Tag Archives: Belgian Beer

Considering St. Bernardus Abt 12

I’ve been away from the new beer flavors lately, but this one is very new to me. I have seen it on the shelf a few times but hadn’t made the leap. I’m more of a fan of Ommegang (pronounced Ohm-eh-gang) and Chimay (I pronounce this cha-may) though, Chimay is a Trappist style, not quite the same. But that’s all semantics. On to the beer!

St. Bernards Abt 12

The front label reads

St. Bernardus Abt 12

BELGIAN ABBEY ALE

10% ALC/VOL

WATOU

1PT 9.4 FL.OZ.

There are two certification emblems on the front as well, Belgian Hops and Belgian Family Brewers. These are not too common if you look at the Belgian beers sold in the US (at least in Kansas).

Belgian Family Brewers
Belgian Family Brewers Emblem
Belgian Hops Emblem
Belgische Hop, Belgian Hops Emblem

 


 

Back label reads 

Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

These exceptional quality ales are brewed by using only the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped pumped from a depth of 500 feet.

After the brewing process these traditional ales are matured in tanks for three months, before being bottle conditioned.

The result is a naturally carbonated “living ale,”which can be aged for up to 15 years and will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating connoisseurs.

 “Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”

(this is printed in an Olde English style script, all else is in Times New Roman)

Abt 12 -abbey ale brewed in the classic “Dubbel” style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales.

Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 52-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy it’s delicious bouquet.

Brewed and bottled by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou Belgium

Imported by D&V International Inc.,

Juniper, Florida 33458

10% Alc/Vol

Best before End: See Top.

1 Pint 9.4 fl. oz. Store cool and dark.

Product of Belgium

www.specialtybeer.com



 

For some who dont know a “Dubbel” style means quite literally a ‘double.’ For more information on Belgian words used with beer please check out this Huffington Post article.

I can’t really read the best before date, the cap is embossed and the numbers have been printed on top. I can make out a 06 and perhaps it ends 18, just guessing.

IMG_1250

First of all, I don’t own all the beer tasting glasses that are “suggested” on most of the beers I purchase. I own many standard  pint glasses, where as this beer says “Goblet Glass” and I just don’t have room at the moment for chalice/goblets(they’re similar, not the same). I instead drank it out of a Tulip glass pictured here. This particular tulip glass came with a multi-pack of Ommegang bottles I purchased last year and has suited me quite well. I tried to make sure the logos were not in the photo.

Tulip Glass, the monk on the label has a goblet glass, the suggested glassware for this beer.
Tulip Glass, the monk on the label has a goblet glass, the suggested glassware for this beer.

Poured carefully so that the head doesn’t foam too much. It has the proper cloudiness  and thick off-white foam. The color is nearer to a rusty-brown. Some suggest pouring more aggressively so the beer is more stable, whatever that means. There are conflicting views on this point, I pour so I have about one inch of foam and it dissipates rapidly after I begin to drink.

The nose is a tell-tale darker Belgian malt aroma. But it’s soft at the same time, not overwhelming. 

The flavor is subtle, typical of a darker Belgium at first. Effervescence is barely noticeable. No bubbles tickle my nose. Notes don’t linger too long on the palate for an aftertaste. It’s not exactly refreshing. After a few sips it coats the mouth, it stays a while then. There are hints of some spices, coriander maybe and nutmeg comes through though that isn’t necessarily what was used. Often there are some sweet additives when brewing or bottled.  St. Bernardus does not seem to have any profound flavors as compared to a Chimay or Ommegang that have more spice to them, which I enjoy.

I was able to purchase this bottle for about 11$ here in Wichita, KS. I probably wouldn’t choose it again if there were others I knew I liked better.

It’s a mild Belgian Dubble, worth a shot if you’re a Belgian fan but not worth a second go around for me.

Saison-Brett, #5 in Boulevard Smokestack Series

Saison-Brett

“A traditional Belgian-style saison was the starting point for this limited edition ale, but then the fun began: It was dry hopped, followed by bottle conditioning with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale received three months of bottle-age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s a thing you’re after…”

#5 in the Smokestack Series, Special limited release, 750ml, 1pint 9.4 fluid ounces 8.5% alcohol/Vol. Cost about $11 (in Wichita, KS)

Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City, Missouri


I should have waited.

The best by date isn’t until early 2016.

I should have waited.

Saison-Brett Boulevard Smokestack Series
Saison-Brett Boulevard Smokestack Series

After the five minutes it took for the head foam to settle down (even with nose grease)…

The nose is strong and weird, probably the “Brett” but I’m not positive. I have never smelled this scent before. The Belgian lightness-aroma is there, but it’s subtle.

The color is a bright yellow-gold and very clear. So much foam!

First tastes are slightly sour but then taper to mild hops. As it warms to it’s proper temperature, the odd flavor becomes more apparent. It’s not what I would consider good, but not revolting either. The effervescence is pleasing when imbibed.

If I had waited, I would probably like it more. The odd pungent smell/taste is off-putting. No sediment was visible, but it was just..weird. I probably wouldn’t buy it again, I dont like waiting for my beer to get better. At least not while I’m in possession of it, I’ll buy something that had been aged no problem. I’m not in the habit of maintaining a “beer cellar.”

If I had waited, it probably would have made a world of difference.  

Two Jokers Double-Wit, #8 In the Boulevard Smokestack Series

Two Jokers by Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City, MO
Two Jokers by Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City, MO

As the label says;
Two Jokers Double-Wit
Malt Beverage Brewed With Spices, 1 pint, 9.4 fluid ounces, 8.0%Alc/Vol, Cost about $11

They say there are two sides to every story, and that’s certainly true of Two Jokers Double-Wit. On the one hand, it’s a revival of the classic Belgian “wit,” or “white” ale, with lactic fermentation providing a refreshing tartness. On the other hand, it’s a modern, uniquely American brew; big, flavorful, and spiced with cardamom, coriander, orange peel, lavender, and grains of paradise.
Look closely now: it is two jesters on the label, or a single beautiful glass of ale?

 

 

I love beer, unabashedly. Moreover I love trying new beers or drinking ones with amazing flavor combinations. I gravitate more towards dark beers in winter, and saisons/white beers in the summer time. There are dozens of types of beers and they can be considerably confusing. My opinion of the Two Jokers is as follows, again- just my opinion.

In glass it’s very cloudy and orange-tan colored. Not a spray tan orange, like dark earthy orange. The spices were more notable as they lingered in the after flavor.

Very deceptively light nose when first poured, after it warmed up it became a little more telling. But still was betraying what body was had when drank.

This brew was very tart, but not in the pucker-lips-after-sucking-a-lemon way. More like tart for a white beer which lends it’s flavors more towards bright citrus feeling but less big fruit flavors. The orange peel is the flavor that comes through most noticeably at first.

I would love another, but this is a limited release so I’ll have to cross my fingers!