I’ve recently discovered I have a heart condition and have had to cut back a little bit on my beer intake. Therefore, I’ve been trying to keep it to no more than one a day. If I can only have one, I’m going to go big, like this one. A few weeks ago I corresponded back and forth with @belgianexpert on Twitter, and found out Wendy was located in Chicago (only a little bit north of me). Little did I know, she really is a Belgian beer expert, and she offered to send me a few beers. I mentioned I had heard a lot of good things about Scaldis, and she sent me three of their beers! Huge thanks to Wendy and Vanberg & DeWulf for sending me this.
Location: Poured into a Westvleteren XII goblet glass from the cork top 750ml bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 12% ABV, ~ 380 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s copper-amber in color with some red hues and it’s a bit hazy, with some visible sediment in it. It’s got a good amount of carbonation in it, but there’s absolutely no head, Or even a ring bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma is an interesting mix of caramel malt and fig with a bit of fruitiness and alcohol fusals.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the body is mostly smooth with a little bit of crispness from the carbonation in it. The sweetness hits immediately, with some caramel maltiness and bready flavors. In the middle, these flavors mix with some fruitiness, which included pears, figs, and dates. These sweet flavors grew to a sharp finish, accompanied by some caramel alcohol fusals. The caramel flavors and fusals are joined by some alcohol spiciness and warmth in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a rich, sweet beer, and I’d pair it with something solid to cut down on the sweetness a bit. For me, I’d bring an American flair to this beer and pair it with a burger with a big, thick, toasted bun. The toastiness and breadiness of the bun would mix nicely with the sweet flavors in the beer, and the juicy burger would knock down the sweetness and deliver on its own.
Overall Impression: Compared to other styles, I haven’t had many Belgian beers, and as my beer experiences grow, so does my appreciation for Belgians. There were some very nice caramel flavors in this beer, which combined with a very complex mix of fruity flavors. The complex flavors were nice, but I really enjoyed the caramel and fruitiness mixed with the warming alcohol in the finish. With it being such a big beer, it took me an hour or so to finish this bottle, but I really enjoyed every sip of it, and continued to feel its effects for a while. If you can find this, definitely give it a try.