De Ryck: Special (Belgium: Belgium Ale:5.5% ABV)

Visual: Enthusiastic out of the bottle, frothing out eagerly.  A hazy deep amber with a ruby core, and a reddish tinged beige medium bubbled head.

Nose: Wheat and lemon. Very slight bitterness underneath. Very slight glacier cherries. Apples.

Body: Syrup sweet front, glacier cherry then a solid bitter back.  Quite zesty and lemony. Rice. Banana touches, sugar cane, apples and pear drop sweets.  A wheat texture body.

Finish: Dusty and bitter, still a hint of fresh lemon and light pear.

Conclusion: An amazingly nondescript beer from Belgium it seems.  Well nondescript for a beer from Belgium anyway.  It’s a beer eager to escape the bottle, but not so eager to share its flavour.

Now as you progress it does open up slightly, but never really shines.  Quite a dry beer, with a decent batch of fruit going on.  So not a bad beer, again you don’t find many of those in Belgium, but a comparatively mundane one.

Near the end of the beer it has built up enough to get some life in it, with the apples and pears (no not stairs) making a showing, and it’s at this point that it is at its best. The pear drop and hop mix is quite refreshing here.

Quite sweet and bitter mixed, with a drying finish.  Its probably best used as an accompaniment to food where you do not want the beer to intrude too much, but still wish for a pleasant beer.

Background: I came into this one with very little information, heard of the beer from “100 Belgium beers to try before you die” and knew it came from a respected Belgium brewery but apart from that came into the tasting cold.