I went to L'Ultime Atome for lunch today, and along with my scampi salad -- and good conversation thanks to a bright young news agency journalist -- I tried a Maredsous 8 Brune for the first time. I was definitely impressed.
The restaurant, which is not too far from where I work and where I sampled Delirium tremens for the 40b40, is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. The food is tasty, and they have a good beer selection. I ask for little else, really. The service is fast and friendly, too.
Now, onto the beer... Maredsous 8 Brune, which comes with a very elegantly designed label, pours a maroonish brown. Although it was served too cold -- OK, the previously praised restaurant isn’t perfect -- when it warmed up, it revealed a good combination of flavours: fruity, dried cherries and raisins, oak shavings. It is certainly not as complex as one of the dark Trappist classics, like Rochefort or Westvleteren, but it still has enough to keep my interest. Maredsous 8 Brune has more dried fruit taste and is overall a bit richer than, say, Ciney brune or even Corsendonk dubbel (pater).
I was pleased to find a Maredsous I liked. I had heard good things about this brand, but I was a bit disappointed with my initial tasting, Maredsous 10 Tripel. Of course, that was a strong blond ale, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple months, it’s that I am no great fan of that style. Maredsous 8 Brune, on the other hand, has rekindled my faith in this abbey beer brand.