Category Archives: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

La Trappe Isid’or

Brewery: Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V.
Country: Netherlands
ABV: 7.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Trappist beer

Brewer Description: (from bottle) La Trappe Isid’or with it’s harmonious taste starts as a fruity flavour and then shifts to malty caramel; a perfect balance between complexity and simplicity.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.46
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of July 2020. Poured into a La Trappe goblet glass.
Appearance: A dark copper amber colour with a one finger beige head that had good retention and eventually settled to a nice thin replenishing layer while leaving lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Dark fruit, prunes, plum, fig, raisin, Belgian yeast, caramel and a touch herbal.
Taste: Sweet, dark fruit, plum, prunes, fig, raisin, followed by banana, clove, toffee and caramel.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with soft to moderate carbonation.
Overall: Looks great and aroma was nice too. But it was sweet, too sweet for my liking. The sweetness was so strong that sipping it was the only way for me, and even that was too much at times.

Allagash Confluence Ale

Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 7.4%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: 2014 vintage. Ale fermented with Brettanomyces and dry hopped. Malts – Allagash 2-row, Malted Barley Blend, Pilsner Malt and Caramel Malt. Hops – Glacier, Tettnang and East Kent Golding

Brewer Description: (from website) Allagash Confluence is a strong golden ale that benefits from mixed fermentation and dry hopping techniques. Brewed with a blend of imported and domestic Pilsner malt, as well as a small portion of caramel malt, Confluence boasts a complex malty profile. Both our house yeast strain and our proprietary Brettanomyces yeast strain are used in fermentation. This layered approach creates a unique blend of fruit and spice flavors along with an incredibly silky mouthfeel. After fermentation, Confluence undergoes a lengthy aging process in stainless steel that allows its complex flavors to fully develop. Just prior to bottling, it is dry hopped with Glacier hops, providing a pleasant, fruity aroma.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.93
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 750ml corked and caged bottle, bottled in April 2014, and poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A cloudy pale orange colour with a thin off white head that poured thick almost like syrup and left no lacing.
Aroma: Funky, brett, stone fruit, peach, apricot, lighter citrus, lemon, yuzu, grass and a touch floral.
Taste: Stone fruit forward, mango, apricot, peach, funky, brett, more mango juice, with a splash of lemon and floral notes.
Mouthfeel: Thick-ish, medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: This was interesting… as I poured what looked a thick syrupy pour, I had the feeling that it might have gone bad. However, the aroma and flavours were great and had lots of stone fruit mixed with funkiness and brett. Mouthfeel wasn’t nearly as bad as what the pour appeared to me, but the carbonation was too light for me, and I felt that stronger carbonation could have helped balance and break down the thickness of the body.

De Dochter van de Korenaar Memoire III

Brewery: Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar
Country: Belgium
ABV: 7.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: One-off edition for the Beerseeker Beerclub 2018

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Special blend of 3 years old Bravoure, La Difference and Bien Sur.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.74
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 660ml bottle with a notched best before date of January 2020. One-off edition for the Beerseeker Beerclub 2018. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Very lively moderate gusher, as it wanted to explode out as soon as the cap popped off. A hazy amber orange colour with an one finger off white head that had good retention and left some nice lacing.
Aroma: Sweet malt, fruity, grape, citrus peel, brett, oak and light smoke.
Taste: Sweet and sour, citrusy, orange peel, lemon, oak, earthy, along with some light smoke and leather. Light bitterness on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.
Overall: Interesting mix of sweet, sour, smoky and bitter along with citrus fruity notes.

Mikkeller It’s Alive!

Brewery: Mikkeller ApS
Country: Denmark
ABV: 8%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: Brewed and bottled by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij, Belgium. Malts – Pale and Cara. Hops – Hallertauer and Styrian Goldings

Brewer Description: (from Mikkeller webshop) It’s Alive! is Mikkellers answer and tribute to the trappist beer Orval. It’s Alive is an easy-to-drink beer, with a lot of hops. The color is amber, the foam is high, white and dense. The potent Brettanomyces culture makes It’s Alive continue to develop in the bottle.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.44
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 750ml bottle with a best before date of 31st July 2018. I’m thinking that this has been aged for about 5 years. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A clear copper amber colour with a big three finger off white head that had pretty good retention and left lots of lacing.
Aroma: Sweetish caramel, brett funk, candied fruit, green apple.
Taste: Light caramel malt sweetness, grass, earthy, brett, funk and apple. Flavours felt a little weak at times though.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft to moderate carbonation.
Overall: Quite nice, but I’m not sure why at times, the flavours felt quite weak and just kind of disappeared. Not quite the Orval that it’s tributed to be.

Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 7.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: 2016 rerelease. 40 IBUs. Hops – Centennial. Special ingredients – Sweet orange peel, Curaçao orange peel, coriander & black pepper

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale is quite easily the rarest and most highly sought-after beer we have ever brewed – with winning bids at one time surpassing $1,200 on eBay. It was so rare that even at the time of its release our own team could barely get their hands on the first bottle of this millennium-inspired, sequentially released series. We produced just 300 cases and one of our delivery drivers at the time dropped and broke one (if calc’d @ $1,200/bottle, that was a $14,400 case!). This bumped-up, Stone-ized version of a Belgian witbier was our first Belgian-inspired beer. Featuring orange peel, wheat, coriander and black pepper, it was our first beer brewed with ingredients beyond the four beer-making essentials of malt, hops, water & yeast. The first time in which co-founder and original Brewmaster Steve Wagner gave former Head Brewer Lee Chase free rein. And, to really pile on the firsts, it was the first time a brewery created a series of different beers designed to be enjoyed together in an epic eleven-part vertical tasting so far into the future (10 years, to be exact…originally sometime after 12.12.12). The cache was more than just in the numbers. Boasting impressive high notes of citrus, spicy hops and honey-like character, Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale was a bright, if less-than-obvious, way to begin this eleven-movement symphony of flavor. Today, while it’s impossible for all but the most uber collector to experience the original, those who desire can once again taste what was the start of something truly epic.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.89
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, bottled on 22nd July 2016. Poured into a Holy Mountain tulip glass.
Appearance: A clear golden colour with a big three finger white head that had decent retention and left lots of nice sticky lacing.
Aroma: Orange peel, clove, banana, coriander, orange creamsicle, Belgian yeast, with some light funk.
Taste: Orange creamsicle, orange peel, clove, banana, coriander, Belgian yeast and a light but spicy pepper finish.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: I enjoyed the first glass and could see how it was ground breaking in 2002, but despite this, a whole bomber by myself might just have been a bit too much.