Sunday, 13 April 2008

Hoegaarden Grand Cru

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.

5 comments:

  1. The link between all the hoegaerden beers is that they are from brewery "De Kluis" in the village of Hoegaerden. They decided to sell to ab-inbev after a fire damaged the brewery in 1985. All beers are by brewer Pierre Celis.

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  2. Sadly, this beer has been retired by the brewery. I only got to drink it once, and I remember it as exceptional.

    So what's the closest beer to this one? The Hoegaarden De Verboden Vrucht, you think?

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  3. Retired? I just bought a four-pack about two weeks ago. Is it really gone?

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  4. I'm drinking it now, it is still available!

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  5. still available in Belgium as of july 2010 (baught some in a store in the metro near La Grande Place). I love Hoegaarden (currently on tap in my house), but the Grand Cru is in a whole different league.

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