Monday, January 11, 2010

Belgian Beer Review 2: Buffalo Belgian Stout

We rented a cabin in SE Ohio this weekend (near Hocking Hills) to celebrate my wife's step-mother's milestone birthday. Great fun with the kids and extended family, including lots of sledding, hiking, and drinking beer around the fireplace. Most of the weekend I drank Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but had brought a bottle of Buffalo to warm us up post sledding.

Brewery: Brouwerij Van Bossche
Brewery Location: Belgium
Beer: Buffalo Belgian Stout [Google translation]
BJCP Style: 16E. Belgian Specialty Ale
Serving: Bottle

Appearance: black, turns tawny when held to the light; small tight tan head--very nice presentation

Smell: not heavily aromatic, but hints of spices from the yeast--cloves, citrus; more roasted malt as it warms

Taste: The beer in incredibly smooth, and the flavor really opens up as the beer warms, with clove, subtle chocolate malt, ripe pit fruits (cherry, prune), and hints of vanilla

Mouthfeel: light, smooth, prickly carbonation

Drinkability: This beer is highly drinkable. The flavors are subtle and nuanced. Best to drink this one over time--letting it warm and open up, so that the true flavors really come out. Especially good advice since the beer is 9% abv, with no alcohol bite to it, which might lead one to drink this faster than one should. I like this beer as an occasional beer--this is the second time I've tried it (see notes from a tasting at Jungle Jim's a few years back). Doesn't knock ones socks off, but remains complexly understated, which was perfect for an afternoon of warming up around the fire.

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