The owner of the brewery, Vincent Dilewyns, was a dentist that home brewed and the ‘hobby’ got out of hand. The nose produces straw, citrus fruit (heavy on the grapefruit) some faint pineapple and pears, herbs, some bread, some honey – -will it ever end?? The much fuller – and sourer – Rodenbach Grand Cru is far more difficult to get hold of but is particularly delicious. #10) Duvel – Brewery Duvel Moortgat – Puurs. Mouthfeel is very effervescent with a lingering lactic sour cherry finish. One just needs to contact them to see if it might be possible to join in a tour. The beer pours a cloudy straw gold color and then the aroma hits…you really don’t even need to lean into it…it comes to greet you! Wonderful! DeDolle Brouwers (The Mad Brewers) is owned by the Herteleer family who purchased the 150 year old brewery in 1980. A trip to a specialist beer store will give you many options to try. At that time, hops, the modern preservative ingredient in beer, had yet to reach Belgium but brewers knew that beers containing lactic and ascetic acids kept for longer. Brut Reserve pours a golden straw color and produces a huge head that remains for some time. OK. For the secondary fermentation, wine yeast is used. ‘. Belgium's beer-making history goes back centuries and it's famous the world over as being a top beer country. To me, this is also a world class tripel comparable to Westmalle tripel; which IS the standard. When the beer is properly aged the temperature is lowered until the beer (and all residual dregs) is frozen in the neck of the bottle. I first tasted beers brewed by Struise in 2006 and it was love at first sip. This beer was one of the first beers over 20% alcohol that was very well put together and actually tastes like a beer. Whatever the truth, the prescription certainly tastes good. It pours a luscious dark brown with a creamy tan head. This beer was originally brewed for the great little pub in Bruges – De Garre, that is a must for any visitor to the town. I was IN LOVE… Since that time, these three beers can always be found in my home bar and I drink them regularly. The brew master from Westvleteren, Mathieu Szafranski (from Polish origin) became a partner in the brewery and brought along the recipes, the know-how and the St.Sixtus yeast strain. Brewer Kris and his wife Els run the brewery and mother Moes used to be the illustrious tour guide until she retired at age 90. The aroma immediately takes you in and you know this is a world-class sour beer. Both are very hard to find in the U.S. #9) DeDolle Dulle Teve – De Dolle Brewers – Esen. We’ve aged it on various different barrels, including bourbon and calvados. Although the time and place when drinking this beer for the first time added to the overall appreciation of it, there is still something about Westvleteren 12 that entices me a slight bit more. The brewery has been in existence sine 1784…so they must be doing something right! The flavor is outstanding with complex character including figs, plums, toffee, and some nice spices with the alcohol well hidden for a 10.5% beer. The aroma is of fresh cut grass, some spiciness from the coriander along with some other crisp earthiness. After the battle on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as war booty and put it on top of their Belfry. ”, #12) Gouden Carolus Tripel – Het Anker Brewery – Mechelen. With all its dark and strong complexity, this beer lends itself perfectly to all types of barrel-aging, which is exactly what we’ve done. Maybe brewer Manu Landtsheer should rename it ‘Not Too Ale”. From the Struise web site regarding the Pannepot beer –, This ‘Old Fisherman’s Ale’, named after the fishing trawlers on which men would risk life and limb to feed their families, sits somewhere in between a Belgian strong dark ale and a stout. Produced by Hoegaarden. The effervescents is nourishing and refreshing—a popped cork brings forth a hazy straw yellow ale with a fluffy white head that almost begs to be scooped with a finger. The brewery has 294 Oak casks or foeders where the beer is conditioned giving it it’s unique oakey lactic character. These two are the most common, dark and full-bodied, sour with an almost chocolate-like taste. The beer is categorized as  a Belgian pale ale and it fits this bill as well as a strong golden and if it had a bit more haze, one could say it has some characteristics of a saison. Our selection of yeasts is the perfect base for these typical aromas and taste. There is a sweet and sour melange of aromas including some of the fruity esters associated with tripels – stone fruits and very very mild banana blended with all the funky sourness from the gueuze blending – horse blanket, barnyard, grass, hay, bread…but neither one dominates the other…it is a perfect blend of both wonderful styles. Official estimates suggest that there are more than 700 beers currently in production in the pint-sized country, with the rarest and most precious given the same reverence as fine wine. Traditional gueuze can be hard to track down and you may have to settle for the sweeter, more commercial brands, notably Belle Vue Gueuze (5.2%), Timmermans Gueuze (5.5%) and the exemplary Lindemans Gueuze (5.2%). It is a classic tripel with notes of grain with a subtle spicy sweetness and nice lingering finish. He offered the statue to the emperor of Constantinople (the current Istanbul) to put it on the cupola of the Aya Sophia. The brewery started selling the Trappist beers under the brand names Trappist Westvleteren, St.Sixtus or even later Sixtus. Claire handles all the marketing. When very fresh, the cherry aroma explodes along with other hints of stone fruit, apples, pears, raspberry and other floral characters.