BOTW–Arend Tripel

I really like this beer. First off, I find most Belgian-style Tripels to be too sweet for my taste.

GREAT LABEL! Anyway, the Arend Tripel, while in reality not all that dry, manages to seem drier than it is. I think it is the touch of hops, especially, that give it that impression.

It is also very complex, you can whip out some of those fun Belgian descriptors: Bananas, Clove, bubblegum, and the always popular “Horse Blanket”. No, I’m kidding about the Horse Blanket, I don’t detect much, if any, Brett in this beer. Save that descriptor for Waterloo’s Oud Beersel Oude Gueze. That’s Oud, not Ood, Dr. Who Fans, but if you want to conflate, conflate away.

Kudos to Waterloo Beverages for bringing in this, and the other eclectic Belgian Beers of their range. Great beers, one and all.

BOTW–Serafijn Celtic Angel

Interestingly, according the the document which came with this beer club release, this beer was originally brewed under contract for “an Irish musical group.” Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out which musical group.

It is brewed in Belgium by a tiny microbrewery called Achilles. The documents call it a Irish Red Ale fermented with Belgian yeast.

It doesn’t make sense to me to really call it an Irish Ale, as it doesn’t taste like any Irish beer I’ve tried.

It’s also not as rich or heavy as most Belgian Ales I’ve tried.

Fairly fizzy, it is a dry ale with a touch of hops. They say that there is a bit of candy sugar added when they bottle, for secondary fermentation, but it seems to be almost entirely digested, as the beer is almost austere in its dryness. Celtic Angel reminds me of a sort of bottle conditioned, unfiltered Pilsener more than anything else. It’s really quite enjoyably drinkable. I could imagine it as a session beer, or going well with a variety of foods.

It does open up a bit, as it warms, and give up a bit of that spicy flavor you associate with Belgian Farmhouse Ales. Still, all in all, that aspect of its character is quite subtle.

BOTW–Le Bons Vœux

OK, last Holiday Beer, I promise!

I just have nice feelings about the beers of Brasserie Dupont. When we first moved to San Francisco, and the Slanted Door first opened on Valencia, we used to have a great time there. We would order ourselves a big bottle of Saison Dupont and pig out on California style Vietnamese food. Happy memories.

“Avec les bons Vœux de la brasserie Dupont” means, “With the best wishes of the brewery Dupont.” According to the website, it was brewed every year as a New Years present for their “best clients.” A pretty fun idea, and I’ve been wanting to try this beer for a while.

The Saison beer is often known for its complexity, often including fruity flavors not unlike German Wheat Beers. However, because of the types of yeast they use and the way they are brewed, they are often much dryer in character than German Wheat Beer.

Unlike many holiday or special occasion beers, this one is not that far from it’s parents. It seems a bit richer with perhaps a tad more character. From the label, it has higher alcohol, but with the smoothness of this beer, I would have a hard time detecting it. I think I would have to have Saison Dupont and this side by side, to be able to tell the difference. Nonetheless, another fantastic beer, and highly recommended, should you be lucky enough to chance upon it.