Belgium: Pannepot GR ’05, De Struise / Deca, W’ Vleteren

I must have been very good today as this is the bottle I decided to open. I mowed the half the lawn. And I held the fort at my desk with a certain style. I’ll likely even keep the empty as it even has the mark of importers Roland + Russell, the kind folks who forwarded this sample.

But, you know, it would be bad enough keeping things straight if it were just the fact that Brouwerij ‘t IJ in Amsterdam has a beer called Struis. But these guys of De Struise don’t even have a brewery. Celebrator explained the deal last December. Well, they are adults so that is up to them but it’s no way to run a railroad, I can tell you that. Professor Unger tells us that the accumulation of capital was the path to brewing dynasties…at least as far as medieval low country brewing went – why is it that just because we are in the next millennium we throw all that wisdom right out the window? Kids. Go figure.

Anyway, this brew is a bomb at 10%. The label includes “candy” as an ingredient. I really hope that means candi sugar and not a Mars bar or Bubbalicious. That would be a real let down. It pours nutty mahogany under a thick beige head. Oloroso gently meets balsamic on the nose. In the mouth, it is a cross between Duchesse De Bourgogne and…um…Newkie Broon. Just a first impression but that’s what it was. Then – much to your relief – there is more: a sort of a black cherry thing, vanilla, balsamic, molasses and herbal/medicinals like maybe those in Orval hop profile. All in all, lightly soured and oaked brown ale of great complexity that shows no sign of its massive strength whatsoever.

Greg has more. The BAers go all gushy and blush.

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