Wednesday, 13 January 2010

St Bernardus Prior 8

Yes, the birthday beer is an old classic: St Bernardus Prior 8. I know it’s long been part of my list of top ten Belgian beers, but I haven’t written about it for nearly two years, since nearly the start of the 40b40 itself. And that’s just wrong.

The strange thing about this blog, and the long, growing list of “Tasting notes” on the right-hand side of it, is that it naturally equalises all the beers. I mean, it could appear here that I have been drinking one of every beer -- or at least all beers in equal proportion. Not true.

Over the past year or so, particularly when it’s cold outside like it has been in recent weeks, St Bernardus Prior 8 (and St Bernardus Abt 12 to some extent) has been a house standard. The “man in a dress”, as we like to call the goofy-looking -- yet clearly zymurgically talented -- monk on the label, has become something of a family friend. I would, in fact, probably say that St Bernardus Prior 8 was my favourite beer of 2009.

And what a way to treat a friend! Not writing about him for so long... Particularly when he’s so tasty: dark, rich, creamy, warm yeasty gingerbread, nutmeg, dates, fine fiz to cut the richness...

Luckily, my family did not forget me so coldly on the eve of my birthday. In addition to a manatee cookie cutter with cookie mix and hand-made artwork from the kids, Fiona treated me to a fantastic meal of goat cheese and mushroom stuffed pasta shells on a bed of baked cherry tomatoes, followed by my favourite dessert, black forest cake, also homemade. Both of which go very well with a St Bernardus Prior 8...

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