Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oshkosh Beer Sampler: A Couple of Bottled Belgians from Gardina’s

Last Friday, I stopped in at the retail side of Gardina’s and picked up a couple bottles of beer that turned out to be especially good. Moving from light to dark, here’s what I happened upon.

Somerset Saison is brewed by the Wild Beer Co. of Westcombe, England. It’s a pale, Belgian Farmhouse Ale with a dense, rocky head and a florid aroma that offers a rush of tangerine, ginger and dry spice. That leading tangerine note is courtesy of the hops. They’re using a good amount of American-grown Sorachi Ace for this beer. The fruit and spice elements of the aroma are just as prominent in the taste. The beer is tart and citric with an underpinning of Farmhouse funk and a quenching bitterness. It finishes fast and dry. And it’s every bit as drinkable as it is complex. I love it when a beer can have this level of flavor intensity, yet remain one that you crave multiples of. Its ABV of 5% invites that, but at $5.95 for an 11.2 oz. bottle you’re more likely to keep it at one or two.

Now to the dark: Triporteur From Hell is a dark Belgian Ale brewed by B.O.M. Brewery of Bree, Belgium. This is an interesting set-up. The beer is brewed on a contract basis by a former homebrewer who roasts and bakes his own malts then brews with them within 24 hours of their being finished. Can you taste that in the beer? I think you can. The beer pours a deep brown with dark fruit, sweet caramel and mild roast in the aroma. This one is all about malt flavor: I get threads of chocolate, caramel, fresh coffee and figs. There’s just a hint of sourness in the finish that balances those lush malt flavors. Delicious. This is a fairly light bodied beer that goes down ridiculously easy. It’s 6.6% ABV and Gardina’s is selling 25.4 oz. caged and corked bombers for $9.99.

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