Skip to main content

Beer Review #272 Verboten

02-20-03This will be my last Belgian beer review for a bit. I’ve done four over the last week and a half and I think that it is probably time to change it up a bit. Today, we have Verboten by the Weyerbacher Brewing Company. The bottle says that this is a bottle conditioned, Belgian-style pale ale. It comes in at a nice 5.9%. Belgian pale ales are one of my favorite types of beer. They often have a nice mix of complexity, hops, and Belgian yeast ester to make them interesting and drinkable. There are a lot of examples, both good and bad, out there. Oddly, I could not find a single Belgian pale ale when I was in Brussels two summers ago.

Verboten (German word, but a small part of Belgium does speak German) pours a nice orange color. It has a white head and has a good bit of haze to it. The nose is packed with Belgian yeast esters. There are some spice hops at the end along with a little sliver of sweetness.

The flavor on this beer is complex and balanced. It starts out with an array of Belgian esters. The malt comes in there and provides a nice dose of sweetness that helps mitigate the spiciness. Soon after a good hop flavor comes in and, you guessed it, mitigates the malt. The ending on this beer is very spicy with contributions from both the yeast esters and the hops. The two really play nicely off of each other and provides a nice shot of complexity.

I really liked this one. It actually might be my favorite Belgian pale ale to date. The balance is just right and I really like how spicy this beer is. It makes me want to drink more while being flavorful and refreshing. This one is a winner. (more…)

Beer Review #33 Ommegang Abbey Ale

11-08-02I thought I was out of my Belgian kick that I was on over the summer, but I found another reason to continue. Ommegang Abbey Ale is a Belgian Dubbel from Brewery Ommegang out of Cooperstown, NY. I saw two options of bottling for this beer, a four-pack or a 750 ml corked bottle. I opted to go for the four-pack as it was a better buy and I didn’t have to drink it all at once.

I allowed the beer to warm up at cellar temperatures as it takes on a different feel when it is colder. The cold attempt I made I didn’t get much aroma, but a lot of sourness. Once I allowed it to warm on my next beer, I had a much better tasting beer. It pours a deep ruby color with a thick light brown head. The head on the beer is made entirely of tiny bubble (high carbonation) and a thin layer of head lasted through the entire drink. The Abbey Ale is pretty clear with some haze from the yeast and a few groups of things in suspension, as common with most Belgian beers.

11-08-03The nose was very fruity. I think the smell that stood out the most was a grape to sour grape smell. The yeast was also heavy on the nose with some hints of malt. No hops were detectable. On my first sip I was hit with the malt on the front, followed by a sourness, and then the Belgian yeast bite. There was a grapy aftertaste. As I kept drinking some bitter chocolate notes came though as well. The Belgian yeast had a slightly different twang than a normal Belgian yeast strain, it was much more sour. Most of the time you get a spiciness from Belgian yeast, there was some, but not as pronounced as other Belgian beers I have had.

The mouthfeel was medium and the high carbonation was wonderful. I really enjoyed drinking this beer. It is a perfect beer to drink slowly during a long period of time. As the beer warms to room temperature a host of new notes come out and make it more and more interesting. Ommegang Abbey Ale comes in a 8.5% which is on the higher end of ABV for Belgain Dubbels.

There were a few interesting notes on the back of the bottle as well. It says, “Part of the Duvel family of fine ales.” Brewery Ommegang was named after Belgium’s oldest medieval festival. This beer is also cellared at the brewery. If you like Belgian beers give this one a try, you will not be disappointed. It is wonderfully flavorful and complex. It really was a treat of a beer to drink. (more…)

Kona Brewing Company Fire Rock Pale Ale Beer Review

09-03-06-01Last summer I was in Hawaii and had the joy of the Fire Rock Pale Ale. I haven’t had it since August, but I ran across a six pack here in Texas and I knew I had to try it again. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say about its beer:

“Fire Rock Pale Ale is a crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops added to each brew.”

09-03-06-08I like that they refer to it as a Hawaiian-style pale ale because  I believe it is the only pale ale made on the islands. I remember reading the following somewhere, but I am unable to find it now, so bear with me. The brewery is located on the Big Island and there beer there is only served on the islands. The company is environmentally conscience and has another brewery on the mainland that produces beer for the rest of the beer for the states. If you know if this is false or true please let me know.

09-03-06-04Anyway, Fire Rock Pale Ale has a wonder aroma to it. It is mostly hops on the nose and a very citrusy hops at that. It pours a copper to light orange and has a bit of haze to it. The head on the beer is great, it diminishes somewhat, but lasted through my entire drink.

For a pale ale, there is a lot of body on the drink. Nice and malty with the hop carrying through the beer. It finishes smooth and the hop sits on your tounge for a bit. Unlike a lot of American Pale Ales this is a balanced beer that isn’t overly hopped. I think the biggest thing with this beer is that it is very drinkable. I remember sitting by the pool at my hotel with a six pack of this stuff and just loving the day away. If you happen to run into a six pack, go ahead and pick it up, I don’t think you will be disappointed. (more…)