We dug deep into our cellars and found a couple of things to share. It's our second annual cellar episode. Mathias brings out a delicious Dre Fonteinen Oude Lambiek Doesjel. We discuss the difference between lambiek and gueuze. Stefan whips out a heavy imperial stout from Evil Twin and Westbrook called Mexican Biscotti Cake Break. How long should you cellar a heavy pastry stout?
Martin is back this episode to keep the party going for the new year. We check out a couple of releases from the amazing British brewery Left Handed Giant. We reviewed our first LHG beer back on episode 119, which came out exactly one year ago. This time we have two stouts, Strange Country, a imperial stout brewed with Lervig, and Midnight Special, a coconut, coffee and cardamom milk stout.
Happy New Year! It's the new year and that means we take a look back at 2018, talk about the beers that were, highlights from the year and look forward to 2019 (oh we will have a musical episode). Of course we also have beers to review. This episode we have the Wicked Weed Ferme de Chien, a brett sour ale with cherries and Brewski/Cycle Brewing collab simpled titles Eric, a coffee oatmeal imperial stout.
It's the final episode and we're given our final Belgian beer of the box. Delirium Christmas is a traditional Belgian triple. Sweet, rich and boozy, the Delirium Christmas is a fitting end to the big box of Belgian and Belgian inspired beers. We review the box, offer some constructive criticism of the advent calendar and make some suggestions on how it could improve in future years. Thanks to everyone for listening and we have some great plans for next years advent calendar.
We've tried the St. Bernardus Christmas ale, St. Bernardus Wit and now we have the St. Bernardus Abt 12. Widely regarded as the best of the St. Bernardus beers, the Abt 12 is a delicious 10% abv Belgian triple. It's the pentultimate episode of the advent calendar and it looks like things are finally looking up.
A sour beer is a nice entry into the calendar. Liefmans Goudenband is a classic beer and kind of a gateway sour. A little bit of Flemish red mixed with something else. We're guessing lots of pennies. This one has a strong metallic smell and flavor, reminiscent of someone having washed change in water.
Martin is back to discuss La Trappe Triple. It's a perfect example of a Belgian style triple. While both think it's a fine beer, for the price point there are so many other beers that could have just as easily fit this profile. Still, with the crap shoot this advent calendar has been, it's nice to have something dependable to rely on.
According to Brew Age, Bienenstich "reveals a soft and gentle character" with "a generous helping of wild honey from Austrian beekeepers." Martin and I both got a generous helping of earth and dirt with no honey or sweetness. Not sure what happened with this bottle but it was garbage, we're curious how it was stored prior to the calendar. Day 20 was just wrong.
Mathias has the flu so Martin joins the podcast again today. We both love Flemish reds and Rodenbach makes the best Flemish reds on the market. Tangy, berries, with a nice funkiness that reminds you of fingernail polish, the Rodenbach Grand Cru makes day 19 a real treat.
How does a Hancock beer end up in an advent calendar? There are so many amazing Danish breweries, To Ol, Mikkeller, Dry & Bitter, Amager, Bad Seed, Beer Here, Ebeltoft, Flying Couch and on and on. There are so many breweries to choose from, why would anyone pick Hancock Old Lambrinus Dark for an advent box. Day 18 was not a happy day.
This is our second offering from the monks at St. Bernardus. Their wit beer is a refreshing, citrusy, welcome entry into the calendar. It's a beautiful example of what a wit beer should be. If you don't like wit beers, you should give this a try. It will change your mind.
It wouldn't be an advent calendar if we didn't get a bottle of the To Ol Snowball Saison. This is the third time to try this beer on the show and dare say it's the best it's ever been. Day 16 is a wonderous day of joy and intense saisony goodness.
What the literal helles...Day 15 give us lump of coal in our stockings with a very pedestrian helles/lager/pilsner. Verhaeghe Export Helles is a very forgettable helles. It's like drinking...wait, what was I talking about?
If you've been following along at home, then you know we've tried one beer from Samuel Smith this calendar. It was a raspberry sugar bomb. We have higher hopes for the Organic Chocolate Stout on Day 14. Rich, chocolatey and loaded with copious amounts of sugar, it feels like the base beer would be amazing if they left out the organic sugar.
We love Brasserie de la Senne. They are a great Belgium brewery and make wonder craft beers. Zinnebir is one of their standard offerings that never fails to please. We've had many enjoyable moments over this beer in the past. It's an easy Belgian blonde ale with fruity hoppiness.
Whomever put this box together has a major thing for Beligum beers. Out of the 11 beers so far 5 of them have been either Belgium or Belgium inspired beers. I imagine we'll see a few more before this calendar is done. Corsendonk does really good beers and their Pater Dubble Ale is a delicious brown ale and a real treat.
We always welcome a beer from Omnipollo. Day 10 doesn't disappoint. It's a classic Omnipollo pale ale called Maz. It's one of the hightlights of the calendar so far and nice change from the brown and sweet beers which have dominated the box so far.
We continue our exploration of the Scandinavian beer scene with a Norwegian Jul Ol. This is our third Jul Ol and perhaps the most forgettable. It could be best described as brown. If you could drink beige. Day 9 is best left and we move on.
Day 8 brings us something from a Danish microbrewery we've never heard of. Kloster Bryggeriet is in Jutland on the grounds where a Danish monastery was based. They specialize in traditional monk abbey beers. Christian 3 is a caramel ale with an addition of humle hops.