Tag Archives: Belgian Beer

Rince Cochon Biere, 7.5% to 8.5%, Belgium

Belgium is a beer lovers paradise.

The sheer variety of styles on offer & – from my limited experience – high quality results are a delight to explore.

So when some buddies suggest bringing a few back to Ireland – you don’t refuse.

The garishly coloured yet striking selection pack from Difcom – a beer distributer based in France – were unknown territory for me but did include a Biere Whisky – so a few were opened.

Rince Cochon Biere Blonde, 8.5%

The Rince Cochon range sport a cheeky pig – in a variety of colours – and are all high strength offerings.

Biere Blonde displayed a lovely rich malty nose, deeply flavoured palate yet still ‘lagery’ attitude in an eminently quaffable easily over drunk 8.5% ABV.

Nice!

Rince Cochon Biere Whisky, 8.5%

Light golden brown – like whisky with bubbles!

The nose offered soft sweet notes of treacle.

The carbonation on tasting proved too much for me & blew away the rather muted flavours within. Even leaving it stand for a short while didn’t improve matters.

A tad disappointing.

Rince Cochon Biere Rouge, 7.5%

Ribena red! Wasn’t expecting that.

Fruity & very sweet nose flowed into a drinking experience I can only liken to imbibing a liquid pack of fruit pastilles.

Now this style is popular in Belgium – but plainly doesn’t work for me.

Thoughts

Only Biere Blonde pleased me.

On closer – geeky – inspection a few things emerged.

The use of sugar – to boost ABV – & natural flavouring rather than allow taste to emanate from the raw ingredients took these beers in a direction both my palate & ethos didn’t particularly enjoy.

It’s fun to experiment however & I’m glad of the opportunity to taste far & wide.

Even if only to confirm my palate preferences!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

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Dead Centre, Preciou2 Cargo, Sherry Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel, 9.2%

I never got hold of Preciou1 Cargo – but popping down to the Dead Centre Brewery to collect my tasty takeaway pizza – Preciou2 was on display.

So I bought it.

Combining 2 of my favourite styles of beer – barrel aged – sherry this time – and Belgian Tripel – the results were a delight.

Despite the 9.2% ABV this is seductively easy to drink.

Starting off with a beguiling lightness on the palate, heavier rich notes of maltiness & treacly undertones develop.

A touch of nuttiness on the finish only adds to the experience.

Preciou2 Cargo was brewed to celebrate Dead Centre’s 2nd Birthday.

With beer this good – let there be many more!

Sláinte

3 Things I Like About Belgium

The 3 things that I like about Belgium are;

1) The Music

It’s probably not what you expect from Belgium – but it made an impression on me as a young teenager – and obviously still has appeal today as it’s used in many adverts!

Other artists of note are;

Technotronic, Pump Up The Jam. A little more modern.

Jacques Brel, Dans le Port d’Amsterdam. a bit more mainstream. Or maybe…..

Praga Khan, Injected With A Poison, or perhaps a little jazz…

Django Reinhardt

2) The Beer (and the glasses it comes in)

In a former life, I used to attend political meetings invariably held in rooms above pubs. A fellow comrade also came along but often refused to drink in the bar below afterwards as it wasn’t CAMRA approved. Oh how we laughed at his prescribed ways – and he back at us drinking our mass produced tasteless p**s water. When I eventually got to Belguim and sampled the outstanding array of fine beers on offer – I wanted to ring up this fore mentioned gentlemen and apologies to him.

Belgium does more beer than Scotland does whisky!

I was simply overwhelmed by the range on offer. A restaurant in Brugge I visited had a 2 page meal menu, and a 20 page beer menu! Where do you begin? On spotting a very strange glass being served to a fellow drinker – I thought I’d start there.

Kwak and glass
Kwak and glass

Wow! Kwak. A truly tasty dark beer with very strong flavours, a bit sweet, but lovely. The fact that all the beers are served in glasses unique to the brand only adds to the enjoyment. Kwak certainly has a glass to match it’s unusual taste!

Brugge also did a very fine – if not as strong brown beer in the oddly named Brugse Zot Brune – also served in an attractive glass.

Brugse Zot c/o Whiskey Nut
Brugse Zot c/o Whiskey Nut

3) The Whisky

What?  Belgian Whisky?

Well up until the early 2000’s there wasn’t any – but now there’s around 3 whisky distillers making the aqua vitae. I managed to get a whisky mule to bring me back a bottle.

Belgian Whisky c/o Belgian Owl
Belgian Whisky c/o Belgian Owl

The Belgian Owl Single Malt is a very fine  – if slightly unusual whisky – or at least I haven’t had something like this before. It has a fruity nose as well as taste to it. Extremely enjoyable and easy to drink even at 46%. Jim Murray rates it highly and many awards have already been won. This is certainly an A whisky for me!

There are other brands available that I haven’t managed to get hold of yet.

Goldlys and Carolus don’t have as great reviews but may be worth sampling. There might be other manufactures out there also trying to jump on the whisky band wagon. One thing is for sure however.

There is more to Belgium than it’s beer!

Sláinte

Whiskey Nut

PS Short Eared Owl image at header c/o Sharpes birds.