We headed over to Belgium, strictly for research purposes of course, as part of our Moray Leader funded Field to Firkin project. No trip to this hallowed beer land would be complete without a full tasting. Here is a review of some of Nigel’s highlights.
We experienced this beer at an orgainsed beer tasting event put on for us at the Brasserie de Marsinne, home of Beer Leopold 7. Nigel loves the sour, fruity, tangy flavour, which he describes as almost mouth puckering. A good summer drink.
We were lucky enough to taste this classic trappiste ale behind the scenes at the monastery itself (which is not usually open for public visits). This beer has a dark, strong and warming taste and is great for drinking on chilly autumn evenings as the nights draw in. It has a chocolate and coffee nose and a smooth feel in the mouth, while the extra foaminess brings out the aromas. The unique shaped glass completes the drinking experience.
An everyday drinking favourite in the Wallonia region of Belgium and especially good on draft. Nigel describes this amber beer as having floral and citrus notes, with a creamy head that holds in the flavours right to the bottom of the glass. We enjoyed it both on draft at our hotel and bottled at the brewery when we met with the owner Nicolas.
Once again, we experienced this beer during an organised the beer tasting. Nigel’s words were: ‘Dark and strong. Fantastic choc and coffee notes. Good mousse! A truly heart-warming beer, perfect for a winter’s evening.’
Finally the Orval, which Nigel tasted from draft in a restaurant in Rochefort. It’s also a classic trappiste beer. To be defined as trappiste, a beer must be made by, or under the supervision of monks, within the walls of a Benedictine abbey. This time the flavours were fresh and crisp, with a slight tartness that cleansed the palette. Nigel said it was delicious with lunch.
There were a couple that there wasn’t time for that Nigel would put on his list of recommendations.
Lindeman’s Geuze is beautiful Belgian beer with a fruity aroma and a tangy flavour followed by a sweet, earthy finish. And an aged (5yr old) Chimay Blue Label is also an outstanding drink – one of Nigel’s favourites.
Sounds like we need another trip!