About Belgian Style Specialty Ale

About Belgian Style Specialty Ale
This is not a classic style but represents various beers of similar Belgian theme. This category is, practically speaking, a catchall for beers that don’t fit neatly in an existing category. Specialty beers may be flavored with, or affected by, unusual ingredients (ginger, chipotle peppers) or fermentation agents (Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus), or brewed with unusual fermentables (buckwheat, sweet potatoes, maple syrup). Given the variation possible in this category, there are no established standards for appearance, aroma or flavor. Instead, beers in this category are defined by a pleasing combination of the beer’s elements and overall drinkability.

Top Picks for Belgian Style Specialty Ale

Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Caractère Rouge Ale
97 points
Minutely hazy sunburst color. Aromas of black cherry, wine barrel, candied orange peel, leather, candied nuts, sweet and sour sauce, and candied red apple with a round, tart, finely carbonated, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-length rose hips, pickled watermelon rind and strawberry, sea salt, and pickling spices finish. A lightly salty Belgian Style Ale with a welcome, vibrant sour character and electrifying aromas.
Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
95 points
Hazy mahogany color. Woody aromas and flavors of cedar pencil and eraser, green tobacco leaf and chicory, roasted nuts and bananas, and smoked peppercorns with a satiny, soft, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-length finish with impressions of caramelized root vegetables, cocoa-dusted nuts, and rubber leaf and sap finish. A oaky Belgian offering.
Awards: 2017 Best Belgian Style Specialty Ale
Unibroue 2014 17 Grande Réserve Dark Ale
94 points
Dark burnt sienna color. Complex aromas of fine chocolates, red bean confection, cola-nut, mandarins in whipped cream, and chrysanthemum with a velvety, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, long cafe latte, white chocolate, tobacco, hoisin sauce, carrot cake, and baked plums finish. An excellent Belgian-Style Ale with a myriad of flavors; try with east-Asian cuisines.
Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
94 points
Murky mahogany color. Curious aromas and flavors of warm rubber eraser, cocoa powder, birch bark and herb rub, and fig and raisin toast with a supple, soft, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, easy finish manifesting impressions of chocolate yogurt with granola, nut skin, baked beans, and earth finish. An earthy beer for the table.
Unibroue Noire de Chambly Belgian-Style Black Ale
89 points
Ebony color. Aromas of honeysuckle, violet, root beer, chocolate dipped graham cracker, and tea with milk and honey with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a warming, engaging, medium-long bananas on grilled bread, bubble gum, Chinese 5 spice, sweet cold brew, and concord grape finish. A delicious Belgian-style ale that is unexpectedly easy-drinking and light on its feet.
Tenute Collesi Triplo Malto Belgian-Style Specialty Ale
89 points
Brilliant hazy gold color. Herbal, spicy aromas and flavors of herb muffin, delicate spiced nuts, and dried flowers and bananas with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish with nuances of delicate pepper and mint, radicchio, and caramelized spiced apples and pears finish. A very inviting and satisfying Belgian ale with rich malt and spicy hop notes.
Collesi Triplo Malto Belgian-Style Specialty Ale
86 points
Old gold color. Boozy, hoppy aromas of new sneakers, oregano focaccia, baked apricot, and banana creme with a finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a hot, breezy shortbread cookies, meyer lemon, honey-nectarine, and beeswax candle finish. A peppery herbal ale with fine table affinity.
Unibroue Raftman Belgian Smoked Ale
85 points
Murky deep amber color. Aromas of corn pudding, shrimp, banana bread, raisin bread with clove, paprika, and apples with a supple, shy, petillant, dryish thin body and a brisk corn tortilla with a hint of lime finish. A nice Belgian-inspired ale with pillowy malt.
Deschutes Brewery Cultivateur Provision Saison
85 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Sourish aromas and flavors of coconut vinaigrette on mustard greens, reduced lemon and orange, and pepper bread with a supple, racy, finely carbonated, sourish medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long finish with overtones of nutskin, tropical fruit and pepper relish, and radish sprouts finish. A captivating and appetizing sourish Belgian style ale that will be great at the table.
Brouwerij Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus
85 points
Brilliant copper color. Spicy aromas and flavors of spiced apples, artisanal cola, and waxy honeycomb with a supple, crisp, effervescent, sweet-and-sour light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium finish that presents overtones of tamarind soda, zucchini bread, and nutskin finish. An interesting spiced soda like ale.