Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grottenbier Brune (6.5%)

When I first saw this beer, seeing caramel as an ingredient, of course I was intrigued, and seeing it was Belgian, I knew I would be getting it for a try. I often get disappointed with European beers that can have some sort of artificial sweetness that really takes away from the beer overall. Still, with my sweet tooth, I can't seem to stop myself, in the hope I will find one where the sweetness is better integrated into the beer.
Not only this, but after a hot and steamy day yesterday, all I had wanted to come home to was a beer I could 'smash' (yeah, doesn't happen to me often, even with the Aussie summer). However, opening up a Moo Brew Pale, I found it was overcarbonated and nearly had foam coming out my nose when I tried to gulp it down. Still, with today being much cooler, I knew I could afford to try a beer with a bit more character...or is that just caramel.

When pouring out the beer, it seemed slightly overcarbonated, and first smells were of some dankness with the sweet nose. Allowing it to warm up and let the carbonation out a bit, the dankness turned more into an aged spiciness and the sweetness seemed quite well integrated in smell and taste. There is a bit of dry yeastiness on the back with slight residual sweetness in aftertaste. Overall the sweetness is still a little too high-noted for my tastes, but definitely one of the better attempts I've had, leaning more towards the abbey style beers giving it a fuller and better integrated palate, so the type of sweetness does not dominate. It's possible it could have had some more unfermented sugars to give it a bit more body to help coat the tongue better in the flavours it has, but as I said, a good example of the style...well, what I have tasted that is similar to this.
I am not sure if I am sipping it slowly because of the flavours of because I keep feeling the need to burp after each sip. I think it is a bit of both, so I guess they negate each other when it come to my overall opinion of it. Still, with the carbonation dropping, I am drinking it a bit faster, and with it warming up, the malt sweetness is giving the beer a good backbone on the palate, so maybe there is enough of the unfermented sugars in the beer, and help offset the slight higher notes of sweetness. There is also a slight bit of alcohol coming through on the back palate along with some on the nose, which is good to help give it more of that abbey beer style to it.

Anyway, going to stop doing my brand of dissecting on it and enjoy it now it had gotten good...



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