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.

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Beer 380/365 – North Coast Brother Thelonious

North Coast Brother Thelonious

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 9.4%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Not very unique, but a great beer for the price.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, not many Belgians to be had for $3 a pop these days.

Grade: A-

3/2/2011: Andy, this post is for you buddy. I just need prodded every now and again haha. This is my third North Coast beer on my site. The first two were both very impressive; Old Rasputin and Pranqster. Lets hope this one is as good.

A nice dose of caramel in the nose, with a good helping of spice as well (can’t put my finger on exact spices). I always set the bar pretty low for American brewed Belgian’s because no one seems to do it like the monks from the motherland. This is why I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. Lots of caramel, and some fruits come out as well (orange, raisin). Clove seems to be the spice that I was smelling as it really comes through in the flavor. Mouthfeel is excellent for an American brewed Belgian, but still not as good as the real thing. Overall for the price this is a great beer, and am really impressed with everything I have tried this far from North Coast Brewing.

Picture of the day: Poor Dog.

Beer 370/365 – Scaldis Noel

Scaldis Noel

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 12.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: $6 for such a small amount, not quite worth the price.

Will I be drinking this again: Decent. but not at this price.

Grade: A-

12/14/2010: Phill out at Vintage Estate highly recommended this beer, and our palettes are pretty similar so I figured I would give this one a shot. Even though the price is a bit steep at $6 for about 8.5oz of beer. Oh well you only live once right?

The nose is boozy as hell, with some cinnamon and cherries. The flavor is boozy as well, but not as much as I expected for a 12% ABV beer. Toffee is a big player in the flavor, with some cherries and a touch of cinnamon. Not overly complex, but thats okay its tasty. The mouthfeel is really nice, silky and full. Overall this was a good beer, but not worth the price of admission.

Picture of the day: Don’t ever let facebook know that you are in a relationship.

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.