Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dark Belgian Table Beer - Review

Appearance - Dark brown, slightly hazy with reddish highlights when held up to light. Off-white 1 finger head that lingers with only small amounts of lacing. Slightly lighter color than I had hoped for, but still good looking

Aroma - Mild spice and pear, maybe a hint of the chocolatiness of the D2. Not really any hop aroma

Taste - Its kind of a difficult beer to describe. The yeast character is definitely restrained, there is noticeable Belgian yeast character in the finish though. The D2 syrup really drives most of the flavor profile, there is a bit of chocolatiness that lingers throughout the flavor. It has a finish that is sort of Coca-Cola-like. The bitterness balances it fairly well, although I definitely think that a bit more residual sweetness would really help the flavor of the beer overall.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium-light body, somehow I manged to over-carbonate the beer a bit (for my tastes at least) to about 2.8vol. I'm slowly lowering this but to compensate I have been swishing the beer quite a bit to lower it down to what I'm guessing is around 1.2-1.5vols. At this level it meshes a bit better with the flavor

Drinkability - I'd actually have to say that this is one of the easiest beers to drink that Ive ever made. I'm owing a majority of this to all the sugar in the beer lowering the FG and making it something that you can drink a lot of without getting filled up. Which was sort of a reason for doing it, and is the hallmark of many bigger Belgian Beers

Overall - Probably the least favorite of mine of the three versions of Belgian Table beers Ive brewed. I do think that it deserves another look though, as I mashed a bit lower than I think I should have and I believe a touch of residual sugar (maybe from a crystal malt?) would really round out the flavors. All in all its a great way to really understand the flavor impacts of D2 syrup.


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