Belgian-American

allagash.jpgToday’s selection, the Allagash Tripel Reserve comes to us from Allagash Brewery up in Portalnd, Maine. Allagash is one of those few breweries in the US that specializes in brewing Belgian-style ales.
Appearance: Pours with a fizzy white head that diminishes fairly quickly, but not all the way. It laces nicely as well. As is customary, this beer is a bit cloudy and nicely fizzy. The body is a really nice dark golden/orange color.
Aroma: A nice perfumy beer, this beer smells primarily of apple and maybe pear. Overall, this is a really sweet smelling beer, due to the Candi Sugar that goes into this style of brew. There’s a bit of spiciness lingering in the background as well
Taste: This beer is moderately sweet up front, followed by a nice earthy yeast flavor. There’s a spiciness that kicks in at the tail end and hangs out on the back of your palate for a bit. There’s also a tinge of alcohol in the flavor, not surprising for the 9% ABV in this baby, but it’s not as overwhelming as it could be.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied, but fizzy this beer is a nice summer beer. I found it a bit dry, because of the high alcohol content.
Overall, I think this Allagash Tripel Reserve is an excellent American take on a traditional Belgian style. While I enjoyed it, and have heard that it’s one of the best of this style (in US craft-beer), I didn’t find it quite as complex in flavor as some of the Belgian Tripels I’ve tried before. But I highly recommend this beer for any of you interested in a Belgian style brewed by an American craft brewery.

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Going Belgian

sebastiaan-gold.jpgWhen I first started blogging, I was thinking I should stick with American craft brews. I believe that we should buy American and buy local. But you know what? There are some amazing micro-breweries out there that aren’t American. Different styles and beautifully crafted beers. Wouldn’t it be a crime to ignore to turn my nose up at these wonderful beers from micro breweries around the world? So when Hercules (who you’ll hear more about soon) recommended that I try some of his favorite Belgian beers, there was no way I was going to blow him off.

St. Sebastiaan Golden comes to us from the Brouwerij Sterkens in Belgium. Brewing from the village of Meer since 1654, these guys are out to make a quality beer.
Appearance: This beer comes in a fancy ceramic swingtop bottle and pours a light, cloudy golden color. It produces a small fizzy white head that quickly dissipates.
Aroma: Sweet malts and fruity hops. Lightly citrus, but more tropical fruits abound here – banana, pinapple, a little apple, yet there’s a slight earthiness to this beer.
Taste: That sweet fruitiness up front, followed by a sweet malt flavor. As I drink this beer and it warms up, the fruitiness turns somewhat rounder and richer. Like changing from a sweet white wine to a richer spicer red wine. I kind of like that transition in flavor. It’s sweet, but not overwhelming. Overall, a very complex and rich beer.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly carbonated for a beer that didn’t pour with much of a head.
The tripel style of beer gets it’s name from being brewed with up to triple the amount of malts. It tends to be higher in alcohol content, bitter and spicy, and lighter in body. I find that while this St. Sebastiaan is definitely a good beer, I don’t feel that it’s a great representation of the tripel style.

The Facts:
ABV: 7.70%