I still haven’t written up plain old garden-variety Hoegaarden yet, because I am waiting for a super hot summer day. But while I’ve got a warmish evening here again in the terrace sun-trap, I may as well review the beer currently to hand, Hoegaarden Grand Cru.
This is a lovely beer. It pours cloudy orange with a thick, almost unreal Duvel-like head. The taste is an excellent mixture of sweet and bitter, with some spicy aromatics -- perhaps allspice or nutmeg? It has clear citrus notes, as well. The 8.5% alcohol is barely noticeable. And it’s thicker and heartier than other strong blond ales.
In mega-brewer InBev’s stable of beers, Hoegaarden Grand Cru is closer to Hoegaarden De Verboden Vrucht than Hoegaarden Speciale or the light and white Hoegaarden regular. I’m not really sure what all these beers have to do with each other apart from the marketing ploy of brand extension.
Still, let’s not be churlish. It’s a very good beer. Perfect for a -- now cooling -- evening on the terrace.