Category Archives: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

De Dochter van de Korenaar Embrasse Peated Oak Aged

Brewery: Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar
Country: Belgium
ABV: 9%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Aged in peated Islay whiskey barrels

Brewer Description: (from website) Embrasse matures four to six months in whiskey barrels. For the peated oak aged Embrasse Islay barrels are used. By barrel aging the beer it takes the rich tones of the whiskey and the beer gets a softer and fuller taste.

My rating: 4-
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.98
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a notched best before end date of October 2022. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a thin beige head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin replenishing cap, while leaving some lacing.
Aroma: Peaty, leather, dry grass, roasted malts, with milk chocolate and whisky notes.
Taste: Roasted malts, peat, smoke, milk chocolate and whiskey.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: It’s peat forward and obvious, but not overpowering. The peat is balanced with some nice roasty and chocolate flavours. The body was lighter than expected though, and I was hoping for a bit more carbonation.

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De Dochter van de Korenaar Embrasse Blended Oak Aged

Brewery: Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar
Country: Belgium
ABV: 9%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Aged in whiskey barrels

Brewer Description: (from website) Embrasse matures four to six months in whiskey barrels. For the blended oak aged Embrasse non-peated whiskey barrels are used. By barrel aging the beer it takes the rich tones of the whiskey and the beer gets a softer and fuller taste.

My rating: 3+
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.93
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a notched best before end date of I think July 2022. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a one finger beige head that had decent retention, before settling to a thin replenishing cap, while leaving some lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, dried dark fruit, raisin, fig, caramel.
Taste: Roasty, coffee, dark chocolate, bittersweet, caramel, whiskey, with notes of dried dark fruits.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate to soft carbonation.
Overall: Nice bittersweet flavours with the roastiness, coffee and chocolate coming through nicely.

De Struise Pannepot Special Reserve Cask Strength Port BA

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10.1%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: 27 IBUs. Cask strength limited edition with medium carbonation

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Our barrel room is housing more barrels each year. As our team does not grow as quick as our barrel total, it is needless to say our barrel aged beers are also aging longer. This batch has 5 years of Port barrel aging. Enjoy!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.05
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 750ml bottle, 2011 vintage, cask strength limited edition, bottled on 15th November 2016. Poured into a De Struise tulip glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a very thin beige head that disappeared almost immediately, while leaving only sparse to no lacing.
Aroma: Dark fruit, plum, prune, raisin, dates, port, oak, strawberry, chocolate.
Taste: Light sweetness, dark fruit, plum, prune, raisin, port, mixed berries, slight booze, with notes of caramel and chocolate on the backend.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: It’s not the first time that De Struise has mentioned ‘medium carbonation’ when in actuality it is either soft or really close to no carbonation. In this case, while I would prefer more carbonation, the soft carbonation is not so bad. It’s a good sipper with lots of good port notes.

De Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva Cask Strength Calvados BA

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10.1%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: 27 IBUs. Cask strength limited edition with medium carbonation

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Our barrel room is housing more barrels each year. As our team does not grow as quick as our barrel total, it is needless to say our barrel aged beers are also aging longer. This batch has already 5 years in Calvados barrel aging, and we’re very happy with the outcome. Enjoy!

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.78
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 375ml bottle, 2011 vintage, cask strength limited edition, bottled on 25th February 2016. Poured into a De Struise tulip glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour, with a thin beige head that disappeared quickly, while leaving only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Dark fruit, plum, grape, calvados, apple, caramel, and slight chocolate notes on the finish.
Taste: Sweet, brown sugar, dark fruit, plum, prunes, raisin, calvados, apple, caramel, and bitter chocolate on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, medium bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: There was close to no carbonation even though it says medium carbonation on the bottle. It’s not bad without the carbonation, but I definitely preferred some. I also preferred the cognac barrel over this calvados barrel that was aged extra long. Not sure if it was aged too long or what, but the cognac barrel added some complexity in the aroma and taste, that I’m not finding here.

De Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva Cognac BA

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: 27 IBUs. A Dark Strong Ale from Flanders

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Dark strong ale, Cognac barrel aged for 2 years.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.31
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle, 2018 vintage, bottled on 3rd November 2020, with a best before date of bottled date +5 years. Poured into a De Struise tulip glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a thin half finger beige head that had decent retention while leaving some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Sweet malt, cola, dark fruit, plum, licorice, clove, cognac, with slightly roasty chocolate and coffee in the background.
Taste: Moderate sweetness, cola, cognac, caramel, dark dried fruit, plum, prunes, raisin, dates, with light bitter chocolate notes on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation.
Overall: The cognac barrel worked well to create a complex, nice and enjoyable sipper.