Friday, August 5, 2011

Belgian Table Beer - Review

I've tried to wait as long as possible to review this one, just because its character has changed a bit since it was first bottled.  I also wanted to make sure to review it before I run out, so therein lies the dilemma.  Here goes...

Belgian Table Beer, brewed 6/19/11:

Appearance: very pale golden color, and now brilliantly clear (was a bit hazy from suspended yeast at first); a finger of brilliant white head dissipates into a nice ring of foam with some decent lacing

Aroma: bready, sweet malt aroma with mild spice, banana, and bubblegum notes in the background; not as super pronounced as in other Belgians, but actually quite lovely and delicate

Flavor: really nice biscuity flavor from the Pilsener malt, with a light sweetness (though the beer is quite dry) and smooth creaminess, floral and slightly earthy hop flavor all throughout the middle from the wonderful EKGs; subtle, quintessentially Belgian notes of spice, fruit (especially pear) and bubblegum towards the end with just enough bitterness at the back of the tongue

Mouthfeel: I was intentionally conservative with the carbonation on this one, and it really paid off.  Low to medium carbonation with a silky light body and wonderful smoothness/creaminess from the flaked wheat

Overall: This is a perfect summer beer, and next year I'll probably brew a batch earlier in the year so that I can start drinking it right in June.  I have loved how the flavor of the beer has evolved since I cracked the first bottle, which is good because it encourages patience, truly a virtue when one is a homebrewer.  As Ryan said on his blog, this beer pairs handsomely with food, particularly summer flavors like barbecue.  I noticed that it went particularly well with a light, lemony vegetarian pasta dish that we made, too.  Basically, I loved this beer and I am really excited to do some variations of it, particularly something along the lines of Ryan's dark version, which I think would make for a great autumn table beer.

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