing cap while leaving nice curtain like lacing.
Aroma: Strong dark fruits, plum, dates, raisin, black currants, caramel, light roast, toasted bread with a hint of clove and bubblegum.
Taste: Lightly sweet, dark fruits, plum, raisin, dates, fig, black currant, candied sugar, caramel with light banana and clove.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, light syrup, light booze, medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation.
Overall: Excellent, just so good. This is easily my favourite Trappist Quadrupel out there. It’s just so balanced, tasty and a joy to drink.

Trappist Westvleteren 12

Brewery: Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij Westvleteren)
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10.2%
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
Other Notes: Gold cap. Trappist beer

Brewer Description: Not much info on their website and obviously even less on the bottle.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.22
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a cap date (bottled +3 years) of 1st September 2019. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: After a careful pour to leave most of the yeast in the bottle, a clear brown colour with a copper red hue and a just over one finger off white head that had great retention, but eventually settled to a very nice self replenishing cap while leaving great lacing around the glass.
Aroma: Strong fruitiness, apple, plum, dates, fig, toffee with light clove and banana notes.
Taste: Sweet, plum, dates, fig, banana bread, toffee, yeast and a touch of spice.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium to full bodied, with moderate carbonation.
Overall: I’m not a huge fan of sweetness, and this definitely leans on the sweet side, perhaps overly so for me. I prefer both Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus Abt 12 over this. It’s still good, and not by any means bad, but if I had to pick a special Westvleteren beer, it would definitely be a fresh bottle of the Westvleteren Blond, as that is just one of the best Belgian Pale Ale’s ever.

Cantillon Vigneronne

Brewery: Brasserie Cantillon
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6.5%
Style: Belgian Lambic (Fruit)
Other Notes: Muscat grapes

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A fine compromise between wine and beer, this is the Vigneronne Cantillon 100% lambic. The fruity taste of the white grape harmonized with the powerful character of a two year old lambic make from the Vigneronne Cantillon an unique beer. Beer with a taste evolution. Store and serve at cellar temperature 10-13°C/50-55°F. To enjoy completely the fruity taste of the Vigneronne Cantillon, drink it better in the year after purchase. To be drunk preferably within the 10 years after the bottling date.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.47
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.4

Intro: A 750ml bottle, bottled on 22nd October 2017. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: A lightly hazy golden colour with a less than one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving some nice lacing.
Aroma: Tart, white grape, grape skin, peach, apricot, pear, lemon, oak, wet hay with light funk.
Taste: Sour, tart, sweet green grapes, peach, pear, lemon, oak and moderate funk.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Really tasty and excellent as is. It’s only been bottled for less than a year, but I think extra time in the bottle does it wonders.

Yardley Brothers Single Batch Mangosteen Sour

Brewery: Yardley Brothers Brewing
Country: Hong Kong
ABV: 6.8%
Style: International Sour Ale
Other Notes: 19 IBUs

Brewer Description: I could not find much information or description for this beer.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.06
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A cool looking 650ml black bottle that was capped and waxed. Practically though, the wax was probably unnecessary and just made it a pain in the ass to open. Bottle was one out of a total of 250. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: Immediately started slow frothing at the bottle lip as soon as I uncapped it, with no signs of stopping. A cloudy dark orange colour with an uncontrollable four finger beige head that surprisingly dissipated fairly quickly while leaving some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Tart, juicy, cranberries, cherry and lime.
Taste: Tart, sour, juicy, cranberry, strawberry, apricot, lemon, lime and light mangosteen.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Admittedly my first Yardley Brothers brew as I haven’t even tried any of their regular lineup, but this one was definitely enjoyable. Nicely tart with lots of fruit and not overly sour. The uncontrollable head was a pain, as was the wax, but once you get through that, you can just relax and enjoy.

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