Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Witte, A Stout and a Belgian Blackout

It’s been a relatively quiet week on the Oshkosh beer front as the local outlets try to sell off their glut of holiday brew, but there are a few new beers that have made their way to town that you might want to soak up.

At Barley & Hops they’ve recently brought Ommegang Witte in on draught. You don’t see this beer on tap very often, especially at this time of year, when the heavier winter brews predominate. This is an excellent example of a Belgian Witbier with a good amount of spicy yeast character and a wonderful creamy/sweet malt flavor. It’s refreshing as hell without being insubstantial and a nice change of pace.

Oblio’s has something new on that’s a little more in keeping with winter. The Poet by New Holland Brewing is a classic oatmeal stout. It’s just the kind of beer you associate with January. This is a comfort beer. It has a beautifully slick texture delivering a warm and roasty malt flavor that’s balanced by just a touch of bitterness in the finish. This is an ale to spend some time with. It’s mild and easy to drink and it peaks about three pints in.

And finally, Shawn at O’Marro’s says that he now has all three of the Chimay Trappist beers available in bottle. Chimay Première (Red label) is the epitome of the Belgian Dubbel; the Grande Réserve (Blue label) is the classic Chimay beer and without equal when it comes to Belgian dark, strong ales; and Chimay Triple (White label), their light-bodied 8% golden beer that’s about as dangerous as any beer made. Plant yourself in Shawn’s Irish bar and go through the entire flight of Chimay’s Belgian beer and by the time you reach the dregs you won’t know where the hell you are. You won’t care, either.

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