Friday, January 21, 2011

Oerbier Belgian Strong Dark Ale

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer! I'm not that familiar with the Belgian Strong style category but plan to look for other brewers that produce a Belgian strong dark in the future.

Oebier is a complex beer with a lot going on in terms of aroma and flavor but halfway through it occurred to me that the reason I liked it so much is that it reminded me of a good Oud Bruin like Petrus or the classic Flanders red "Duchesse" but with all the characteristics amplified to the nth degree.

The beer is a beautiful rich mahogany color with ruby highlights and a full lingering tan head from the carbonation. The aroma is what first led me to the comparison to the Flanders beers as the acidic dark fruit smell rose with some hint of alcohol.

The flavor is big and bold at first, mostly from the fig, raisin and caramelized malt but this overshadows the wood and pepper notes that come out as the beer warms bringing with it the phenol's of black pepper and clove. This beer is tart and has a vinous quality that insists on a slow appreciation allowing the beer to release even more subtle flavors like chocolate and earth.

If pushed to look for detractors the only thing I can find are a very subtle metallic flinty aftertaste.
I would highly recommend this beer and the only thing that stops me from buying a lot more is the price. This 10.5oz(?) bottle  from 41st liquors ran $5.40 which is hard for me to justify even though I truly enjoyed it.
I guess it's time to figure out how to brew it myself.

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