Two Belgian beers

One of my occasional forays into the world of beer. These are two very interesting beers, widely available in most supermarkets, and inexpensive (particularly when compared with good quality wines). Belgium has given us many gems: Dr Evil, ‘In Bruges’ and wonderful beer.

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale
8.5% alcohol. Pale yellow colour. Tangy, hoppy and a bit bitter, but sweet and rich at the same time. It’s like a pale ale on steroids, with lovely lime and grapefruit freshness as well as complex hoppy notes. A nice food beer. 9/10

Chimay ‘Blue’ Trappist Beer 2010
9% alcohol. This vintage-dated beer is apparently best before the end of 2015, although like most beers its lifespan is shortened by the fact that the crown cap has a simple PVC liner, meaning that the oxygen transmission rate will be quite high. It’s a full brown colour with an orange tinge. Rich, malty and complex this has a spicy warmth countered by a bitter treacle note. Rich textured and hedonistic. 8.5/10

5 comments to Two Belgian beers

  • Ben Smith

    Many gems – don’t forget Magritte, Adolph Sax and Plastic Bertrand.

  • I think the best thing about Belgium beers is that they always have their own glasses designed to compliment the beer. They’re all quite distinct as well, I can just see the duvel glass, its almost like an over-sized brandy glass. I’m not sure how true it is that they are all designed to bring out the best flavour of each beer, or whether its just a big gimmick, but I still like it!

  • Stephan

    Wait till you tried Westmalle
    The glass is like a big chalice, the holy grail of Belgian beers …

  • Andrew Halliwell

    My Favourite glass (and the beer’s good too) is Charles V, cool earthenware blue pot with 3 handles spaced 120 degrees apart.

  • Concerning your criticism towards Chimay Bleue (which I share), the version to lay down for 5-6 years’ ageing is the 750ml bottle which is sealed with natural cork (although it’s a medium-low quality conglomerate rather than plain natural – a pity).
    Anyway my experience in tasting aged examples is very good indeed – more layers of flavour are revealed and there is a bit more richness, less tang.
    For early drinking, I much enjoy Chimay’s simpler Red version.

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