Fifty Best Beers
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  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Gueuze  

Brouwerij Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Beersel, Belgium

The Brouwerij Fonteinen uses a blend of one, two and three year old lambics to make Oude Geuze. At 6% ABV, this unfiltered unpasteurized ale is aged in the bottle for at least a year. Refermentation takes place in the bottle giving this ale a rather spritzy head. The base is 60% barley malt and 40% unmalted wheat. Wild yeast works spontaneously to ferment the bright and tart pinkish looking liquid. Aromas of leather, grapes, berries and melon rind come off tasting quite sour before fading to a dry, invigorating end.

Brouwerij Fonteinen Oude Geuze

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Quadrupel  

Brouwerij Westvleteren 12
Westvleteren, Belgium

The Brouwerij Westvletern is situated inside the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in the Belgian municipality of Vleteren. Introduced in 1940, a yellow cap distinguishes it from the other two beers made here by the monks. The production remains rather small, and due to its extreme popularity, is very hard to come by. So difficult in fact, Belgium locals must register their license plates with the brewery in order to secure even one or two cases. Popperings hops are most likely used due to the close proximity of the poppering growing region of Belgium and its many hop yards. The liquid tastes of sour grapes and cocoa, along with a depth supported with raisins and toffee notes. “Westy,” as it is playfully referred to by beer enthusiasts, consistently rank it among the top beers on Internet beer sites. At 10.2% ABV, with a lingering warm finish and multiple layers of various complex tart flavors.

Brouwerij Westvleteren 12

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Lambic  

Cantillon Blabaer Lambik
Brussels, Belgium

Brasserie Cantillon is a lambic producer where Old School traditions prevail and the production style of their ales have not changed since 1900. This is a blueberry lambic brewed in conjunction with Olbutikken in Copenhagen, Denmark, (the Danish counterparts supply the blueberries). Blabaer is light golden in color with tints of violet and shades of light purple. The tart flavor from the blueberry skins tastes as if picked fresh off the bush. 2005 was the first ever release of this ale, which contains over 200 lbs of blueberries per 100 gallon of beer. The sour qualities will increase with age.

Cantillon Blabaer Lambik

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Pale Ale  

Duvel
Puurs, Belgium

An epic beer that is the prototype of the Belgian Strong Ale category. The Moortgat Family developed this beer in Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium over four generations. It was originally created while experimenting with ways to make beer using the light colored Pilsner malts, but with a more dynamic approach. Duvel is bottle conditioned with a very specific yeast strain that leaves a ripe melon quality to this ale. Created using the aforementioned Pilsner malt and Bohemian hops, the light malt gives the liquid its very pale golden color. For a taste that is intense and very complex, this can be deceiving. The hops, snappy and slightly fruity, play over the spicy, fruity effervescence brought about by the Belgian yeast. The most notable feature is the gigantic head that explodes off the surface and looks great in its namesake glass. The head sits cloudlike over a boozy tasting 8.5% ABV.

Duvel

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Saison  

Fantome Saison
Soy, Wallonia, Belgium

Brasserie Fantome is a small brewery located in an area of farmland noted for their classic saison style of farmhouse ales– of which Fantome produces several versions. Fantome Saison is bright and golden in color with waves of citric acidity and fruit character. Hints of oranges, peaches and strawberries cruise around this 8% ABV effervescent ale. The definite musty quality caused by the Brettanomyces yeast highlights the fruit flavors that stand out on the palate. A constant trading of leather and hay for orange and apple plays over the tongue. Fantome Saison is a complex and immensely fruity take on the saison style.

Fantome Saison

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Pale Ale  

Orval Trappist Ale
Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium

The story behind this ale goes something like this: Matilda of Tuscany, who was to be betrothed into the royal family of the region, lost her gold ring in a pool of water. She prayed frantically for its return. A trout answered her wishes and popped out of the water procuring the ring in its mouth. The princess promised to build a monastery to commemorate the miracle. The Abbey D’ Notre-Dame d’ Orval was built on the site by the pool of water and is considered one of the seven official Trappist breweries in the world where the beer and its business is still run by monks. The only style of beer produced by this monastery is a hazy-orange, almost copper ale. Orval has a large, rambunctious head that gives off waves of damp, earthly aromas. Apples, blossoms and leather waft upwards on the nose. The taste is slightly tart at first, before yielding to a splendid show of apples, pears and grassy essences. The finish is relatively smooth and creamy. It is hard to pigeonhole Orval ale into a particular style category with its unique taste amongst the normal Trappist beer styles. Orval is balanced and dry with slight earthy, tart notes and a leathery must from the use of Brettanomyces yeast strain. The monks claim the beer will be good for up to five years, and the beer’s character changes radically with aging, becoming even more tart with less snappy hop bite.

Orval Trappist Ale

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Quadrupel  

Pannepot Reserva
Oostvoteren, Belgium

This dark Belgian Strong Ale came about when the head brewer of De Struise Brouwers and his colleagues formed an idea to age Pannepot, their flagship ale, in oak barrels. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a very thin grayish, off-white head. A strong bouquet of figs leads with a tart and sulfurous aroma. Dark fruit flavors exhibit a deep mellowness from the oak aging. Pannepot Reserva becomes dry about halfway through and remains extremely dry to the finish, with a hint of tobacco leaf.

Pannepot Reserva

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Saison  

Saison DuPont Vielle Provision
Tourpes, Belgium

Located in the tiny village of Tourpes in the southern farmlands of Belgium near the French border. The Brasserie DuPont has carefully constructed this Saison farmhouse-style ale in small batches since 1850. The ale is burnt straw yellow in color and unfiltered, leaving an opaque cloudy appearance. High-carbonation is evident with a luscious white head frothing freely upwards. There are hints of peppery spice and licorice lapping at the tongue, with earthy undertones. A light and refreshing ale with a snappy, dry finish. Lemon tang zips through each sip intertwining a mellow citrus feel, while herb-like yeastiness sits thick on the palate. Delicious with soft, aged cheeses and seafood.

Saison DuPont Vielle Provision

 



 
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