Browse Tag


January, Lefebvre airy, March

[beer & bottle]Lefebvre “Barbãr” Blonde Ale au Miel (Belgium) – I’m a lot more tolerant of unneeded sweetness hanging about the brewery than I am the winery, and so I suspect I like this fine, polished effort more than some. It’s grainy and summery, with an appealing grace note of meadow flowers. (2/08)

Lefebvre “Floreffe” Triple Ale (Belgium) – Sticky and somewhat dull, with more weight than presence. However, an important caveat: this is served at the wrong temperature, so judgment must remain reserved. (2/08)

Lefebvre “Blanche de Bruxelles” Bière Blanche (Belgium) – Silky and nicely balanced, but bringing the aromatics to the fore and leaving the core beer in the background, which might be controversial. I like it. (2/08)


[label]Oppigårds Winter Ale (Sweden) – A coffee/tea blend, with drying hops married to dark, dry grains and cereals. The hops dominate the aroma. Good, aggressive beer, but not something you want a lot of. (1/08)

Good & careless

[triple]Het Anker “Gouden Carolus” “Ambrio 1471” Amber Ale (Belgium) – Dark, but not overly so, with a rich, brown baritone of spice and dried fruit. Perfectly balanced, and really, really good. (1/08)

Het Anker “Gouden Carolus” “Classic” Brown Ale (Belgium) – Simultaneously lighter and heavier than the Ambrio, showing dried, yeasty stone fruit/citrus and gentle but fulfilling waves of spicy complexity. Brilliant. Compared to the Ambrio, it’s better but less exciting, if that makes any sense. (1/08)

Het Anker “Gouden Carolus” Triple Ale (Belgium) – Concentrated, with dark, aged-sugar thickness, firm palate intensity, and a really beautiful, measured combination of complexity, structure, and power. Terrific. (1/08)

Happy bergen

[label]Alken-Mas “Grimbergen” Blonde Ale (Belgium) – Fun, malty, fruity. A bit lactic and then finishing a bit sweeter than I’d like. In this style and for this price, Leffe is clearly superior. (1/08)

One eyebrow

[tanks]Unibroue “16” Ale (Québec) – All the elements are in place for this Belgian-inspired ale, but it’s just…I don’t know, it’s like a copy of a copy. I can’t put my finger on what’s missing, but something definitely is. (1/08)

How much beer could a Pennichuck chuck?

[label]Pennichuck “Pozharnik” Espresso Russian Imperial Stout (New Hampshire) – Sweet, toffee-infused, moka-brewed coffee. Aside from the sweetness, which will be problematic for some, this is very deftly done, and entirely delicious. (1/08)

Pennichuck “Bagpiper’s” Scottish Ale (New Hampshire) – Smoky (apparently deliberately so) and heavy, but despite the weirdness it’s a joy to drink. (1/08)

Triple jump

[label]Maredsous “10” Triple Abbey Ale (Belgium) – Intense, plumy and spicy, with the fat sweetness one expects, braced by power (mostly alcohol) and length. Good, perhaps very good, but not particularly special. Still, it disappears quickly, which says something. (1/08)

On the left hand side

[bottle]Wychwood “Duchy Originals” English Ale (England) – Very, very good…refreshing at first, but with a pleasantly bitter bite following, and then refreshing once more. I could drink a lot of this. (1/08)


[brewery]Wychwood “Bah Hambug!” Christmas Ale (England) – Dense, dark, and spicy, yet neither Christmas pudding nor Scotchy flavors intrude; this is a heavy, but quite decent, brew. (1/08)

The Pendle, um, swings

Moorhouse’s “Pendle Witches Brew” Pale Brown Ale (England) – Brown ale is not my favorite style, as it always seems like sort of a half-effort towards one endpoint or another. That said, this is a good one, with a fine balance of grain sweetness and bitterness marked by supple waves of froth. (1/08)