Category Archives: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

AleSmith Decadence 2015

Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 10%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Belgian-style Amber

Brewer Description: (from bottle) AleSmith Decadence Anniversary Ale was originally brewed in 2005 to celebrate our first decade in business. Each year since, our brewers have commemorated our anniversary with a special beer of a new style. Now, ten years after brewing our first beer of the Decadence Series, we’re proud to present another hand-forged addition, AleSmith Decadence 2015. In the spirit of traditional Belgian brewing we’ve departed from style-constraints to bring you a fresh take on the popular European style, the Belgian Amber. This big, complex, amber-hued ale was brewed with a substantial amount of Belgian and European malts that complement the spiciness imparted by Belgian Abbey yeast. The result is a perfect balance between rich, toasty maltiness, Belgian candi sugar and the light floral profile of European hops. Enjoy this hearty Belgian inspired brew now or age at a cool temperature to increase it’s complexities.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.81
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 1 pint 9.4 fl oz foiled bottle with no clear bottled on or best before date. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A hazy amber colour with a one finger off white head with an orange tinge that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving some spotty lacing.
Aroma: Malty, candi sugar, caramel, brown sugar and toffee, with a hint of clove, banana and apple juice.
Taste: Toasted, lightly sweet, caramel with hints of clove, banana, alcohol and apple juice.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Quite nice and easy to drink.

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Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Golden – Pomegranate

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Specialty Ovila series brewed in collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Pomegranates have been treasured since ancient times and used as symbols of fruitfulness and prosperity. In the modern era, they are prized for their unique sweet-tart flavor and intense red color, which acts as a perfect counterpoint for the spicy Belgian-style golden ale. This collaboration beer features pomegranates grown at the Abbey of New Clairvaux.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.86
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle packaged on 9th September 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy but bright copper colour with a one finger slightly off white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left nice lacing.
Aroma: Belgian yeast, banana, honey and fruity cherry tartness.
Taste: Sweet Belgian yeastiness, ripe banana and apple followed by some fruit tartness and only light pomegranate. Hint of pepper on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.
Overall: This was the fourth of the Ovila series that I’ve tried and the best one so far. I think it would have been even better if I could taste more pomegranates though.

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De Struise Tsjeeses Reserva Port Barrel Aged

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: 2013 Vintage

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Belgian X-Mas Ale.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.32
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle of 2013 vintage, bottled on July 2014 with a best before date of 15th August 2019 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy dark orange bronze colour with a fluffy two finger light tanned head with good retention that leaves nice spotty lacing.
Aroma: Sweet and fruity plum, apple, grape, fig and red wine with hints of caramel and vanilla.
Taste: Sweet apples, orange, port, grapes with oak woody notes and caramel malts.
Mouthfeel: Very rich, medium bodied with medium but strong prickly carbonation.
Overall: I wish I had the original non barrel aged version of this to compare to. However, this Port BA version is very good. Even at 10% the alcohol is well hidden and being Port BA I was a bit worried that it would be too sweet but its actually at a good level. A great barrel aged Belgian Strong Pale Ale that I would get again next year!

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Lost Abbey Inferno Ale

Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Country: USA
ABV: 9%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Brewed and bottled by Port Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Corruption, Greed and Lust. They’re all represented on the hooks today. Tomorrow, they’ll be stringing Gluttony, Desire and Sloth. Go ahead. Tell yourself you’re better than all of them. But you can’t. Hell can be funny like that. Down here it’s all just sin. Everyone here is screwed just like you. They don’t care who you sliced, diced or cheated. No one is escaping this heinous place.

Your roommate is an ax murder. Eerily, he’s not threatening. How can he be? Here, the Fallen Angel owns your body, mind and soul. As such, no one can take your life. It’s already been taken. Or was it given? Neither matters. Did you seriously think you were living a virtuous life? At least, Satan serves beer in Hell. He brews it himself right there in that flame stoked cauldron. Rumor has it the beer is straw yellow, bone dry and simply labeled Inferno.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.01
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle with no visible best before date and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy straw yellow colour. Despite pouring extremely carefully, there’s was a crazy huge five finger fluffy white head that has super retention but eventually leaves lots sticky clingy lacing on the glass.
Aroma: Pear, apple with some lemon and a hint of banana and clove.
Taste: Much like the aromas, there is pear, apple, white wine grape and lemon to start which then settles to some banana and clove. Finish had some light boozy alcohol feel to it.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with huge carbonation.
Overall: An enjoyable solid Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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Stone Winter Harvest

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 11.3%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Unfiltered and aged 27 months in white wine barrels w/stone farms merlot grapes. 36 IBUs. Malt – Pilsner. Hops – Hallertau.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This golden beauty was created solely for barrel experimentation – you won’t find an unaged “2012 Stone Belgian-Style Golden Ale” in bottles anywhere (you can stop looking now).

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.23
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 500ml corked and caged bottle from the Quingenti Millilitre 2014 Series, Batch No. 07 brewed on 28th April, 2012 and bottled on December 2014.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy, dark golden honey/straw colour with a light half finger white head which dissipated fairly quickly.
Aroma: Grapes, oak, chardonnay, vanilla, light caramel and banana.
Taste: Oak, chardonnay, champagne, grape, white wine.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with high carbonation.
Overall: This was nice and easy to drink considering its at 11.3% ABV. Basically its like drinking a highly carbonated chardonnay.

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