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

Unibroue 2015 17 Grande Reserve Dark Ale
97 points
Hazy light mahogany color. Earthy aromas of chocolate ganache, balsamic reduction, smoked nuts, canele pastry, dried leaves, and caraway with a velvety, lively, spritzy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, massive, very long baked figs, dark chocolate, candied lemon peel, burnt caramel, and toasted pecan finish. Outstanding balance and wildly attractive flavors; an earthy and chocolaty Belgian style ale that will win you over swiftly.
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.
Collesi Triplo Malto Ale
94 points
Old gold color. Aromas of baking spices, candied citrus, ginger, fresh cilantro, quince, and chrysanthemum with a vibrant, effervescent, off-dry medium-to-full body and an effortless, elaborate, medium-long apple butter, toasted coconut, poached pears on pound cake, parker dinner rolls, and clove finish. A dense and brooding ale that has no shortage of delicious flavors.
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 Noire de Chambly Belgian-Style Black Ale
90 points
Dark mohagany color. Aromas of licorice, sticky date pudding, herbs de provence, and hint of mint with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, compelling, medium-length chocolate dipped crystalized lemon rind, pecan, key lime custard, and pumpernickel finish. A tasty and vivacious ale with great nods to the Belgian style.
Unibroue Raftman Belgian Smoked Ale
89 points
Hazy old gold color. Aromas of baked apple, lemon balm, hay, bubble gum, and lavender with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-to-long toasted baguette and almond croissant finish. A flavorful ale that deliciously captures the Belgian style.
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.
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.