St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Country: Belgium
ABV: 10%
Style: Belgian Quadrupel

Brewer Description: (from website) St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) Rivaling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St,Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavour profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highlighted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.17
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 30th July 2018, poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark brown colour with a two finger creamy puffy beige head that dissipated slowly to a nice half finger puffy cap that gives nice curtain like lacing.
Aroma: Nice dark fruit cherry, plum, prunes and raisin with hints of apple, banana and spice pepper.
Taste: Much like the aromas, there’s candied sugar, apricot, cherry, fig, plum and hints of banana. Caramel and toffee comes out as it warms. The alcohol is there but does not affect the taste and is slightly stronger when warm.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with mid to high carbonation.
Overall: Not quite Abt 12 but it is still a great beer from this Trappist brewery that I would buy again next year.

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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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Cigar City Jai Alai IPA White Oak Aged

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
Country: USA
ABV: 7.5%
Style: American IPA
Other Notes: 70 IBUs

Brewer Description: (from can) This is an American oak aged version of Jai Alai. The oak adds smoothing notes of vanilla and slight hints of dill to the aroma and flavour profile. The finish is elegantly dry due to the light tannin notes from oak aging and though still loaded with hop flavour, hop bitterness is more restrained.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 12 fl oz can with a canned on date of 17th November 2015 and poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden orange colour with a two finger white head with lots of stringy lacing.
Aroma: Tropical mango, pineapple and peach with some citrus grapefruit followed by hints of vanilla and dill.
Taste: Strong vanilla and oak upfront with mango and peach supporting and hints of grapefruit.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: I have not tried the original base IPA yet as I haven’t been able to get my hands on any. However, although this is not the first barrel aged IPA that I’ve tried, I haven’t tasted any beer like this one before. The tropical fruit taste mixed with vanilla was interesting and a refreshing change.

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Bacchus Vlaams Oud Bruin

Brewery: Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Country: Belgium
ABV: 4.5%
Style: Belgian Flanders Oud Bruin
Other Notes:

Brewer Description: (from wrapping) A typical Flemish beer with a pleasant wine-like taste and a rich past. This dark brown beer, which is matured in oak casks, has a slightly acid aftertaste.

My rating: 1
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.44
My ratebeer.com rating: 2.9

Intro: A 375ml wrapped bottle with a best before date of 25th November 2016 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear dark brown colour with a less than one finger tanned head that dissipated quickly but leaves some nice stringy lacing.
Aroma: Mainly tart cherries with some grape, apple juice and vinegary elements.
Taste: Taste is similar to the aromas with tart cherry sourness and grape bubblegum sweetness with hints of apple juice and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied, with mid to high carbonation.
Overall: This was better than the Kriekenbier version that I tried before. However, unfortunately, according to the wrapping, it seems they add Stevia to the beer. I don’t use sugar substitute sweeteners in anything ever, and I don’t see why I need to start doing so in beers.

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Amager Winter In Bangalore

Brewery: Amager Bryghus
Country: Denmark
ABV: 6%
Style: American IPA
Other Notes: Malts – Pilsner, Munich and Carapils. Hops – Herkules, Chinook, Amarillo and Cascade.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) [in Danish] Når vintermørket ubønhørligt sænker sig over det ganske land, og danskerne gemmer sig i tykke klæder og trækker de mentale rullegardiner ned, så er det helt legitimt at flygte lidt ind i drømme om bedre, varmere og lysere tider og steder. Vores Vinter IPA er en hyldest til netop sådan et sted, som året rundt kækt hygger sig med sine behagelige 25 grader – kun afbrudt af et par forrygende snebyger. Tror vi nok. Smag på navnet – Bangalore. Indiens spraglede og krydrede mystik nærmest strømmer op i næseborene – akkurat som den bedste indiske aromahumle vi har brugt i denne øl, dyrket netop i smukke Bangalores opland.
Vi har specialdesignet denne intenst delikate Vinter IPA til at passe til AL vinterens mad – lige fra æbleskiver, og stegte sild over gule ærter til den fedeste gås eller steg med brun sovs. Selv veganere og palæo-folket har vi testet den på – og hver og en brød de ud i lovsang. Det gør du også. Vi garanterer.

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

Intro: A 500ml bottle from Batch No. 949 with a best before date of January 2016. Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy golden straw yellow colour with a huge four finger fluffy white head that sticks around for a while and leaves nice spotty lacing.
Aroma: A mix of citrusy lemon and grapefruit plus a tropical element like passion fruit, pineapple and a hint of mango.
Taste: Starts slightly sweet with some light caramel malts followed quickly with a blast of bitter grapefruit. The finish is quite tropical with a lasting pineapple and mango flavours along with hints of honey.
Mouthfeel: Crisp, medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.
Overall: Overall a nice IPA that is easy to drink. The bitterness is moderate as the tropicalness really comes through here.

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