De Struise Brouwers
De Panne, Belgium
Style: Christmas Spiced Belgian Tripel
Aroma: Fresh baked bread and spices. Salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Thick canned peaches and oranges. Light alcohol with just the faintest hint of leathery funk. This beer offers something new with each whiff.
Appearance: Murky, cloudy, copper color. Mousse-like white head that won’t go away. Leaves loads of lace on the glass.
Flavor: This beer is like biscuits with spiced peach jam and butter or spiced peaches in fortified wine syrup. Fresh bread malt lingers into the finish. A dance of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, stone fruits, peach and apricot, and orange citrus. There is an assertive alcohol, but sweet, not hot.
Mouthfeel: The full body is thick and syrupy. This is accentuated by relatively low carbonation. There is definite alcohol warmth.
Overall Impression: This is a rare and great beer from the fellows at De Struise. Complex layers of fruit, spice, alcohol, and malt character. The thick full body reinforces all the complex flavors. Great yes, but is it really worth the $10 I paid for an 11 oz. bottle? Probably not. This would be a great beer to serve with fruit desserts. My mind is wandering to fruit tarts as I type.