Category Archives: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper 2016

Brewery: Mikkeller ApS
Country: Denmark
ABV: 10.9%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Brewed by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Belgian ale brewed with spices.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.31
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 17th August 2026. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A dark amber brown colour with a big three finger off white head that had good retention and left great sticky lacing.
Aroma: Caramel, sweet malts, dark fruit plum and raisins with a hint of chocolate.
Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee, plum, raisins, candied sugar, black coffee bitterness, orange, spices and booze.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: It’s probably overly sweet for my liking. In addition there is quite a lot of booze coming through especially as it warms and in the end, probably too much.

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Delirium Nocturnum

Brewery: Brouwerij Huyghe
Country: Belgium
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Triple fermentation

Brewer Description: (from website) Initially, a very good mouthfeel of alcohol and softness. This is followed by an increasing bitterness, partially from the hop, but also from the roasted malt and chocolate malt. Towards the end a nice balance between bitterness, sour and sweet.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.06
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of April 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy dark brown colour with a one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly to a nice thin fluffy layer leaving some nice lacing.
Aroma: Strong dark fruits of raisin, plum, prunes, grape, dates and a hint of caramel.
Taste: Much like the aroma, there is strong sweet plum, raisin and prunes at the start. Sweet candied sugar and caramel midway. Before a light bitter finish with the alcohol coming through.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and high carbonation.
Overall: This was nice and fruity but could be even better if the alcohol was hidden more.

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Delirium Noël

Brewery: Brouwerij Huyghe
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Triple fermentation

Brewer Description: (from website) A strong presence of alcohol, very spicy, slightly bitter. The aftertaste is sweet, spicy and slightly bitter.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.15
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before end date of October 2017 poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark amber colour with a two finger fluffy beige head that dissipated slowly and settled to a very nice thin fluffy layer with some nice lacing.
Aroma: Sweet plum, grape, raisin and candied sugar with hints of banana and clove as well as cherries.
Taste: Cherries, raspberries, raisin, plum and prunes. As it warms, the alcohol presence gets stronger and more noticeable but never overpowering. In addition, caramel and toffee appears as it warms.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with mid to high carbonation.
Overall: Very enjoyable although I do prefer Nocturnum a bit more. I also do not know what makes this a Christmas beer as I don’t get much of the spices usually associated with Christmas.

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Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
Country: Belgium
ABV: 11%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: Exclusively Belgian hops.

Brewer Description: (from website) Every year on the 24th of February, we celebrate the birth of Charles Quint. Therefore we brew a special beer in limited edition called Cuvée van de Keizer (‘Grand Cru of the Emperor’).

This exceptional beer is a special version of the Gouden Carolus Classic, with an enriched taste pallet and mysterious aromas added. The caramelised malts and its 11% Alc. Vol. give the Cuvée van de Keizer the warm roundness of wine together with the refreshing taste of beer.

It is imperially crowned with a cork so it can be preserved for a long period of time at a constant cellar temperature of 12° C (54°F). An imperial beer to cherish and enjoy in moderation.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.56
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.5

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle. 2014 vintage with a best before date of 29th April 2024. Poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: The beer poured a dark brown colour with a slightly less than one finger tan head which quickly settles to a nice thin creamy layer leaving spotty lacing.
Aroma: Strong aromas of caramel and toffee, also lots of dark fruits, plum, raisin, prunes, dates, fig with hints of butter.
Taste: On the sweet side with dark fruits dominating especially plum, raisin, fig and prunes. Caramel and toffee are in the background and hints of banana and bubblegum sweetness at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, light warmness, medium bodied, light carbonation.
Overall: A very good beer that is a must buy for me. Even at 11%, you don’t taste the alcohol. Great for a late night sipper. I’m going to age a few bottles and see what happens!

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d’Achouffe Mc Chouffe

Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe
Country: Belgium
ABV: 8%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Brewer Description: (from website) Mc CHOUFFE is an unfiltered brown beer which is refermented both in the bottle and in barrels. Its fruity bouquet conceals a hint of bitterness.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.57
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.4

Intro: A 330ml bottle dated best before September 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: It poured a medium to dark brown with a slight reddish tint. One finger creamy tanned head with nice looking bubbles that dissipated slowly leaving nice stringy lacing.
Aroma: Main aromas of dark fruits of fig and raisins along with some pear and grapes. As it warms, the grape smell became really prominent.
Taste: Strong tastes of dark candied fruits, plum, fig, grapes and raisins with hints of caramel and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.
Overall: Overall, this was very good. Both the smell and flavours actually improve as it gets warmer. It is not too sweet and I especially enjoyed the dark fruit flavours. This is so close to being a must buy beer for me.

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