Firstly, the home brew does seem quite mild as stated on the weekend, but am noticing more of a bitterness in the taste that I did not notice before. There is a nice body in the beer to go with the flavour. To be honest, while it is very mild in flavour it is probably the best chocolate like beer we have made. It's doesn't have the dusty nature from our previous attempt with the cocoa, and while there is bitterness, it is balanced ok with the sweet malt. Again, quite happy with the level of carbonation, but as we see with previous beers, this will not stay, and the beer will seperate more in the mouth as it gets older. The biggest exponent of this was the raspberry stout, where early on the level of stout with raspberry was very even and the body of the beer was very good, but found over time the raspberry came through more. The other good thing with this choc beer is that what bitterness there is seems to dissipate very soon after swallowing, and the beer is not heavy enough to make you need much times between sips. This justifies the easy drinking nature we found on the weekend.
The Petrus Oud Bruin (5.5%) has a translucent dark reddish brown colour and a sweet fruity smell but with the depth that a oak aged beer can have. there is a slight intensity on the tongue with carbonation and a sweet and sourness (cherry?), but when left to warm in the mouth this dies off to a soft finish that shows the mellowing effects of the aging in the beer. It probably doesn't appeal to me personally that much, but is fairly easy to drink and of course there is not any real spiking of flavours. there is enough body to carry through the flavours of the beer, but that said, there is not much.
There is a pale orange colour to the Cuvee Rene Gueze Lambic beer from Lindemans (5.5%) and the sour fruit smell I am starting to become accustomed to. There is definitely a sourness to the beer but is a bit more understated than the Lou Pepe Framboise we had on the weekend. It almost seems a bit sherberty in the sourness, and so doesn't deeply impact on the tongue and reminds me of the sherbert sense we have got from the Faro. I would hesitate to make any assumptions seeing this is only my 3rd lambic beer I have ever tasted, but I could infer that when it comes to the Framboise, with the addition flavouring of the raspberry, the brewer could see that the sourness needs to also be heightened to balance out the sweetness. This would therefore be a trap for uninitiated drinkers like myself thinking that the raspberry could help them get use to the taste of lambic beers, and the Lou Pepe range is probably more for those that already have an acquired taste for lambics. I was very lucky to have tried the Faro as my first lambic, and would recommend anyone wishing to get into these style of beers to start with this delicate version. There is some slight lingering in aftertaste which is expected with such flavours, but again, is not as offensive as we found the Lou Pepe. I wish we had tried this one before trying the Lou Pepe Framboise.
Well, I think I can safely say that lambics are not my style, but any of you that grew up on warheads or sour bomb lollies should give these a try.
Next time you hear from me I will hopefully be writing from Brussels after the first day of the Belgium Beer weekend. This is looking like it will be a trappist day. I look forward to letting you know how they are, probably more than you are looking forward to hearing about it from me.