Sunday, January 30, 2011

Triple Karmeliet

Triple Karmeliet is one of my favorite Belgian Beers I have tried. I purchased a bottle of this beer at Whole Foods for about $12 for a 750ml bottle. The head of this beer poured very smoothly, but didn't last very long at all (about 2 minutes). This beer is 8.4% ABV and has a nice sweet lingering taste. I am giving this beer 4.5/5 stars, as the bottled version is not as good as the draft version.

I was first introduced to this beer last February (2010) at the best Belgian Beer Bar in Oakland, "The Trappist". I was invited to "The Trappist" by a friend of mine, who knew I enjoyed beer. Before that night I hadn't had any Belgian beer, but since then I have loved Belgian beer and have been to "The Trappist" many times. If you enjoy Belgian Beer I would definitely recommend that you try this beer and visit "The Trappist".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Westmalle - Triple

Happy Belgian Beer Sundays!

Today I am trying a real Trappist Belgian Beer, Westmalle's Triple. Westmalle is a Trappist beer that is produced by Belgian monks. This bottle runs about $11.50 at my local Whole Foods, it is 750ml in size and fills just over two pint glasses. This beer poured very well and produced a nice white foamy head, that lasted about five minutes.

Westmalle Triple has a very alcoholic flavor, a first smell you wouldn't assume this much of an alcoholic flavor, but after your first sip, you will notice it. There are subtle hints of citrus and after the third of forth sip you get used to the alcoholic flavor of this beer and it goes down very smoothly. I give this beer 3/5 stars on my current Belgian beer scale. It is entirely possible that the Belgian beers I have tried in the past are all the best ones, but I will see and adjust ratings, when I have sampled more Belgian beers.

See you at the bar!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I will be on vacation this Sunday and will not be around for "Belgian Beer Sunday's". Don't worry, I have something special planned for next Sunday... I purchased a Trappist beer called "Westmalle", the triple version of their beer. If you have been down the Belgian Beer isle at your local grocery store or Bev'mo, you have probably seen that certain breweries advertise "Belgian-style" or "Trappist-style", there are many imitators, but only a few real Trappists.

In the world there are 171 Trappist Monasteries, out of those 171 only 7 produce beer (6 in Belgium and 1 in the Netherlands). Like Irish and Bourbon Whiskey, authentic Trappist beer must be made in the supervision of these monasteries. The 6 Trappist Monasteries that produce beer are: Brouwerij de Koningshoeven; Bières de Chimay; Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle; Brasserie d'Orval; Brasserie de Rochefort; Brouwerij Westvleteren; and Brouwerij der Sint-Benedictusabdij de Achelse Kluis; I have listed the above monasteries in rank of annual production volumes.

These are the following conditions that must be met to list that a beer is an authentic Trappist beer:
  • The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
  • The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.
  • The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.

So next Sunday (1/23/11) I will crack open one of the finest Belgian beers in the world, tune in next time to see what I think of this Belgian beer and how it ranks up to the other "Belgian-style" beers I have had.

See you at the bar! :D

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Maredsous - Double 8 and Triple 10

This is my second installment of Belgian Beer Sundays, so I thought I would try something new... I was eating brunch at one of my favorite restaurants (Luka's Taproom) that serves brunch in Downtown Oakland, I noticed that they had a few Belgian Beers on tap. They had Chimay Red (which I have had on many occasions), Maredsous 8 (which I tried for the first time today), St. Bernardus 12 (which I have never tried). I didn't feel like something very alcoholic, so I went with the Maredsous 8, which is a Belgian Dubble. For those interested in pronouncing the belgian beer titles correctly, Maredsous is pronounced "Ma-red-sue".

As I have said before I am not very fond of Belgian Dubbles, but this one was actually very nice. It wasn't very heavy like most dubbles, and it had subtle hints of caramel and chocolate. It was a tad bit more alcoholic than I was expecting (8% ABV) and I could definitely taste the alcohol in every sip. I haven't really had many Belgian Dubbles, but I think this is the best one I have tasted so far. As I didn't write this review while I was drinking this beer, I figured that I would purchase another Maredsous. Here is a nice photo of the special glass that this nice dark Belgian came in and in the background is the Luka's Taproom Bar.

I purchased Maredsous Triple 10 for just about $10 for a bottle at Whole Foods (which is about average for a nice Belgian triple or Double). The cork on this beer had a nice printed picture of ivy and roses (I didn't mention it earlier, but I was disappointed that the Kwak that I tried didn't have anything printed on the cork). This beer pours very nicely and had a nice head of foam without pouring vigorously. The head was a very nice white and lingered for about 5 minutes after the initial pour. This beer is a tad bit darker than most triples I have tried. There are subtle hints of citrus when you take a nice whiff and various spices when you take a swig. I would have to give this beer 3/5 stars when it comes to Belgian Triples. This beer has a good distinct lingering flavor that lasts through the whole bottle. If you are a Belgian Beer fan (I personally prefer Triples), give this beer a try, its not as flavorful as some other Triples, but its nice orange color, citrus smell and body, are worth a taste.

As always, if anyone has any suggestions, post a comment, I would be happy to review your suggestions.

See you at the bar!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stone - Lucky Bastard

From the moment I saw this beer in the store this evening, I knew it was taking me home tonight. One of my favorite beers of all time is brewed by a San Diego brewing company called Stone and found at the following URL. Stone produces a beer called "Arragont Bastard Ale", it is very dark and flavorful and usually doesn't take more than one to get me a nice buzz going (as the beer is in a 22oz bottle and is 7.2% ABV). I can remember more than a few parties taking this guy as my wing man and most of them ended with me having a nice heavy hang over the next day. I prefer this title to the "Arrogant Bastard" title, as I used to always say that someone was a "Lucky Bastard" when he beat me at either cards, dominoes, or video games. :D

I usually put the "Arrogant Bastard" in the freezer to make it extra cold when I open it (the higher alcohol percentage makes it much more resistant to freezing)... so if you like you beer cold, pop this guy in the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to opening. This bad boy is a higher alcohol content than "Arrogant Bastard", weighing in at 8.5% ABV. You can still smell that this beer is aged in oak barrels and the color has a subtle red hint to it. Unfortunately the head didn't last but about 2 minutes, but was a nice color to begin with (as you can see in the photo). This beer is not as heavy or as thick as "Arrogant Bastard" and has a stronger alcohol flavor to it. I give this beer 3.5/5 stars when it comes to dark Stone beers. This is a special edition bastard ale and mind you it is not as good as the original, but it is damn close. If you like Stone beers and would like something different, give this guy a try, he is good and will probably get you more trashed than a standard bastard, but not nearly as quickly as a Double Bastard.

Happy Drinking! :D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bosteels - Pauvel Kwak

I am somewhat new to drinking Belgian beers, I was introduced to them by a friend in early February of 2010. I have probably tasted about ten different Belgian beers over this year and the flavor of each one differs drastically. As I haven't had much experience with Belgian beers, I am not going to rate this beer on a "star scale"... So here is my review of this beer, it is not one of my favorites, but it is still very good (all-be-it expensive).

This Pauvel Kwak is dark and has flavors of citrus and vanilla. Pauvel Kwak is not listed as a "dubble", but it has all the characteristics of a dubble. The head on this beer doesn't last as long as some of the triple's I have had, but it does last as long as most of the dubbles I have had. Pauvel Kwak has mild flavors of hops, but the taste does not linger. This beer is somewhat sweater than most dubbles I have tried, so if you enjoy a beer after (or during) dessert, than this might be one to try. I purchased a 75 cl. bottle of Pauvel Kwak at the Lake Merritt Whole Foods for just over $10, this bottle comes with a cork, so you can cork the bottle and get multiple glasses out of this bottle, but it doesn't last to long, so keep it corked in the fridge and drink it quickly. As I become more familiar with Belgian beers I will update this posting with a star rating... my estimated rating is 2.5/5 stars, lets see how close I get. :D

I am thinking about making this a weekly update, so stay tuned and I should have another Belgian Beer review for you next Sunday.