Beer 391/365 – Piraat Ale

Piraat Ale

Style: Belgian IPA

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Sharp Edge – Pittsburgh, PA

What makes this beer different: Pretty much a go to for the Belgian IPA Style

Will I be drinking this again: Yup, great beer all around

Grade: A

4/21/2011: Ugh, last day at the job I have had for the last two years. I thought this was my last stop, and I would be here for the long haul, but the economy has reared its ugly head. Taking a nice week vacation to visit my buddy Donnie in Ocean City. Going to hit up Dogfish Head Taproom in Rehoboth, and Evolution Brewing right outside of OC. I will still be updating though!

Love the Belgian IPA style, although more styles aren’t quite hoppy enough for me. I never thought i would say that before I started this website because I used to HATE hop flavor. The nose of Piraat is mostly classic Belgian yeast, malt, and only a little bit of hops. The flavor is very unique, orchard fruit, straw, spice, and some citrusy type hops. Again still could use a big more hops in my humble opinion. The mouthfeel is right on for the style, and goes down VERY easy for a 10.5%ABV beer. Would have given this an A+ if there were a bit more hops in the mix.

Picture of the day: Chose your college major wisely.

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Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 388/365 – Affligem Noel

Affligem Noel

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: Not much just a great holiday beer

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes, the price tag was not bad at $9 for the big bottle.

Grade: A-

4/11/2011: Kind of a bitter-sweet day for me today. Just put in my two weeks at my current employer. Excited about the new job, but going to miss the people at my current job. Oh well you gotta do what you gotta do right? Either way this is a good excuse to open up a beer tonight.

The nose is really complex, caramel sweetness, some spice, some wood, and dark fruits. Lots of flavors going on here, but I’m not sure I can put my finger on all of them; dark fruit, caramel, clove, a little bit of chocolate, and some earthiness. Interesting combo of flavors, but wish it was a tiny bit sweeter (its a little dry). The alcohol is hidden pretty well, but the body could use thickening up just a little bit as well. Overall the flavor is there, just wish it wasn’t as dry and a bit thicker. Very unique though!

Picture of the day: A solution to the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

Beer 382/365 – Tripel Karmeliet

Tripel Karmeliet

Style: Tripel

ABV: 8.4%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate Wine & Beer – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Very sweet/sugary even for a Tripel

Will I be drinking this again: Yes it was damn good for the price.

Grade: A

3/15/2011: I bought this beer on a recommendation from a friend. She lived in Belgium and said this was one of her favorite beers ever, and I was crazy for not having tried it yet. I would love to visit Belgium because their bottles only run about 1-2 American dollars, as opposed to at least 5 dollars here in the states. Someday!

I already know this beer is going to be sweet as there are chunks of candy sugar around the mouth of the bottle (you can actually see it in the picture above). The nose is even parts sweet and spicy, maybe cardamom? The flavor at first is very very sweet; toffee, caramel, honey, candy sugar. About halfway through my glass a lot of the spice starts to show up; cardamom, clove, maybe some orange peel? Lots of good carbonation keeps the beer from getting cloying. Overall this was one of the best tripels I have ever had. Highly recommended.

Picture of the day: Put that candy away!

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 8:29 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 348/365 – St. Bernardus Abt 12

St Bernardus Abt 12

Style: Quadruple

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Almost as good as a Westy 12, but not quite.

Will I be drinking this again: Yup! Wish it was a little bit more affordable though.

Grade: A

10/22/2010: Trying to knock off as many of the top100 on BeerAdvocate as I can before I reach 365. St Bernardus currently ranks in at #10 overall, which means I have tried eight of the top ten beers. The other ones will be almost impossible to get a hold of. Pliny the Younger is only available from the brewery, and Trappist Westvleteren is only sold in Belgium. Oh well, 8/10 isn’t bad!

The plum in the nose is pretty typical for a quad, but the chocolate I am smelling is not. Lots of flavor going on but they all mesh well together, in order of strongest flavor: Caramel, dark fruit (figs?), bready, chocolate, earthy, and a little bit of spice. Is it just me or is it easier to pick out specific flavors in a Belgian beer as compared to an American Beer? Not sure why this is, or if I am losing it. Anyways, the mouthfeel is A+, smooth and creamy. The alcohol is completely hidden at 10.5%. Amazing beer, easily ranks up with the other top quads; Westvleteren 12 and Trappistes Rochefort 10.

Picture of the day: This is why girls should avoid mosh pits.

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 325/365 – Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Style: Tripel

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: The best North American brewed Belgian style beer I have ever had.

Will I be drinking this again: I have 3 more aging in the basement, so yes!

Grade: A

9/29/2010: La Fin Du Monde is Unibroue’s highest ranked beer. Which is why I am kind of surprised I haven’t reviewed it yet. I think its almost goes unsaid that Unibroue makes the best Belgain Style beer not brewed within the borders of Belgium itself. I also picked this beer because I really wanted to knock off as many of the Top 100 BeerAdvocate beers as I could before I wrap up my 365 (La Fin comes in at #33 at the moment).

The nose of La Fin Du Monde isn’t quite as funky/yeasty as a true Belgian, but its still good. Pears/Apples at the front, and a touch of clove. The flavor is what makes this beer, its on the sweeter end of the Tripel scale. Lots of apple/pear type flavors, maybe some banana? Clove and pepper are in the background, but theres just enough for you to know its there. Not as spicy as other tripels I have had, but thats okay by me. Mouthfeel is the only knock on this beer, as it doesn’t have the full creamy feeling of a true Belgian. I have yet to find a North American brewed beer that gets the Belgian mouthfeel right. That being said this is still a great great beer.

Picture of the day: Free Sex!

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 231/365 – Gulden Draak

gulden draak

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Sharp Edge – Pittsburgh PA

What makes this beer different: Very sweet and fruity, without being overdone.

Will I be drinking this again: I have a couple bottles in the cellar, so yes!

Grade: A-

6/27/2010: Craft beer geeks in Pittsburgh know there is only one place in Pittsburgh to go when you want a good variety of Belgians on tap, and thats Sharp Edge. They have a few locations around down, all with at least 25 Belgian Beers on tap. Only downfall is they are pricey as all hell. Just to give you an idea of their prices, a bottle of world wide stout to take home is $18 dollars. Thats what I paid for a 2006 vintage bottle.

It doesn’t come through in the picture (taken with cell phone) but this beer is a very nice dark shade of maroon. Smells very fruity, with some brown sugar mixed in there. I’m not going to act like I can pick out the difference between the flavor of dates/figs/prunes/plums, but there is a lot of dark sweet fruit flavor going on in this beer. What combination of the aforementioned fruits? Not real sure. Theres also this sweet rum like flavor going on. A lot of caramel/toffee flavor there to compliment the fruity rums flavors. Pretty heavy syrupy mouthfeel, but it works here. Alcohol peaks out just a little too much for me, but still a very solid belgian.

Picture of the day: I know all the guys out there have been through something like this.