Sunday, January 3, 2016

25 Belgian beers I tried and (mostly) liked - Part 3

Last year and two years before that I made a list of 25 Belgian beers I tried. This year was a very good year for trying out new beers. So much so that I am already ready to make another list. It was another year of wonderful discoveries. I never knew there were so many Belgian beers I'd never tried before *happy sigh*.

All beers were once again rated with my very subjective rating scale:

**** = loved it! Will drink it again and again.
*** = liked it a lot! Will order it again (and again).
** = it's ok. Not bad, but I won't order it again.
* = bleh, bleh, BLEH! Stay away from this one.

51. Amburon ***

A nice strong blonde beer. It was one of my many new beer discoveries at the wonderful Belgian beer cafe de Gouverneur in Maastricht where they let you choose your beers from their beer bible:

52. Broeder Jacob Formidabel **

This blonde beer was nothing like its name would suggest. Not bad, but definitely not good either. I think it was the only disappointing find from my trip to Bierboetiek de Zythotheek in Valkenburg. I guess you need to be a Belgian soccer supporter to really enjoy it.

53. Ciney blonde**

Another disappointing blonde beer. So much so that I don't even remember when or where I drank it. Don't order this one, there's much better beers out there.

54. Corsendonk Agnus triple ***

A nice blonde triple. Nothing more and nothing less.

55. Deugniet***

A very nice blonde beer. It tastes a lot better than the label would suggest. I only tried it because it reminded me of Brugse Zot, which I really enojoy. Not as good, but nice enough.

56. Ename triple ***

Another nice blonde triple. It's incredible to think about the fact that Belgium literally has hundreds of triple beers, many of which we do not even know exist.

57. Floreffe blonde ***

This was a very nice discovery while I was enjoying the spring sun on the terrace of the Belgian beer cafe de Brabante Aap in Amsterdam. A strong blonde beer that never disappoints.

58. Florival triple ****

A very nice triple. It's from the same brewery that makes Affligem, which I love, so it's not surprising I really enjoyed this one as well.

59. Gauloise amber ***

This year I discovered I really enjoy amber beers as well as blonde (dark beers have never been my favorite, certain exceptions not withstanding). Gauloise amber is a really nice amber beer.

60. Gentse strop **

Another two star beer I hardly remember drinking. Boring blonde beer.

61. Gentse tripel ***

Luckily not everything from Gent is boring. This triple I really enjoyed. This was another pick from de Bierboetiek Zythotheek.

62. Gouden Carolus Triple ***

I first discovered Gouden Carolus when I lived in Groningen. I already enjoyed their blonde beer, but their triple is even nicer.

63. Hof ten dormaal dubbel barrel aged **

Not really my cup of tea, or glass of beer if you will. It's very dark and has a strong taste I didn't really enjoy. 

64. Kapittel Watou tripel abt 10 ***

Another nice amber triple that convinced me I should try more amber beers.

65. Kasteel tripel ***

This was a beer I was convinced I had drank before, but it wasn't on any of my lists. So I gave it a try and I am glad I did, because it was another very nice one. 

66. Kwak **

I had the same idea with Kwak. In additon, it is one of those beers I often see people order, so I figured it must be very good. Not so much, or maybe it's just me. 

67. La Chouffe ***

I finally got over myself and tried La Chouffe, as it seems to be a lot of people's favorite. And I have to say I wasn't disappointed. Will definitely have this again.

68. Lamme Goedzak **

This is another discovery from de Gouverneur. Not my favorite, but it was alright to try. The two stars is probably because it's a Dutch/Belgian brew, and I usually don't like the typical Dutch taste.

69. Leffe Christmasbeer **

I'm usually not a fan of special season beers, and Leffe Christmasbeer is exactly why. It's like a Leffe only without the nice Leffe taste. 

70. Omer ***

Omer is one of the nice surprises that came from the Albert Heijn supermarket. It's a nice strong blonde beer, just the way I like it.

71. Orval **

Another beer that's quite popular. I didn't get why. Let's leave it at that.

72. Piraat ***

Despite the name, it's a really nice amber triple. 

73. Poperings hommelbeer ***

This is one of those beers that's really nice, but you should never have more than one. It's a strong blonde beer with a sweet honey taste.

74. Reinaert tripel ***

Reinart is a very nice Abdij tripel. Another one I hope to drink more of.

75. Satan Red ***

I wanted to drink the Gold (blonde) one, but they didn't have it, so I went for the amber beer instead. It tastes much better than it looks.

If you enjoyed reading about these beers, make sure you also check out part 1 and part 2.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

25 Belgian beers I tried and (mostly) liked - Part 2

A while back I made a list of 25 Belgian beers I tried, and now, two and a half years later, it's time for the next 25 Belgian beers. I took my time with this next selection, not because I started to enjoy sampling beers less, but simply because the more beers you have drunk the fewer new ones you come across. Also, you don't always want to try something new. More often than not over the last couple of years, I just enjoyed drinking Belgian beers I'd drank before. With 25 exceptions...

All beers were once again rated with my very subjective rating scale:

**** = loved it! Will drink it again and again.
*** = liked it a lot! Will order it again.
** = it's ok. Not bad, but I won't order it again.
* = bleh, bleh, BLEH! Stay away from this one.

26. Achel ***

A nice blonde Trappist beer. Nothing more and nothing less. I would order it again, but I wouldn't search for it specifically.

27. Affligem blonde ****

I love the taste of Affligem. It's a great blonde Belgian beer. Definitely a beer I would order if it was on the menu.

28. Affligem triple****

The only beer I enjoy more than an Affligem blonde is an Affligem triple. Then again, 2014 was quite the triple year for me. You cannot go wrong with this one.

29. Brigand triple ***

This one was a nice surprise. If I had seen what the bottle looked like I never would have ordered it, but it was actually really good.

30. Brugge triple****

Another great triple discovery! I first tried Brugge triple in an Belgian beer cafe in Amsterdam, and have drunk it a few times since. Just a great tasting triple.

31. Brugse Zot bock ***

I really enjoy Brugse Zot and I am not generally a big fan of bock beer, so this beer was a bit of a gamble. It was actually not bad for a bock beer, but I definitely prefer a regular Brugse Zot over a Brugse Bok.

32. Cuvee des trolls **

This beer pretty much taste like you'd expect from the label. It isn't awful, but it's also not a beer I would order again. 

33. First angel **

A "well meaning" bartender suggested this beer to me, after he was convinced many of his triples were not really for me. This blonde beer mixed with champagne (!) couldn't be further from what I would have chosen myself. And for good reason.

34. Gerardus kloosterbier blonde **

Gerardus wasn't really my cup of tea. That's all I remember about it. Thus, very forgettable.

35. Grimbergen double **

Grimbergen is one of those abdij beers that just isn't a taste for me. I don't hate it, but I also do not really enjoy the taste of any of their beers, including the Grimbergen double.

36. Guldenberg **

Guldenberg also didn't do much for me. I remember this having a rather bitter after taste that I didn't really appreciate.

37. Hoegaarden ***

I haven't drank this beer in probably 10 or 15 years even, but I realized it wasn't on any of my lists yet. I spent quite a number of years drinking this White  beer. Very enjoyable, at least that is how I remember it.

38. Karmeliet triple ***

Karmeliet is another nice discovery. It isn't in my top 5 of favourite triples, but definitely in my top 20. Very enjoyable.

39. Leffe Ritual no. 9 ****

A while back I discovered Leffe had a whole host of different beers besides blonde and dark, so I decided to try them all. Leffe Ritual is the greatest of them all. Very nice.

40. Leffe Royale ***

Leffe Royals also was quite nice, but not as good as the Ritual or a regular Leffe blonde.

41. Leffe triple ****

This Leffe is one of my favourites, but that's of course because it's a triple and as I said, I'm really into those lately. But you really cannot go wrong with any of the Leffe beers.

42. Limburgse witte **

This beer isn't very exciting. I would just try something else if you have the choice.

43. Maes **

I was at Pukkelpop this summer and they served Maes beer in plastic cups there. Not a beer to get very excited about, but not bad compared to some of the Dutch ale.

44. Ops-ale **

I think their slogan "simple the best" might be meant ironically, because this is definitely not the best beer I've ever had. It was ok-ish.

45. St. Feullien triple ***

Another nice triple. Not the best I've had, but also not the worst.

46. Ter Dolen triple ****

I really enjoyed Ter Dolen triple. I would order this again (and again). Very nice!

47. Tongerlo prior ***

I had the blonde beer of Tongerlo called Prior. It was nice, I would drink it again.

48. Val-Dieu blonde ***

A nice beer, but not one of my favourites. I guess a little like the cheese from the same region.

49. Waterlootoise triple ***

I bought a six-pack of Waterlootoise triple in a giftshop in Waterloo. It tasted so much better than I expected from giftshop beer. Then again, Belgian beer is always good, even if it's very commerical.

50. XX Bitter ***

Finally, another beer that tasted much better than it looked. And contrary to its name, it wasn't all that bitter at all.

If you enjoyed reading about these beers, make sure you also check out part 1