Thursday, December 22, 2011
2 Turtle Doves Flying Over Belgium...
Brewery: Brouwerij Corsendonk
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
They say that your tastes change every 7 years... Over the last year or so I've really tried to branch out and try things that I normally wouldn't try. Take saisons for example. I usually steer clear of the light, spicy, somewhat tart variety... or Sour Beers... or even Belgian styles. The more I try, the more I find that I'm actually ENJOYING some of these styles. Take the New England Brewery Co's 668 Neighbor of the Beast, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Normally... that's a style I want NOTHING to do with. But being local, and attempting to be open-minded I jump in with two feet. It's FANTASTIC. Light, crisp - but a high ABV to keep you from slugging it down. So when one of the brew managers at my local Packy suggested the Corsendonk Christmas Ale, I went with a re-newed confidence.
...and I came out with an unimpressed palette.
The Christmas Ale poured a dark mahogany color with a good fluffy light tan head. It settled a bit, but remained throughout most of the glass.
The nose was... interesting. There was a strong ginger scent, with fruity notes as well. My buddy and I felt like it smelt almost like a ginger ale. I'm picking up some orange zest, too. I didn't get anything malty, bready, OR spicy in the nose. (Am I drinking the same beer that these BeerAdvocate users are describing?)
Looking back... the nose was the BEST PART! And that's not saying much. Anyway... Taste-wise, I was just uninterested. Belgian yeasts were obviously present giving the beer a tart quality, with a little extra dark fruit sweetness. You know those weird Orange Chocolate things that come out every holiday season? They're supposed to be this delicacy but I never did like them. That's kinda what I'm picking up here. Semi-sweet chocolate with some orange notes. Lots of carbonation going on, too.
The finish is like a champagne... bubbly, dry... and leaves you palette, saying - that's it?
I can't even pair this up with any food really... It's nothing I'd want to start my night with with some light nosh... it's nothing that I'd like to have with my meal because of the orange and chocolate qualities... and it's nothing I'd like to end my meal with or have with dessert because it's just light and uninteresting.
As much as I've branched out over the past year, I guess I have to chalk this one up with the fact that MAYBE I'm just not a big fan of Belgians yet. The BeerAdvocate users gave this an all-around exceptional 92, while the Alstrom Bros gave it a "WORLD-CLASS" 98. Is today backwards day or something?
...so if it is true that your taste change every 7 years, I'll try this guy again when I'm 35.
Let's look at the silver lining here... sadly, my last post (before our #1) is the worse one I've had so far in this countdown. But the good news? It's kinda rare and chances are you won't be able to find it anyway. You aren't missing much. Bah Humbug.
Posted by Tony Leone at Thursday, December 22, 2011