Tag Archive: 8-10% ABV


Dieu Du Ciel Bourbon Aged Peche Mortel

Dieu Du Ciel: Peche Mortel: Reserve Speciale 2013: Viellie 12 mois en fut De Bourbon (Canada: Imperial Stout: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Brown medium sized head, similar to the colour of chocolate milkshake.

Nose: Bitter coffee. Fudge. Bitter cocoa dust. Very rounded in all elements. Chocolate cake and sponge. Roasted nuts.

Body: Oatmeal flapjack. Massive rounded coffee. Raisins. Vanilla toffee. Frothy texture. Rye bourbon. Shredded wheat. Sharp orange liquore.

Finish: Bitter Belgian chocolate and chocolate sponge. Bitter coffee beans. Vanilla fudge. Vanilla spirit air – bourbon style. Sharpe orange crème centres.

Conclusion: Ok, this is a beer balanced on a knife edge. I very much enjoyed Peche Mortel, but this, oh this just adds that little edge to it. It still has that booming bitter coffee, but more rounded and refined. The time in the oak gives it much more complexity in both chocolate and coffee, giving additional layers of sweetness and bitterness to both. It is that accentuation of the pre existing characteristics that pushes that part up there with Beer Geek Brunch Weasel for massive complexity to coffee expression. You can take your time even with just the aroma, feeling the fudge come out, and the coffee progressing through the aromas.

The body is buoyed by the spirit elements, an almost shredded wheat bourbon roughness, combined with vanilla sweet spirit rises up, prickling through the strong main body. This is the knife edge, the element the beer balances on. At times the perfect balancing of flavours makes it one of the all time greats, at others it rises just a tad too spirity. In both it merges all those elements before with what is an almost sharp orange liquore sub note that adds another layer of intrigue. The mix of spirit is seen even in the texture, a mix of frothy smooth and spirit needle prickles.

So, it varies, at its best it is truly up there with the best – bringing everything Peche Mortel did, but more rounded, backed by subtle extra notes and showing the full complexity of the coffee. At its worst, and this is comparative worst, not absolute – it is still very good – it is very bourbon heavy, almost like the stout is backing the bourbon rather than the other way around. Not a bad thing, but not a patch on the other way around.

Because it has that variance, even in a single bottle, it is not quite an all time great, but it has those moments where it does reach it with mad genius. This is an excellent beer. Give it a try – the standard Peche Mortel is more consistant, but this has occasional moments of absolute greatness.

Background: It has a gold band! Yay! Yep, that is the only difference is a gold label indicating it is Viellie 12 mois en fut De Bourbon – or as I put it, 12 months in Bourbon oak. I picked this up from Brewdog Bristol after the Dieu Du Ciel meet the brewers event. I had also had standard Peche Mortel on tap then, very nice.

Brewdog Cap - Cap Dog

Brewdog: CAP: Cap Dog (Scotland: BIPA: 9% ABV)

Visual: Black, with very dark red hints if held to the light. Inch of charcoal dashed brown frothy head.

Nose: Ash. Bitterness and hops. Smoked dried beef and peppercorn. Light kumquat touch.

Body: Good bitterness. Smoked bacon. Peppercorn sauce. Treacle into chocolate syrup. Sour cream twist and chives.

Finish: Peppercorn sauce. Steak. Bitter malt chocolate. Ice cream chocolate syrup. Digestives

Conclusion: You know, I was beginning to get disillusioned with Black IPAs. Ok, that is a lie, or at least disillusioned is the wrong word. Maybe more I was getting worn out by them. While they were generally high quality, the range of takes you got seemed very small compared to IPAs. So many did such similar hop kicks, possibly because fewer hops worked well against the darker malt.

This then, is interesting – the hop bitterness is there, with that prickly hop feel, but the flavour of the beer, the base it works from, is much more towards the malt. It is more meaty, and more a mix of treacle and smoke than it is the hop flavours. It wavers precariously close to the stout styling, which admittedly is a style BIPAs are often not entirely far from, but here it really lets go with the syrup texture, and the sweet touch against the raw hop bitterness.

However, make no mistake, this is definitely a BIPA. Here is that different, drier, mouthfeel, and the bitterness. You can’t mistake it for anything else, but it does seem to trust the hops to be needed primarily as a bittering agent, so to create the spirit of an IPA, then let the malt handle the complexity.

It seems like it should be rough – it has bitter hops, smoked meat, and a slight sour twist. So, it should be rough, but is smooth – the texture may be slightly dry as to be drinkable, but they lace it with touches of syrup sweetness that brings a smooth feel with it. A contradiction? Maybe, but then so is the idea of a Black Pale Ale, so I’ll roll with it. This embraces the contradiction and makes it work for it. It is about how it feels as much as how it tastes – dry up front, prickly as it goes down, seeps onto the tongue and then rises into a smoked air. The flavours are simpler than most, but still the beer manages to have character with those textures.

So, definitely something different and something quality. A very good BIPA.

Background: Yes I’m still listening to the Guilty Gear XX soundtrack while doing beer reviews. That stuff is serious pumped up 80’s style rock. Anyway. Beer. This is a collaboration with CAP. Shocking I know, or Curious Audacious Products, as it goes. CAP was one of the first two Breweries to benefit from the “Brewdog Development Fund” which is cool. This is a black IPA made with Coffee Berry. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.

Brewdog Russian Doll Barley Wine

Brewdog: Russian Doll: Barley Wine (Scotland: Barley Wine: 10% ABV)

Visual: Black cherry red. Thin off white dash of a head. Still main body.

Nose: Shortbread. Custard and pineapple. Prickle of hops. Musty bitterness. Glacier cherries. Apricot and peach.

Body: Slightly syrupy. Bitterness and hops. Light treacle. Toffee. Chocolate chews. Resin. Light pineapple and grapes. Fruitcake.

Finish: Moderate bitterness mixed with malt drinks. Shortbread. Slightly dusty. Light resin. Hop oils.

Conclusion: Dryness seems to be the theme of these “Russian Doll” beers – and, for a barley wine, this still has a very dry taste and feel to it, with very little residual sweetness showing.

This is weird as they somehow manage to make the treacle notes not actually taste that sweet. I’m now quite sure how that is possible. Instead of the sweetness I would normally expect in a barley wine the beer concentrates instead on the resin and hop oils that were already evident in the DIPA, and bring them out along with the accompanying bitterness.

What I find interesting is that while the hop bitterness and oils are there, the hop fruit flavours are all but subsumed under the malt flavours. There is still a slight presence, but a very muted one – instead leaving chocolate chews and glacier cherries. Again somehow how that sweet. How? How?

So, it is smooth of texture, and shows brewing skill and class, however flavour wise, it is not particularly fascinating barley wine. It does have some sweetness, but it is way tamped down from expectations under the hop oils and resin. Feels more like a barley base than a barley wine … if that makes sense. Nice enough though.

As part of the series -well, it really shows how the hop flavour has to fight to be seen at this level of abv, and here you really do get a showcase of fruitcake and cherry malt flavours.

Overall the series has been ok, generally good quality – if we ignore the pale ale – but none great beers, interesting as a learning exercise, but not as much so as the single hop or differing yeast series. Possibly as you see malt variation in similar beers more often in the wild. So, ok as beers, ok as a series. so, erm, ok.

Background: We have reached the smallest doll! Or the largest doll. In which case reaching it would make no sense, we would have had to go past it to reach the smaller dolls. Anyway. This is the highest malt content and thus highest abv take of the “Russian Doll” beers – four beers with the exact same recipe with the exception of the size of the malt load that changes between beers. The eagle eyed of you may notice something different about the photo. I’ve been using brighter led bulbs recently, so that probably explains it.

Brewdog - U Boat

Victory: Brewdog: U-Boat (Scotland: Smoked Porter: 8.4% ABV)

Visual: Black. Small browned head that diminishes to islands. Still main body.

Nose: Smoke. Cured ham. Dry roasted peanuts. Beef brisket.

Body: Slight medicinal. Smoke. Dried beef. Light vanilla and caramel. Salt rocks. Dusty touch. Malt chocolate and coffee. Slight sour cream. Soft lemon underneath?

Finish: Bitter chocolate and smoke. Smoked beef. Light salt. Pulled pork. Bitter coffee.

Conclusion: Ok, high concept review. This is Alice Porter, but smoked. Boom! Job done. You are welcome.

What? You haven’t drunk Alice Porter?

Fuck.

Guess I’d best do a proper review then.

Up front the smoked character is evident, lots of smoked meat, with even a slight salt rock character, reminiscent of Islay whisky style, but lighter. However under that is a solid porter, though the chocolate and coffee notes are actually quite at the back – informing the character without being the character. Instead there is that kind of sour cream character that Alice Porter had, backed by caramel sweetness which combines in a soft of salted caramel way with the main notes, a nice kind of swing to the beer.

So, we have here a smoked, salted caramel, porter chocolate and coffee, contrasted by sour cream kind of beer. Try saying that three times fast.

It is good. Surprisingly moreish for the high abv and the weight of flavour, that slightly cloying sour cream manages to make it very drinkable by taking off the edge of the harsher characteristics . The salt elements give it a nice tingle of harshness, but not too heavy – just enough to dry the mouth and make you want to indulge more.

An evolution, not a revolution of the style, but a very good one.

Background: You can ferment a porter with lager yeast? Apparently so. At least if you use smoked malt as well. This is the latest in a long line of Brewdog collaborations – as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Drunk while listening to Rise Against’s Endgame. Yes Rise Against are definitely growing on me.

Alesmith Wee Heavy

Alesmith: Wee Heavy (USA: Scotch Ale: 10% ABV)

Visual: Dark mahogany to black. Small brown bubbled head.

Nose: Chocolate liquore and chocolate dust. Figs. Raisins, in fact, rum soaked raisins. Boozy. Brandy cream.

Body: Frothy. Shortbread. Rum soaked raisins. Figgy pudding or Christmas Pudding. Chocolate and chocolate fondue.

Finish: Bitter chocolate. Sweet red wine. Slight spice warmth. Rum soaked raisins and brandy cream.

Conclusion: Scotch Ale. Now, there is always one awesome thing about having a scotch ale. It gives me an excuse to break out the thistle glass! However, often scotch ales are not to my taste. Yet I keep returning to them. Call it indestructible optimism. Or sheer bloody mindedness. Anyway, this one is from Alesmith, and while I don’t always agree with the view that their beers are some of the best USA beers, they are generally very good. So, it was with anticipation I took my first sip, and , it is very evident – this one is coming in big and boozy.

What stands out initially is how quickly the beer froths up into a very nice chocolate fondue feel. The texture and sweetness eases off a lot of the bigger boozier elements. It does have a lot of those bigger elements to offset – rum soaked raisins, red wine, brandy cream – it is never burning, but there are a lot of warnings about the alcohol level you are taking in.

It really does taste like Christmas pudding in a lot of ways, lots of dark fruit, the brandy cream. It takes a lot of the natural Scotch ale elements and harmonises them in a way that is stronger than the sum of its parts. It doesn’t go far from the scotch ale elements, but it does them very smooth and well – even better, it doesn’t get sickly, which is one of the common failings for the style.

Because I am not the biggest fan of the style, and it does play it fairly straight, I merely find it a very good beer rather than a great beer. However considering my bias against the style, I think that bodes very well for fans of the style.

So, very enjoyable, and, trust me, it is a beer than can compete with anything you drink before it. I have had it before at the end of a session and it never suffers for it. A well crafted show of the style.

Background: DOCTOR WHO DAY! This was drunk while waiting for the second Doctor Who episode to be available on Iplayer. As you can probably guess from the glasses in shot, this was drunk with friends, who declined doing a guest tasting. Which makes me sad. I have drunk this before, shared with groups in bars, but never got around to reviewing. It’s always been near the end of a session as well, so I was never sure if I was giving it a fair crack of the whip. Oh, also, I picked this up from Brewdog’s Guest beer selection. Because it is a nice selection.

Alchemist Melgian Tripel

Alechemy: Melgian Tripel (Scotland: Abbey Trippel: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Mahogany touched gold. Thin dash of off white islands for a head. Still and clear of main body.

Nose: Hard boiled sweets and candyfloss. Strawberry sweets and soft banana sweets. Brown sugar.

Body: Caramelised sugar. Crème brulee. Pear drops. Fruity esters. Brown bread. Vanilla slice. Treacle.

Finish: Crème brulee. Candyfloss. Brown sugar. Hard boiled sweets. Bready. Banana chews.

Conclusion: OK, i will put my hands up and confess that for the dubbel and tripel styles I am massively biased towards the common rough edged diamond Belgian take on the style as opposed to the smoother craft wave interpretation. This, therefore, grabs my affections early on by its very evident rough edged sweet flavours. The texture is smooth, but the flavour isn’t afraid to leave a few unpolished edges.

It is very sweet, more so than the Belgian takes, and while it does have the same nice funky yeast and esters, it doesn’t use them as heavily so doesn’t have as much contrast to give it the counter balance it needs.

Still, saying that, I am slowly getting more pear drops now. Admittedly pear drops, dropped in treacle and coated in banana chews, but it is that kind of flavour mash up that I love from the style. The big sweetness you get from the brown sugar and crème brulee make for a backbone which it uses as a base for exploding into more subtle elements.

Over time that pear drop style gets bigger and bigger until it finally becomes the proper contrast the beer needs, and it is in the final third of the beer that is where it finally shines. It manages to both show respect to the style and bring its own quirks.

So, it has flaws, it is a bit too sweet, but it does give you a rough edged ride with green fruit against dessert and hard sweets in exchange. Which is awesome.

I am wondering how it will age now. Probably well, though I fear it would smooth the rough edges too much and lose some charm. You can’t tell until you try. As is, it ain’t perfect, but it is a joyous wee burst of a tripel.

Background: This was brewed with Melissa Cole, I thought I had encountered the name, so I did a search and she made the Thai Bo with Otley a few years back. She also does a very good beer blog, which you should check out. This was drunk while listening to a mix of some Heavens to Betsy and Grimes. I had just rewatched Peter Capaldi’s first Doctor Who episode on iplayer, so was in a right chuffed mood.

Brewdog Sub Hop

Brewdog: Sub Hop (Scotland: Imperial Pilsner: 9% ABV)

Visual: Banana gold. Large yellowed froth head and some carbonation

Nose: Floral. Light pumpkin (or at least what pumpkin in beer tends to smell like). Vanilla slice. Digestives. Passion fruit.

Body: Very ripe banana. Pumpkin. Custard. Dried apricot. Very ripe fruit in general. Light hop character. Golden syrup cake. Thick texture. Light bitterness and prickle. Light greenery. Pink grapefruit. Rhubarb crumble and custard hard sweets.

Finish: Ripe banana. Light bitterness. Vanilla slice. Golden syrup. Digestives. Pink grapefruit. Toffee.

Conclusion: I think I must have had a cold the first time I tried this, as back then it seemed kind of dull. So, not expecting much, I broke my second bottle open for review.

It’s actually pretty nice. Doesn’t scream lager, not even imperial lager. The first thought that came to mind was actually an easier going Hardcore IPA, for malt influence and level of hop flavours. However it has nowhere near the bitterness of that beer.

The flavours are different though, lots of overripe banana, what seems slightly pumpkin like to my non pumpkin expert mind, and a chunk of the more traditional dried apricot and pink grapefruit flavours. It is very sweet, there is some tartness from the grapefruit, but mainly it emphasises the sweeter element. It is a bit different then, like three separate dessert wrapped up in ball of hops, but kind of nice.

For all its big flavours, it is still pretty slick to drink – a bit syrupy so it is not like the crisp lagers in ease of drinking, but the flavours don’t weigh you down. They do hang around and trade taste tales on your tongue, but happily leave when requested rather that setting up a squatters block.

Overall, as stated before, it is pretty nice. A bit different in flavours, and doesn’t really shout the style, but it does use it for a bit of slick character. I return here to the concept of it as an easygoing Hardcore IPA, via lager, and via rhubarb and custard hard sweets of all things. It is maybe a bit too sweet, maybe a bit too syrupy, but for the mix of quality to different flavours I enjoyed it.

Background: This was brewed for Brewdog Firenze. Which wikipedia assures me is in Italy. Geography never was my strong suit. Sorry to my Italian readers. Anyway, a small amount was available online so I grabbed a few bottles. This was drunk while listening to some of the Guilty Gear soundtrack. I have never played the game but the soundtrack is cool. I had just finished watching some Doctor Who in preparation for going to see the new Doctor on Saturday. Unfortunately I picked Planet Of The Dead, which turned out to be terrible. Or at least started out so terrible I had problems taking the rest of the episode seriously. Unlike the episode before it, “The Next Doctor” which was good for the first 45 minutes and then sucked so hard that everyone remembers the entire episode as being bad. I’m just rambling about Doctor Who now aren’t I? As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.

Weird Beard Boring Brown Beer Bourbon Barrel Aged

Weird Beard: Bourbon Barrel Boring Brown Beer (England: Brown Ale: 8.2% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy dark brown. Moderate beige wet bubbled head.

Nose: Citrus fresh. Roasted nuts. Malt. Sourdough. Dried apricot.

Body: Vanilla. Roasted nuts. Kiwi. Cherries. Malt chocolate. mint leafs and dough. Citrus edge. Slight alcohol burn on swallow. Toffee.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Spirit air. Bitter and charring. Prickly tingle. Bitter hops. Toffee.

Conclusion: I am a sucker for a bit of tongue in cheek. *rereads first line* Maybe I should rewrite that…nah it’ll be ok. Anyway, a barrel aged “Boring Brown Beer” that has to be…

Eh, ok, kind of dull.

Ok, that was harsh. What we have here is a brown ale. I’ll call it an American style brown ale as it seems to lean more to the malt chocolate interpretation over the slightly refreshing UK fare. The base style has been enhanced with a few soft vanilla oak aged notes, thought it doesn’t seem to be a heavy influence. The bigger alteration is the large infusion of hop bitterness. The roasted nut style it has calls a bit back to the UK style, but mainly I see USA influence.

It is ok, but I think they made a mistake with the base beer bitterness being a bit high. I get a lot of the generic hop bitterness character in the main play, but the more interesting notes are lost out at the edges.

Hmm again maybe a bit harsh there, there is a sort of mint leaf prickle very subtly done low down in the beer, and the hops do give a bit of citrus and kiwi at the edges, or so it seems. They aren’t very well pushed so it is hard to say. I think because they threw everything and the kitchen sink at the beer, I can but feel disappointed that it us just ok. Not actually really dull, but in no way lives up to its idea.

It is an ok brown ale, a bit spirity in the finish, and some of the flavours don’t mesh, but ok. There is a kind of sour dough element that just doesn’t work here, but the rest mainly holds up. Overall, probably not really worth grabbing I would say. Not bad, but you can easily find better. I still love the idea though.

Background: Ok I bought this because of the name. Ok, and because it sounded cool. Huge IBU, bourbon aged, chinook hop brown ale. Sounded fun. I really should get around to reviewing Weird Beard’s “Little Things That Kill”, which is an awesome beer. So awesome I tend not to wait until I am in a reviewing mood before drinking it. Anyway, trivia! I bumped into Bryan Spooner from Weird Beard at GBBF once. My attempts to subtly work out if he was who I thought he was resulted in him thinking I was hitting on him. So, that’s my meet the brewers tale of the day. Oh, the heat wave was back while I drunk this. Which is not nice. Drunk while listening to “Suffer” And “Recipe for Hate” from Bad Religion. “Recipe for Hate” is still probably my favourite album of BRs. Oh, also this was bought at Independent Spirit.

Stone Enjoy By IPA

Stone: Enjoy By IPA: 08/16/14 (USA: IIPA: 9.4% ABV)

Visual: Yellow gold, large off white tight bubbled head. Moderate carbonation.

Nose: Hops and bitterness. Pineapple. Very crisp. Custard cream biscuits. Woods after rain. Resin. Hop oils. Passion fruit. Fluffy popcorn. Dried mango.

Body: Very crisp. Lime. Toffee. Resin. Dried apricot. Juicy peach. Gingerbread touch. Greenery. Hop oils. Custard.

Finish: Hop oils. Resin. Very good bitterness. Musty mouth filling elements. Passion fruit. Gingerbread. Gooseberries. Pomegranate. Lime. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: I cannot do an unbiased review here. It just isn’t possible. I have Enjoy By IPA in the UK with about three weeks to spare. Holy fuck. The very occurrence is going to introduce bias.

So, let’s try anyway. How is it? The first impressions are all crisp hops and bitterness. We have some tart pineapple here, but mainly I am just thinking how crisp and bitter it is. Maybe I’m easily influenced by the name, but there is just a ton of hop oils, wet woodland greenery notes and resin. Here up front it really is that most base of hop characteristics, not much range, just raw hop influence.

The first sip is, again, just crisp as hell, resin and hop oils. There is a small amount of toffee in the malt presence, but not heavily so, and I’m not getting any real range yet. It is all in the bitterness. At this point there is an impressiveness to the sheer raw character, but not enough to make an exceptional beer overall, just exceptional in that one characteristic.

Then it all builds, as the beer warms the texture seems to thicker, and a very musky element comes out, like hop spores just bursting out. Here it starts gaining pungent dried fruit, like passion fruit and mango, against sweeter notes of apricot and peach. The sweet notes are the quietest, but the two type still struggle back and forth, warring for control of the glass. Juicy and dried fruit mix against the ever present desiccating bitterness. The real raw hop greenery rises, it is not what some of my friends would call a Cannabis like element, but it puts me in the mind of a room that has had seen some of that action. Very green, very oily and resinous.

The finish becomes pretty much pure pungent fruit and bitterness, the crispness subsiding below the flavours that the hops finally deliver. I only poured about of a third of the bottle initially, and each fresh pour revitalises the bitterness and crispness. I would recommend doing it this way, as it keeps the beer feeling fresh throughout.

So a very good beer. Unquestionably. Is it that damn good? Well first let me ask if I can actually be unbiased here? The answer to that is no. The answer to the first question? Well, it is lovely. The flavour progression is from crisp and clean to complex, musky and robust. The bitterness just rises and rises. The flavour is full American style hops, with hints that call to the more NZ style.

It is a beer of utter raw hop use, you barely get any show of the base malt, and what you do get rapidly vanishes before the bitterness. It is an ode to hop use and is brilliant. So to finally answer. It is that damn good.

Background: Where do I start with this one? This is the beer I never expected to see in the UK. Stone Brewing are notoriously short dated at the best of times, and we tend to get their bottles just before the best before dates if we are lucky. This beer was brewed not to last. Six weeks from brewing to Best Before date if I have calculated it right. Six weeks to ship, buy, and drink. The entire beer has been brewed to enjoy fresh and hoppy. Brewdog managed it. Delayed by about a week by customs, but still arrived about two to three weeks after brewing. The beer was available at bars from 18:00 hours. I arrived 18:15. For the best by the sounds of it, some bars sold out in under an hour. I was expecting a 330ml bottle, so with 660 ml of near 10% abv I took my time, kicked back and just enjoyed some conversation with fellow enthusiasts. As you can guess, I was very excited for this beer. I hoped to get this review up last night, but was delayed coming back from a “The Eels” gig, which rocked, but I was nackered.

Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

Dupont: Avec Les Bons Voeux (Belgium: Abbey Tripel: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Large mounded bubbled white head. Some sediment.

Nose: Crisp. Bitter and wheaty. Apricot and cinnamon. Jiff lemon. Brown bread.

Body: Bitter. Cinnamon. Earthy spice. Sour dough. Slight honeyed barley. Steam beer. Light lemon sherbet. Soft apricot and dried banana.

Finish: Bitter. Liquorice. Lime hops. Cumin. Treacle notes. Dried apricot. Slight chocolate chews.

Conclusion: I have the horrid urge to have the entirety of this conclusion be “Not as good as Saison Dupont”, but I think that would be slightly unfair. For one thing, despite the house style similarities, this is not a saison.

Spoiler warning, this is not as good as saison dupont.

Then again, Dupont Saison is one of my favourite beers. This takes a similar approach to hops, very crisp and bitter styled, and it adds a large amount of spice into the mix, from heavy grounding spices with a turmeric style to sweeter cinnamon notes. There’s even a cloying liquorice stick like finish. It is very flavoursome and complex, but, for me at least, the spice feels like it is a set of heavy boots stomping over the interesting elements below.

Underneath is soft lemon and apricot notes, into dried apricot and lime on the send off. There’s even an interesting texture. The best was I can describe it is like the Californian common/steam beer. That almost hazy feel that is almost evanescent on the tongue. It reminds me a bit of Saison De Pipaix in feel, but with a better base. Despite these interesting notes the cumin and liquorice elements weigh in so heavy that it still feels over spiced. I don’t even know if this beer is made with spices, It’s just the flavours I get, however I would not be surprised.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Dupont couldn’t just turn out their Saison again and say “Hey, a new beer”. There just would be no point. Even with all the spice and higher abv, it does have some saison like notes, and some notes in common with that legendry beer, while still being a very distinct beer itself. It brings so many elements even with the spice, there’s great dried banana and apricot notes

It’s just…well I can’t see a reason to go with this one. What it does well is what it has in common with their saison, and the spice notes don’t enhance it and at times actually hurt it, making it slightly closed.

Not bad, and with a very complex base, but suffers due to the spice.

Background: Saison Dupont is easily one of the best saisons in the world, and has given Dupont a very high reputation with me. This is their seasonal beer, with Bons Voeux translating as “good wishes”. This was drunk while listening to The Eel’s live album “Oh what a beautiful morning”, which I , of course, listened to in the evening. This was picked up from “The Beer Emporium” while I was on a big of a Belgian beer kick. Which admittedly is 90% of the time. Belgian beer is awesome.

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