I may have mentioned this about a million times, but I love beer. Like, proper love, “I wanna marry you” kind of love. And whereas I am all for the craft beer revolution and the exciting and outrageous beers it has brought to the masses, I’ve always has a massive soft spot for the traditional beers from Belgium.
So I’m barely exaggerating when I say I was super excited about hosting a beer tasting where we sampled some top tipples from the promised land of beer. I’m gonna be totally honest and admit that the beers we served were chosen because they’re some of my all-time favourites and I just happen to be so lucky that Chester Beer and Wine (the scene of crime) happens to stock these.
Here’s the running order of what we had.
Orval – 6.2%
The Trappist beer Orval has a distinctive taste – it really is like no other brew. The ageing process of this high fermentation beer adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness.
Rodenbach Grand Cru – 6%
This is an archetypal Flanders red-brown beer, which blends 1/3 young beer and 2/3 of beer aged 2 years in large oak vats in each bottle. You’ll find it a sour affair with tart fruitiness of cherries.
Lindemans Kriek – 3.5%
A sparking cherry flavoured beer which is smooth and refreshing. The aromas and the taste alike are cherry, honey, molasses, and biscuit. Surprisingly, the beer isn’t as sweet as you’d expect based on the aroma though.
Karmeliet Tripel – 8.4%
First brewed in the end of 90s, this beer claimed to be based on a recipe from 1679 which used wheat, oat and barley. It carried flavours of yeast, banana and vanilla, mixed with citrus aromas.
Rochefort Trappistes 8 – 9.2%
The Rochefort 8 has a tawny colour and a pronounced aroma, with a rich fruitiness, a slight undertone of fig and a spiced dryness (think Jamaican ginger cake!) which gives it a balanced finish.
Chimay Blue – 9%
Can you say, classic? This top fermented Trappist beer, re-fermented in the bottle, has aromas of spicy Belgian yeast, bread dough and toffee. Rich and intense with caramel notes and a lovely dry finish.
Westmalle Dubbel – 7%
A reddish brown Trappist ale which is malty and fruity with subtle notes of banana. The taste is fruity and slightly bitter, with a long, dry finish.
The beers were served with homemade bread, a mighty cheese board of Welsh Dragon Cheddar, Cheshire Blue and Somerset Brie, individual rabbit and kriek beer pies and finally a Belgian Chocolate and Beer brownie and some vanilla cream. Boom.
In the spirit of full disclosure I will admit that I did not cook a single thing and the glorious food we had was all thanks to hubby, who slaved in the kitchen all day to make the dinner so darn tasty. So, thanks hubby.
Next month we’re finding out who makes the best beer – UK or US, so that’s kind of fun as well, doncha know.
Have you been to my beer tastings? Why not?!? Answers on a post card or on the comments below.