Friday, 19 August 2011

American beers seem to be following me

Going away on holiday is great, of course, but really, we may have overdone it on the tasting notes from our US trip. With so many, I’d ideally use them to stretch out my blog posts on American beers over a couple months. But there are new American tastings on the horizon, some here in Belgium (more on that at the end of this post), so I’ve got to clear the deck.

Where to start, where to start...

How about with Southampton Double White Ale? It’s produced by Southampton Publick House, located out on Long Island, New York, though we gave this one a try at a Brooklyn bar. We liked it quite a bit. It’s a witbier with lime zest and coriander notes, and even a hint of that strange Savon de Marseille flavour you get with Amsterdam’s t’IJ beers. On top of all that, this one comes with a bit of bite to it, more than is usual for white beers, but welcome.

In the same style but not in the same class at all was Kirkland Signature Belgian-Style White. First off, it’s colour seemed just wrong, being too copper and too clear rather than light and cloudy. Maybe it has a lemony note, but there’s just not enough fizz in this. Witbiers shouldn’t be flat.

Now, if you know that Kirkland is the brand name wholesaler Costco uses for its in-house beer, you might think, well, no surprise this one isn’t stellar. But given that some of their other labels are quite decent, this “Belgian-Style White” is disappointing.

Victory Golden Monkey is a Belgian-style tripel, with obvious yeast flavours from this country working through it. Fiona found it to be much like Chimay tripel, which is surely true, though the alcohol was perhaps a bit too evident at the first sip. Still, this beer from Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company went fantastically well with an Indian take-away.

That brings us to Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, which doesn’t hold back on flavour, as you might have guessed by the name. Strong passion fruit and raspberry notes pile on top of a layer of malt backed by aggressive bitterness and notable alcohol level. Very lovely. California-based Stone Brewing has a real winner here.

There we are: most of the remaining notes from our America trip -- not including some podcasts I need start editing.

But just as I’m thinking I can finally return to reviewing Belgian beer again, events seem to be conspiring against me. It’s not just that I’m heading back to the US in a couple weeks, where a few more American beers no doubt await me. Even more intriguingly, Chez Moeder Lambic here in Brussels is going to host a weekend of Stone Brewery beers in mid-September, with 30 of the US producer’s brands on tap.

Won’t want to miss that one...

1 comment:

  1. I know why Andrew, they are in a permanent experiment to brew new flavors!

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