Category Archives: Belgium

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus

Brewery: Brasserie Cantillon
Country: Belgium
ABV: 5%
Style: Belgian Lambic (Fruit)
Other Notes: Merlot grapes

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Symbol of the union of two cultures, the Saint-Lamvinus is the result of a harmonious blending of merlot grapes and lambics that have macerate for long months in oak casks. Natural second fermentation in bottle. Beer with a taste evolution. Store and serve at cellar temperature 12-15°C/55-60°F. To enjoy completely the fruity taste of the Saint-Lamvinus, drink it better in the year after the purchase. To be drunk preferably within the 10 years after the bottling date.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.65
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.5

Intro: A 750ml bottle, bottled on 14th November 2016. Poured into a wine glass.
Appearance: It was a very nice lightly cloudy ruby red colour with a two finger pinkish head that dissipated fairly quickly to a settled thin layer with only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Lots of tart red berries, raspberry and strawberry plus grapes and lemon. Nice barrel and oak character with a hint of red wine vinegar and only light funk and barnyard-iness.
Taste: Moderate sourness, cherry, raspberry, strawberry, grape juice and oak with hints of grapefruit and funk.
Mouthfeel: Dry, light to medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.
Overall: With less than a year since bottling, there was lots of really nice fruit flavours bursting out while the funk was quite light. Although this particular bottle was quite young, it also taste great with age. Can’t wait to try more of this wonderful goodness.

Lindemans x Mikkeller SpontanBasil

Brewery: Brouwerij Lindemans x Mikkeller ApS
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6%
Style: Belgian Lambic (Fruit)

Brewer Description: (from bottle) SpontanBasil is a unique collaboration between Lindemans and Mikkeller. Breaking the mold among existing beer styles, the brewers combined efforts to craft this old gueuze with a twist, based on a blend of 1 to 2 year-old lambic fermented on oak with fresh basil herb. Refermented in the bottle, SpontanBasil has a golden colour and combines the sourness of lambic with the aromas and flavours of fresh basil. The ideal aperitif, also perfect for food pairing.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.43
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 750ml bottle, bottled in February 2015. Poured into a Mikkeller tasting glass.
Appearance: A mostly clear golden orange colour with a just under two finger white head that had decent retention and eventually settled to a thin layer with lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Extremely herbal with lots of basil and perhaps a hint of lemon and mint. This was surprisingly well combined with some nice funk, oak and hay.
Taste: Sour, basil, lemon, peach, apricot, oak, lemongrass, hay with a light funk.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: This was much better than expected. I’m usually a little weary about herbally flavoured beers, so the name SpontanBasil does nothing to settle my doubt. But upon getting a whiff of that aroma and tasting it, I found the funk and herbs combined well together and was very enjoyable. Very nice to drink.

De Ranke Kriek

Brewery: Brouwerij De Ranke
Country: Belgium
ABV: 7%
Style: Euro Sour Ale
Other Notes: On base of old Flemish beer, Lambic and sour cherries (25%)

Brewer Description: (from bottle) 70% Belgian Sour Ale fermented with cherries with 30% Lambic added.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.55
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 750ml bottle with a best before date of 26th August 2021. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A very nice clear ruby red colour with a just under two finger pinkish head that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Sour, tart, funky, vinegar, musty with only hints of cherry.
Taste: Tart and sour, lots of lemon, lemon zest, vinegar and funk with only a hint of cherries.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with moderate to light carbonation.
Overall: This was ok but the Belgian Sour Ale felt like it overpowered everything else, such that there was hardly any cherry in either the aroma or taste, which was not so good for a Kriek type beer.

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

Brewery: Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Country: Belgium
ABV: 7%
Style: Flanders Red Ale
Other Notes: Aged on oak casks

Brewer Description: (from tag) The exclusive Rodenbach Caractère Rouge, with an alcohol content of 7%, is the result of a 6-month maceration with fresh fruit (sour cherries, raspberries and cranberries) of a beer which matured in oak casks for 2 years. After its maceration, the beer is re-fermented in the bottle. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge is vinous with a ver complex, fruity nose of raspberry and cherry combined with notes of wood and caramel. The undertone consists of an aroma of violets, leather and a hint of tobacco. Flavourwise this fruit beer has a rather sour taste, but of an exceptionally pure nature. Its light, residual sugars balance out the triangle of sour, sweet and dry flavours. This dryness mainly stems from the cranberries, which lend the beer an exceptionally long and pure aftertaste.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.77
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.6

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before date of 19th May 2017. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: A dark ruby red colour with a half finger off white head that dissipated quickly and left some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Berry fruit forward, lightly sweet with raspberry, cherry and cranberry. Finish is lightly tart with earthy oakiness.
Taste: Great balance of tart, lightly sour and lightly sweet, with raspberry, cherry and cranberry followed by some nice light oak woodiness.
Mouthfeel: Dry-ish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: This is just really good. Nicely balanced, smooth and very fruity. I could drink this all day. Even though this particular bottle was nearing its best before date, it felt as if it would still be good to drink over the next few years.

Orval

Brewery: Brasserie D’Orval S.A.
Country: Belgium
ABV: 6.2%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewer Description: (from website) The distinctive fruity and bitter taste of Orval beer means it has become a genuine reference in the exclusive world of authentic Trappist beers. Orval beer is a high fermentation beer. The ageing process adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness. The beer was first brewed in 1931 and owes its unparalleled taste to the quality of the water, the hops and the yeast used. The brewery has selected very aromatic and unique hop varieties, which hark back to the first brewmaster of Orval, who hailed from Bavaria. The beer’s aromas are very pronounced while maintaining the right level of bitterness thanks to the English method of dry hopping. The various stages of fermentation – combined fermentation with the original yeast and with wild yeast, followed by fermentation in the bottle – mean the beer must age for some time and requires numerous quality controls.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.56
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle, bottled on 3rd February 2016, best before 3rd February 2021, and poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: A clear copper colour with an almost two finger white head that had great retention and left nice sticky lacing.
Aroma: Very fruity berries, grape, apple and pear with hints of coriander and brett.
Taste: Nice gentle fruitiness, berries, grape, bubblegum and plum with a light tartness, light peppery spice, brett, funk and a hint of banana.
Mouthfeel: Dry-ish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Very nice and very well balanced beer, and a must buy beer in my book.