Belgian Ale Adventure

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Belgium is one of the leading beer making countries in the world. Their brewing origins date back to the middle ages and are now claim the 4th largest population of breweries in all of Europe. Belgians are known for their Trappist ales. Trappists are an order of Roman Catholics who follow the rule of St. Benedict. Belgium is also known for it’s Abbey Ale’s. Abbey’s aren’t made in monasteries but they either have an agreement with a Trappist brewery or they are using the name of a defunct monastery. In other words, in Belgium, it’s the monks who make the drunks!

I recently went out on a Belgian beer tasting and thought I would share my thoughts.

Nostradamus
– Belgian Brown Ale
– 9.5% ABV
– Brasserie Caracole Brewery in Falmignoul, Belgium

This Southern born ale is a complex and strong. At 9.5% ABV, you can really taste the alcohol. It’s sweet like fruit, dark and has a tart caramel like flavor. It’s not too carbonated and finishes smooth. This is for beer drinkers by beer drinkers or monks…but who is counting?

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La Chouffe
– Belgian Strong Pale Ale
– 8% ABV
– Brasserie d’Achouffe in Achouffe, Belgium

La Chouffe is bottled unfiltered, pours heavy with a nice head and is brewed with coriander. It’s not heavy but the spices give it a slight taste of pepper. The ale is very bubbly, hoppy and has an overall unique presentation to the mouth. Chouffe in Belgian means “gnome” and in English La Chouffe might mean “the delicious.”

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Pauwel Kwak
– Belgian Strong Pale Ale
– 8.4% ABV
– Bosteels Brewery in Buggenhout, Belgium

Named after an 18th century innkeeper, Kwak is a full bodied Belgian ale, that much like other Belgian beers, comes in it’s own branded glass. This glass however, is quite unique. It’s made to look like a small “yard of beer” and is served in it’s own wooden stand. The ale tastes darker than it looks with a smooth yet hearty grain flavor and sweet undertones. It maintains a healthy looking head and has a spicy aroma. I rarely pass up the opportunity to have one.

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Troubadour Obscura
– Belgian Strong Dark Ale
– 8.5% ABV
– Troubadour Brewery in Ursel, Belgium

The Obscura has a malty, roasted flavor with a hint of coffee and chocolates. The beer tastes almost like a barley wine. You will find this to be a smooth and rich beer. You may also find yourself drinking 4 of them, like the musketeers that influenced the brewery’s name.

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For what to eat with these beers, read the post on one of our sister sites, Burger Conquest.