Archive for the 'de Ranke' category
I have seen this beer listed as “The world’s greatest beer,” and have seen it on several lists of “must-have” beers. While I agree that this is probably an exceptional bitter, and it goes down very smooth, the lack of distinguishing unique characteristics makes this beer rather generic for me. While this climbs to the top of the list of rather generic beers, it still isn’t something that will stand out to me on the shelf for subsequent visits to the beer store. Excellent, but not standout-ish
Brewery de Ranke is, by all accounts, notorious for hiding themselves. They make a few different beers, with labels ranging from “Guldenberg” to “Gouden Carolus”, but they always tend to hide their brewery’s name somewhere in the fine print along the bottom of the label. I suppose this is good or bad. In my opinion, de Ranke consistently makes decent beers – not great. So, for this reason, I would tend to shy away from their brews were it not for the smoke and mirrors that makes me keep grabbing for their most recent re-labeling. Thus is the case with the Guldenberg Abbey Ale.
This beer, surprisingly, pours a slightly dark and cloudy golden color. It is obviously unfiltered and looks more like a witbier or tripel than what I would traditionally expect from an abbey ale. The aroma is spicy and citrusy without the slightest hint of anise – again, a bit unexpected. In the mouth, this beer exhibits an initial carbonation burn, followed by some spice and sweetness on the tongue, drifting into a malty sweet and light metallic overtone around the back of the mouth. In a nutshell, this comes across as a rather generic Belgian tripel, without great legs to stand on. It isn’t as bombastic as some tripels; almost a blend of a tripel and a white ale. I suppose it is tasty enough, and in a room full of American domestics, it would certainly stand out. However, sitting next to the superior American and Belgian versions of this variety, the Guldenberg would certainly be sent to the corner.
All in all, not terrible, but not great, and certainly not worth the $10 price tag. And, if you didn’t notice, I’m a little annoyed that it is labeled as an “Abbey Ale” when that terminology typically denotes a darker and more anise-ridden variety.
This beer comes from Brewery de Ranke – a brewery that was apparently created by a couple of buddies who enjoyed brewing on the weekend, which is something I can respect. This is our first reviewed beer from de Ranke, although I feel sure we’ve had a couple of their beers in the past.
I gotta be perfectly honest with you here – this beer doesn’t impress me. I find it relatively impotent relative to other Christmas beers out there. The pour looks nice – it’s an opaque golden. The aroma isn’t so great – fairly non-descript, slightly like tap water from a city with a less-than-kosher filtration system. And, the flavor – well, there just isn’t a lot there. The initial taste from this is quite musty without anything very redeeming. On through the mouth we wait for something great, but without much redemption. There is a slight hoppiness and a bit of malt involved. However, there is nothing that resembles spice or anything that might remind me of the holidays. Honestly, I would place this on the same keel as a Heineken or Beck’s in terms of novelty. It’s just very plain, not all that great, and probably over-hyped. Sorry, de Ranke – I really thought you had more in you. -Ben
Judging by the packaging I thought this beer would be something to write home about. Instead I have found a brew I need to warn everyone on earth about. The smell isn’t bad, much like a saison. The taste however; is bitter, sour, soapy ,and quite frankly terrible. There is nothing about this beer that I found appealing and that makes me sad because I don’t like to trash a beer in a review. I’m not sure why they said this was a “Hoppy Belgian Winter Ale” because it doesn’t have any of these characteristics. Coming from a couple of guys that apparently are brewing on the side for fun I am going to chalk this up as a bad batch but I can’t say with confidence that I am ever going to try the Pere Noel in the near future (and by future I mean at least the next 10 years, I’m that disappointed).