Friday, April 2, 2010

Belgian Taps at O’Marro’s

Seems we’re on a beer tasting binge around here so let’s round out the week with three Belgian style brews currently pouring at O’Marro’s. Two of them are pretty damned good. The last one.... well....

Rare Vos from Brewery Ommegang
There are a lot of decent Belgian Ambers being brewed these days, but this one is especially good. It’s a cloudy, almost murky, beer that presents a dense wash of flavor, yet it’s light on the palate and so drinkable that it’s easy to down pint after pint of it. Lot’s of herbal and ripe fruit notes up front that give way to a pleasing, bready malt character. The beer is highly carbonated, but not in a harsh way. It turns buttery towards the end with a hop bitterness that sneaks up after it finishes. If Belgian ales are your thing, this one shouldn’t be missed.

Stone Soup from New Glarus
Here’s a crisp, Belgian Pale Ale with a surprisingly complex flavor profile. The Belgian yeast character presents itself right away with hints of banana, clove and pepper, none of which are overt. That earthiness doesn’t linger as the beer finishes tart and slightly dry with the lightest touch of hop bitterness. At 5.3% this isn’t quite a session beer, but it certainly drinks that way. A nice beer for Spring.

Wittekerke Rosé From Brouwerij Bavik
Beer geek reverence for Belgian ales too often translates into the misguided notion that if it’s from Belgium, it’s just gotta be good. Here’s the antidote to that strain of bullshit. Wittekerke Rosé is a Belgian made fruit beer that has all the flavor interest of children’s cough syrup with none of the kick. Pink and poofy this brew tastes like it was stirred up in a half-empty drum of raspberry sherbet about 3 minutes before it was served. Actually, it might be the perfect Easter beer. Pair it with a fistful of grape jelly beans, a dozen yellow Peeps and slip gently into sugar shock. My wife said it tastes like a kid’s beer. Maybe it’s good we don’t have kids.

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