I’m not going to my homebrew club meeting tonight, so I thought I’d enjoy a couple of good ones tonight. I bought this one last year when I bought the Westy 12. It came in a gift pack with three different St. Bernardus beers and a couple of glasses. I already had the Abt 12, which I actually preferred a bit more than the Westvleteren 12, so I was looking forward to trying this one too. The bottle had a date of 17 08 15 on the side.
Location: Poured into a small St. Bernardus goblet glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8% ABV, ~270 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: very clear and bright golden in color with a ton of carbonation. It had a thick foamy bright white head with great retention. Slightly spicy Belgian aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body is surprisingly light and the mouthfeel is smooth. There’s a light lemon and pepper flavor up front. The peppery Belgian spiciness grows throughout with a light lemon, yeast, and cracker like flavor in the background. The Belgian spiciness peaks in the finish, but isn’t harsh at all, and lasts for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer is mostly light and peppery, so I’d play off of the Belgian spices and go with a seasoned steak or pepperjack cheeseburger. Since it’s also that time of year, I’d pair this beer with Girl Scout cookies, and in particular, the Lemonades – playing off of the lemony and bready flavors in the cookie.
Overall Impression: The flavors were mostly light, allowing for the Belgian character to really stand out. The peppery Belgian spiciness was present throughout and left some lemon, yeast and cracker like flavors in the background. The light flavors and body also make it very drinkable, and you’d never suspect it was 8% ABV. Overall, it’s a good, authentic beer that highlights the standard for Belgian spicy character.