Battle of the Belgians: Round 1
March 4, 2013
Filed under Arts and Leisure
The next few weeks I am going to focus mainly on my favorite style of beer. If the title was not already an obvious enough tip, it is Belgians. I will not be able to cover every Belgian there is because there are actually more than I could ever try, however, the first two weeks I am going to cover mainly dark ones. After that, I will cover a few other variations, and then I will pick my top three overall.
Gulden Draak: Gulden Draak is a dark, triple-brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge, located in the town of Ertvelde, East Flanders, a northern region of Belgium. It pours a rich, reddish brown color like iced tea and has an alcohol by volume rating of 10.50 percent. The aroma is definitely alcoholic, but the flavor is very sweet. It is heavy with malty caramel with some notes of dark fruits and a slight nutty quality. I really enjoyed this one. I was not surprised that it won best-tasting beer in the world back in 1998. It also has one of the coolest bottle designs I have ever seen. Who doesn’t love dragons?
Trappistes Rochefort 8: The Rochefort 8 comes from Brasserie de Rochefort, located within the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, near Rochefort, Belgium. It is brewed by real Trappist monks, and all the proceeds go to support the monastery and other charitable causes. Rochefort 8 pours a darker reddish brown color and has an ABV of 9.20 percent. The flavor of this one is also slightly sweet with some caramel and dark fruits, but much less so than Gulden Draak. It has a very even flavor distribution. The sweetness is much more subdued, which leaves more room for some spices and almost a smokiness to come through. It also has a greater bite from the carbonation and a more noticeable alcoholic character, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It was very enjoyable.
Traquair Jacobite: This last one is not actually a Belgian, but it came strongly recommended from the management at The Wine Rack. It is a Scotch Ale from Traquair House Brewery Lld, located in Peeblesshire, Scotland. This one pours a very dark brown color and has an ABV of 8.00 percent. This ale yields a great amount of sweet maltiness, smokiness, some dark fruits, coriander, coffee, and chocolate. This is a strong beer, but the flavors are potent and smooth. I will almost definitely have this one again.