Thursday, 17 January 2008

Palm Day

Onwards with the 40b40 to Palm, and the beer I’ve decided to drink this evening is Palm Royale. This ale was only born in 2003, like my youngest daughter, but in contrast to her, it’s mellow. I tried this beer for the first time at last year’s Brussels Jazz Festival, and it did not disappoint then, or now.

Royale pours a wonderfully dark amber, clear not cloudy, and it has a long-lasting head. The taste is smooth and very well balanced, maybe with a slight hint of pine resin. Fiona says “nutty”, and though I first think she’s talking about the aforementioned offspring, who refuses to go to sleep, I soon realise she’s actually referring to the ale. “Hazelnut”, she clarifies. Yes, that’s in there for sure.

The alcohol level is 7.5%, but apart from the extended warmth in the aftertaste, you’d hardly know it. Nothing harsh about this one at all. The finish is dry.

Regular Palm is fairly common around Belgium: you can get it on tap in many pubs. Not sure if the Royale is, but the bottle is easy enough to find. We had ours delivered in our regular online shopping from Delhaize, a major supermarket. But being more widely available than some of the obscure Trappist offerings does not mean it is somehow more plain in that least-common-denominator way of mass market products. This smooth rich ale proves that quality can cohabit with a modern distribution network.

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