Archive for the 'Andelot' category
I picked this little ditty up at Total Wine last night while perusing their selections for an upcoming taste challenge (be on the look out in the next few days). I didn’t really want it but I was one of the few bottles I didn’t recognize, so, what the hell, you know?
As it pours into the glass this beer has a pale straw-colored hue, but as the liquid and sediment settle is has a merky golden color. The frothy, pure white head sits cleanly, about 3/4 inch on the top. Oh by the way, my girlfriend is going to try her hand at beer reviewing so I will post her thoughts in italics. “It looks like beer. The head looks like snow.” There is a combination of lemon and red apples in the smell. It is sharp but not pungent or abrasive. “It smells like apricots.” She’s totally wrong. This is a very light triple. I’ve had some whose spice characteristic burn so much that it over powers the flavor but this one is very drinkable. It has a well-rounded, soft mouthfeel that allows the flavors to glide across the palate. There isn’t any one taste that sticks out. Lemon, grapefruit, apple and grapefruit mix together nicely with the floral hop arrangement. “It has some apricot in it with a hint of lavender. P.S. I’m making stuff up to make fun of my boyfriend.” She’s an idiot…Oh yeah be careful with this beer because the abv will sneak up on you quick. I really like this beer. It’s not hard to find so give it a try if you’re into triples.
This is the 4th and final available brew from Andelot brewery (at least stateside). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste this one in series with the rest of the brews because, for some reason, this one was available at my local beer stores later than the prior 3. Nevertheless, I’m glad to finally round out the collection.
My only real beef with the Andelot brewery is their sorry job of indicating what type of beer you’re buying. Sure, it’s cool to have 4 catchy names for your beers. But, please, write in what variety of beer I’m drinking, even if it’s just in small letters at the bottom. Smoke and mirrors like this may work wonders for malt ‘beverages’ like Smirnoff Ice or a Bacardi Breezer, but it’s really not necessary on what claims to be a quality brew. So, okay, now that I’ve got that off my chest, on to the Diabolique.
This is actually a very good beer. Upon first pour, it becomes apparent that this is probably a Belgian white ale. The color is a slightly translucent pale yellow and the aroma is sour and slightly wild. In the mouth, you initially get a blast of the sourness on the tip of the tongue. Again, it’s a ‘wild’ sourness typical to certain strains of yeast that you’ll find in a white or even a Flemish-type ale. On through the mouth, however, this beer develops a light sweetness with hints of citrus. In the end, the sourness returns at the back of the throat, and this is the sensation that you’re left with for a bit. I believe this is a rather good version of this style – it is crisp, refreshing, and offers a nice melange of flavors. Again, if they would just tell us that it’s a white ale up front, I’d be even happier about it.
This is the third installment from the Andelot Brewery line. The Euphorique is (finally) labelled with an adequate description as a “Belgian White Ale”. Chiming in at 6.5% abv, this is just enough, but not too much. The pour is a light golden and cloudy hue. The aroma is rather citrusy with a bit of fruit. In the mouth, the beer is crisp and sweet with just a slight metallic bitterness. Overall, I would say this is a great representation of a Belgian white, and one I wouldn’t mind having again. Furthermore, the price is pretty good for a Belgian white. We are fortunate to have a number of well-priced witbiers in the States, so I can’t say this is the best value, but it’s certainly better than a lot out there.
Now, this beer is everything that the Angelique should have been. From reading the label, it labels this as a ‘Belgian abt Style Ale’ – quite frankly, I don’t know what this means. From some research, I find that a lot of folks don’t know what this means, but the nearest I can come is that maybe this is close to a quadrupel-style ale. Regardless, this tastes to me like what a great Abbey-style ale should be. It is MUCH less boring than the Angelique – it contains a tastier aroma rich in dark cherry and raisins. In the mouth, you get lots of dark fruit, light hints of horehound, and just a touch of cinnamon. This all combines for a very complex beer that is also very tasty. The beer leaves you with an aftertaste heavy with fruit. I find this a highly agreeable beer, especially at the $7 price tag. I will certainly drink this again, and I would recommend it to any discerning beer drinker on a budget.
[Ed. Note - Since this is apparently like a Quadrupel, but tastes to me like an Abbey style ale, I'm putting it in both of these categories - you have been warned.]
This beer is a new one to me. After a bit of research, it seems that a Seattle-based importer is importing 4 beers from the Andelot Brewery in Belgium that ‘over-deliver on quality and value’. From the pricepoint (about $7), I feel like these are being marketed to compete with the Ommegang Brewery offerings here in the States.
One thing that I both like and dislike in this line of beers is their labelling. They have 4 varieties – Angelique, Diabolique, Mystique, and Euphorique. This format, I like. What I don’t like is that each of the varieties lacks ample description of the beer. The Angelique offers no description except that it is a ‘Belgian Ale’. Thanks, Cochese, that tells me a lot, since this comes from the country with the largest number of ale varieties in the world. What I found out after corking this is that this beer is basically a Belgian Abbey-style ale. It isn’t bad for the money, but it isn’t great. The pour is a cloudy purple-amber. The aroma is heavy with licorice and some dark fruit. The taste is fairly typical, but maybe a bit bland for the variety. It has the expected flavors of licorice and cherry, but lacks the spicy complexity that I prefer. I believe this would be a great first beer for someone just getting accustomed to the Belgian offerings. And, it will be a good go-to beer for anyone looking for a good value in a Belgian ale. However, it lacks the complexity to rival much on the market, including the similarly priced Ommegang Abbey ale. In the end, it’s a great beer, but not one that garners any exceptional review.