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Reviews for 2018

September 2018 - Best Belgian Ale

September 2018 - Best Belgian Ale
This month's Beer feature is Best Belgian Ale

Best Belgian Ale Reviews

Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Belgian Red Ale
97 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of ripe cassis, eucalyptus, beeswax, anise, barnyard, and marinated beets with a round, racy, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a tingling, very complex, very long thyme, oregano, dried cranberry, chocolate brittle, and oak finish. A fabulously complex Flanders-style Red Ale that will please the connoisseur’s palate; stylish and deeply satisfying.
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.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Grand Cru
96 points
Reddish mahogany color. Complex aromas of salami, blueberry pancake, balsamic vinaigrette, sundried tomato, and arugula and bib lettuces with a silky, tart, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-long pomegranate glaze, mace, ripe strawberry and feta, fig, and meyer lemon spritz finish. A very appetizing and balanced Flanders-style ale that will delight enthusiastic diners.
Unibroue La Fin du Monde Belgian-Style Triple Ale
94 points
Hazy gold color. Aromas of meyer lemon curd, bubblegum, buttered grits, artisan cola, and dried mango with a satiny, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length lemon bar, carrot cake, and oregano focaccia finish. A lengthy Abbey ale that presents a wide array of flavors to the curious drinker.
Unibroue Trois Pistoles Belgian-Style Dark Ale
94 points
Mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of pumpernickel with herb compound butter, sweet yogurt with shaved chocolate, bananas on toast, and apple pastry with a silky, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long spiced fruits and roasted almond finish. A Belgian strong ale with perky herbal notes balanced by rich roasty malt.
Unibroue Don de Dieu Belgian-Style Wheat Ale
93 points
Bright light gold color. Aromas of apple struedel, orange peels, white flowers, grilled peach, and summer artichoke with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long bubble gum and speculoos cookie finish. A lengthy, buoyant Belgian-Style Blonde with bright, nicely layered flavors.
The Herkimer Pub & Brewery Belgian Golden Strong Ale
92 points
Bright minutely hazy gold color. Fruity aromas and flavors of orange peel, clove honey, banana creme on pears, and eucalyptus with a velvety, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length graham crackers in milk, herb biscuit, bubble gum, and peppery arugula finish. A mammoth golden Belgian brew with boatloads of flavor, warmth and texture.
Unibroue Terrible Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale
92 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of prune, coffee, mesquite, buckwheat honey, and black cassis with a velvety, vibrant, dryish medium body and a peppery, complex, medium-long veal demi glace, portabello mushroom with lingonberry sauce, nasturtium leaf, and mango chutney finish. A meaty, unconventionally rich Bière de Garde that stands out; port lovers need apply.
Breckenridge Brewery Brewery Lane Series Meritage Grape Juice   Bière de Garde
90 points
Amber color. Savory aromas of petit jambon de Paris, allspice dusted peanuts, toffee popcorn, Bolognese, warm milk, and demi glace with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a complex, medium-long caramelized onions and squash, parsley, dill, celery leaf, and sunflower seeds finish. Table-tuned flavors rich with herbal inflection.
Collesi Rossa Belgian-Style Amber Ale
90 points
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas of caramel-drenched coffee beans, lemon peel preserve, molasses, and Chinese 5 spice with a velvety, bright, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length chestnut honey, palo santo wood, rum raisin, chocolate-malt, and espresso bean finish. A very roasty take on a Belgian-Style amber ale.
Zundert Trappist 8 Ale
90 points
Hazy golden amber color. Aromas of leather, hazelnut creme, pencil shavings, baked rustic bread, hoisin, porcini mushroom, and cheese with a round, vibrant, effervescent, dryish medium body and a warming, layered, medium-long mirepoix, bouquet garni, and yams finish. A savory, herbal Bière de Garde that will shine at 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.
Unibroue Maudite Belgian-Style Double Ale
89 points
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of dried figs and dates, steamed milk with caramel, ground peanuts, and herb scone with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a medium-length lime pith, crisp savory waffle with butter, toffee, and dried lemon and peach on greens finish. A snappy dubbel that will pair nicely.
Lift Bridge Beer Company Farm Girl Saison
88 points
Light gold color. Aromas of honeydew melon, sweet corn, lemon curd, honey on pineapple, and yeasty sweet bread with a round, lively, spritzy, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length apricot-mango yogurt, spearmint, cardamom, and gingerbread finish. A very tasty saison with excellent structure and lip-smacking, refreshing balance.
Palm Breweries Palm Amber Ale
88 points
Copper color. Aromas of toasty fig bar, boysenberry preserve, caramel milk steamer, and distant coffee with a satiny, lively, fruity medium body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-long toasted pecan pieces, cassis, cola nut, pressed flowers, and ginger finish. A super solid Belgian-style Amber ale with complex fruitiness balanced by hints of roasty nuance.
The Herkimer Pub & Brewery Belgian Blond Ale
87 points
Hazy gold color. Toasty aromas of toasted blueberry waffles, lemon creme brulee, rapini, latex, brie rind, and orange liqueur with a vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length fruit skins, coriander, cardamom, dried dates, and straw finish. Potent and deeply layered, a strong golden that touches nearly every side of the flavor wheel.
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.
Bofferding Fruit Ale
83 points
Minutely hazy dark pink coral color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of ripe wild raspberry, blackberry leaf, orange blossom, lavender, and sautéed spinach with raspberry vinaigrette with a satiny, crisp, fizzy, moderately sweet medium body and an interesting, medium-length spearmint and cinnamon potpourri and blueberry muffin finish. A sweet and perfumed fruit beer that will be well received by sweet-tooths.
COOP Ale Works DNR Belgian Strong Ale
83 points
Hazy reddish mahogany color. Complex aromas of salami, balsamic vinaigrette, sun dried tomato, vanilla wafers, and arugula with a satiny, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, brisk sourdough bread bowl and mace finish. A solid ale for pub pairings.
Revival Brewing Co. Night Swimah Belgian-Style Raspberry Wheat Ale
82 points
Light gold color. Aromas of brioche, thyme, toasted corn bread, and rosemary Triscuits with a satiny, bright, spritzy, dryish medium body and a tingling, breezy cantaloupe, fruit pips, and glue finish. Mild hints of raspberry give this beer a bit of "Je ne sais quois" character.
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