Beer 376/365 – De Struise Tsjeeses

De Struise Tsjeeses

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 10.0%

Purchased at: Sent as an extra

What makes this beer different: Strongest BSPA I have ever had, yet the ABV is hidden very well

Will I be drinking this again: Not sure if I will be able to find anymore, but I would love to.

Grade: A

1/24/2011: Wow I can’t believe its been over two weeks since I have updated. Sorry about that! Crazy busy at work, and my part time job has been taking up a lot of my time as well. I do have about 30 beers I need to update. Now I just need to find time to update!

Tsjeeses is not a beer for the meek, very bold! The nose is somewhat like a tripel, with a bunch of non-descript spices. The flavor is just great, sweet, sour, spicy.. just a great great balance of flavors. Some white pepper, nutmeg, sour apple, peach, maybe cinnamon? I gotta be honest in saying that I am having a hard time picking out exact flavors because of the complexity. The ABV is hidden amazingly well too. If I had to guess the alcohol content, I would have guessed around 7%. This is my 4th beer from De Struise, and every single one has been amazing and unique. De Struise is now officially my favorite Belgian Brewery.

Picture of the day: This makes me miss college.

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Beer 351/365 – Russian River Damnation

Russian River Damnation

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7.75%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: Really spicy for the style.

Will I be drinking this again: Honestly I was pretty underwhelmed by this one, so probably not.

Grade: B

10/25/2010: Received this as an extra in a trade a few weeks back. The initial trade was for a bottle of Lost Abbey Deliverance, which sounds like its going to be amazing. Going to let it age a bit before cracking that bottle open though.

The nose is a little different than I expected, a bit funky, with some pepper and clove going on. The flavor isn’t too bad at first, slightly fruity, white wine type thing going on, with a little bit of spice. As you get to the bottom half of the bottle the spice/clove just takes over, and makes it a bit tough to take. Not sure if I got an over spiced batch, but the amount of pepper/clove really just throws the balance off in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated, and finishes dry. Overall I was pretty disappointed in this one.

Picture of the day: Unemployment to-do checklist.

Beer 305/365 – North Coast Pranqster

North Coast Pranqster

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7.6%

Purchased at: On Tap@Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Pretty citrusy for a BSPA

Will I be drinking this again: Yes this was better than I thought it would be.

Grade: A-

9/9/2010: Ahh back to my happy place; Vintage Estate Wine and Beer in Boardman Ohio. Quite honestly I never knew what good beer was before finding this store. Then I ended up redoing their website, and becoming personal friends with the owner Phill. Its always nice to see when good/honest people end up running a successful business.

I’ve seen bottles of this a bunch over the years, but never tried it. The smell is a little bit citrusy, and not very funky like most BSPAs. The taste is really nice, almost a peachy type citrus, some clove, and a bit of a flowery kick. Moderately sweet, but not too much so. Carbonation and mouthfeel are both right in the middle for the style. Overall this was a very good drink, emptied my tulip a little quicker than I normally would for a Belgian Strong Pale. Thats how you know the beer is good.

Picture of the day: This is not safe for work, or is it? (Its not what it appears to be at first)

Beer 291/365 – Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 8.60%

Purchased at: Sent to me in a trade as an extra, by Doug.

What makes this beer different: It lacked “oomph”

Will I be drinking this again: I appreciate the extra Doug, but this was a little below average.

Grade: C+

8/26/2010: Thank you to Doug for going above and beyond again, and including a ton of extras. I really liked Summits Rye, so he threw in another Summit beer for our latest trade.

The nose was a little spicy, and a bit grassy. Didn’t have that yeast nose nice a lot of BSPA’s have. The flavor was not the best, mostly herbal, some pepper type spice, and sweet candy sugar. The mouthfeel is what really killed it for me, it did not have that full/creamy/bubbly mouthfeel you typically associate with a Belgian Strong Pale. It was more Oily than anything. The alcohol was a little too apparent in Summit Golden Ale as well. This beer didn’t strike me as infected, but after reading some other reviews on Beer Advocate, maybe I got a bad bottle?

Picture of the day: Apparently Purple is in this season.

Beer 251/365 – Unibroue La Seigneuriale

unibroue la seigneuriale

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7.5%

Purchased at: The Headkeeper – Greensburg PA

What makes this beer different: Funky for a BSPA

Will I be drinking this again: Its retired, but just slightly above average to me.

Grade: B+

7/17/2010: I usually know a good bit about a certain before before purchasing it, but that was not the case with La Seigneuriale. I bought this completely on a whim because of it being vintage, and knowing that Unibroue makes some of the best Belgian beer outside of Belgium. The Headkeeper had a few Unibroue 15’s on the shelves for 10 bones, so I grabbed a couple of those as well.

La Seigneuriale is one of the first beers I have smelled, that is both sweet and sour. Very pleasant smelling to be sure. Candi sugar leads the way for the flavors, with a side of breadyness, a little sour apple, and caramel. Something about this beer makes me think its a semi-sour watered down version of Trappistes Rochefort 8. The flavors are good, just not as intense as they need to be for the style. Upon reading some reviews on Beer Advocate, I don’t think this beer is supposed to be sour. Infection maybe? Either way I think it actually works here. Mouthfeel is very thin, another knock on the beer. All that being said if La Seigneuriale had a little stronger flavors going on, or a thicker body, this might have jumped into the A- range.

Picture of the day: If i were a kid, I would be avoiding this guy like the plague.

Published in: on July 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 239/365 – Goose Island Matilda

Goose Island Matilda

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7.0%

Purchased at: Sent to me by Kevin from Denver.

What makes this beer different: The style to me is right between a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes I need to find more, only have one left in the basement.

Grade: A

7/5/2010: Its been a while since I have popped open a Belgian from the basement, so I figured it was time. I went through a bunch early on in my 365, but I then realized it was getting pretty expensive to maintain this habit. Which is why lately I have been drinking a lot of $2 beers.

Matilda smells a little tiny bit funky, and some sweet caramel. This is probably the most flavorful BSPA I have ever had, and as you can see it is probably one of the darkest also. This beer is supposed to be a tribute to Orval, but its not nearly as funky as Orval, and it is much sweeter. A lot of sweet candy flavor, caramel/pale malt, with a little tiny bit of funk in the background. Just enough to let you know its there. The mouthfeel is on the full end for a Belgian Strong Pale. Very good and unique beer. If you have access to this beer go out and try it.

Picture of the day: This is embarrassing.

Beer 198/365 – Brasserie d’Achouffe La Chouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: On Tap @Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Yeasty and Fruity

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A

5/25/2010: La Chouffe was actually my second beer of the night, my first was a KBS. KBS on tap is pretty damn amazing. I was a fan of it in a bottle, but it really took on all kinds of new flavors on tap. Had to make the 45 minute trip to try it since its not everyday a local bar gets a beer like KBS on tap.

I tried La Chouffe a few years back before I really appreciated beer like I do now, and I remember it being good. It smells very fruity, with some honey. The taste is malty, fruity, and some nice hops in the background. I’ll be honest in saying I can’t pick out the fruits exactly, but there is a lot going on here; maybe pear being the most dominant? Crisp and sweet up front and it finishes slightly sour, very interesting mix here. Mouthfeel is a little bigger than average, with moderate carbonation. The mix of all the fruit flavors is very unique, and its very well done. Therefore it gets the first A from me in a long time.

Picture of the day: Ozzie Guillen might be my favorite person ever now. Check out what he wrote on this ball for a Cleveland Indian’s fan.

Beer 145/365 – Cuvée Van De Keizer Rood

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 10.0%

Purchased at: Joe Canals – Bellmawr NJ

What makes this beer different: Hides the alcohol pretty well for 10%

Will I be drinking this again: Hard to find so probably not. But well priced for such a solid beer

Grade: A-

4/2/2010: Was excited to find this bad boy when I was in the dirty jerz for the AC beer show. I have the Cuvee blue from 2009 sitting in the basement, but haven’t tried this one until now.

The smell is similar to your typical BSPA, spicy, and yeasty. The taste has a lot of spice (black pepper maybe?), some caramel malts, and a bit sweeter than your average BSPA. Mouthfeel is very nice, but not nearly as carbonated as Duvel for instance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The alcohol isn’t masked super well, but sometimes I kind of like a punch of alcohol. A lot of different flavors banging around in this one, all of which I cannot pick out exactly, but still very solid. If the flavors were a bit more subdued I might have given this an A.

Picture of the day: So I was raised catholic and it hurts me to post this but, how true it is.

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 8:17 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 126/365 – Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 7.2%

Purchased at: Another beer on the house from stillcrazyafterallthesebeers.com

What makes this beer different: Very flat for a belgian style beer

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not

Grade: B

3/14/2010: Thanks again to Gary and Guy from SCAATB for this one. I will actually be heading out their way this weekend for Celebration of the Suds.

Flying Fish Grand Cru has a nice spicy smell, with some Belgian yeast. The taste is what i would call “spicy.” A lot of pepper, some clove and some tartness going on. The reason I love belgian beers is largely because of the mouthfeel, but Grand Cru fell way short in that area. There was little to no carbonation going on, and you can even see in the picture it doesn’t have the fluffy head that is typical of a Belgian beer. The flavor was a little above average, but the lack of carbonation really dropped the grade on this one. Maybe it was just a bad batch?

Picture of the day: Now this is witty. Copy and Paste.

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 9:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 116/365 – Duvel

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Purchased at: Gary and Guy @ stillcrazyafterallthesebeers

What makes this beer different: Black Pepper and lemons, so smooth.

Will I be drinking this again: Oh Yes

Grade: A

3/4/2010: Its been years since I have had this beer. Thanks again to Gary and Guy from stillcrazyafterallthesebeers.com for sending this to me.

So much foamy head on this monster. I had to pour it three separate times to get it to look like it did in the picture. It was almost like a science experiment. Smells peppery and lemony. Kind of hard to describe the taste but trust me, its VERY good. I get some lemon, pepper, and a bit “yeasty”. A very smooth drink, and the carbonation is just PERFECT. So smooth for a 8.5% beer. No matter what your favorite style of beer is, you will like this one.

Picture of the day: Do these glasses make me look like an asshole?

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 11:46 am  Comments (10)  
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