Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas in Belgium Gift Pack + Review

Though I made a request that nobody buy me beer for Christmas (gift certificates, glassware, and everything else was fine), my sister still felt like purchasing me this Christmas in Belgium Gift Pack, distributed by the Shelton Brothers. I'm actually glad she did cause they look interesting.

The pack contains 5 beers. Two of them are Belgian Dark Ales (Winterkoninkske and Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap) while the other three are more of the pale ale variety (Pere Noel, Zinnebir Xmas, Serafijn Christmas Angel).

After getting home from a bunch of family stuff last night I decided to jump right into the first one. I did a bit of research via BeerAdvocate on all of these because I'd never heard of any of them before. Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap is a 7.4% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It is brewed by Dany De Smet and his wife who name their brewery "Slaapmutske," which is a term used to describe the last beer had before going to sleep. Dany was formerly brewmaster at Brewery Huyghe (Delirium line of beers). Nightcap pours a deep purplish-brown with an off-white, yellow-tinged head. The aroma contains grapes, sugary candy, and some earthiness from the Belgian yeast. The taste of most Belgain Dark ales is hard for me to pick apart because the malts or more subtle than darker American ales that use a bunch of roasted, chocolate, and black patent malts whose flavors are very easy to pick out. Usually in Belgian dark ales I get a sweet fruit taste, alcohol, and earthiness. That's what I got here, sans the alcohol. The mouthfeel seemed just a tad too light for the beer, but that's only a small gripe. I was very pleased with this beer, an easy drinking dark Belgian that indeed works well as a nightcap.

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