Cuvée de Noël – St Feuillien (La Roeulx, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: C-

Cuvée de Noël 2012 – St Feuillien, 9% ABV – 75cl., (La Roeulx, Belgium)

  • Style: (Christmas) Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: Alcoholic metallic fizzy bloated brown sugar malt
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $10 (after 10% off) – 75cl., June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Yes I know it’s the middle of the summer, but does it really matter? A good beer is a good beer for all seasons. Pours pale copper brown with a large lasting creamy head, sticky lacing, a good layer of retention, and surprisingly almost no activity.

Nose: Brown sugar malts with a hint of spices. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: bubbly-tingly/fizzy crisp mouthfeel, incoming malts + alcohol

Mid-palate: (metallic copper taste-bottle contamination?), continued fizzy, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) toffee malts, brown sugar, alcohol, molasses, cola, dark fruit

Finish: bloated, alcohol, metallic malty bitter finish.

Summary: Perhaps I got a bad bottle but this had an off-putting metallic taste to it. Coupled with it’s over booziness and excessive fizzy texture, I can’t recommend it.

Brùton St.Renna (Christmas Special Beer) – Birrificio Brùton (Lucca, Italy)

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  • My Rating: B-

Brùton St.Renna (Christmas Special Beer) – Birrificio Brùton, 9% ABV – 750ml., (Lucca, Italy)

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  • Style: (Christmas) Spiced Strong Ale
  • Taste: Brown sugar caramel malt nutmeg whiskey
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $15 (after 10% off) – 750ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50 after some thought

Visual: Underneath the bottle cap is a fitted plastic bottle seal, a first that I’ve ever seen. Pours translucent medium dark cola brown with a minimal dissipating head, thin ringed retention, lots of micro bubbly streams.

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Nose: very brown sugary malty, candi sugar (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet malts, alcoholic

Mid-palate: tingly-silky mouthfeel/little CO2, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) heavy caramel malts, brown sugar, nutmeg, fig/date dark fruit, whiskey

Finish: mild coriander dryness, boozy, malty light bitter-med sweet finish.

Summary: A quality brew with great body, good flavours and good drinkability.

Corsendonk Christmas Ale – Brasserie du Bocq (Turnhout, Belgium)

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  • My Rating: B-

Corsendonk Christmas Ale – Brasserie du Bocq, 8.1% ABV – 25cl., (Turnhout, Belgium)

from ratebeer.com:

“On the palate this silky smooth ale is predominantly malty, with smoky, spicy and citrusy notes, and a long, lingering finish that is lightly tart and malty.”

  • Style: Belgian Strong Ale
  • Taste: creamy -> alcohol/malt/brown sugar -> licorice/bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it : Hastings Liquor Store
  • How much: $20/6 x 250cl. + branded glass, December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, just once.

Visual: I bought mine as a 6-pack which included a free glass. As a collector of fine beerware, this was pretty much a no-brainer. Pours hazy medium-dark brown with a small lasting ultra-foamy micro CO2 head, lots of thick lacing, several moderate-speed streams.

Nose: initial reaction – burnt toast?!/charcoal, malts, molasses. (6/10)-aromatic strength.

Attack: super-creamy mouthfeel,

Mid-palate: alcohol detection, (7/10)-sweetness, (MAIN) malt, turbinado sugar, dark rum (HINT) cola

Finish: mild licorice, malty bittersweet fizzy finish.

Summary: It has a strange “burntness” up front but is alright once you get used to it. Good character, body, and balance.