The following beers appeared alongside Dutch Modern: The Fall and Rise of Beer in the Netherlands, which appeared in our May 2015 issue. These beers were reviewed by John Holl, Terry Lozoff, Lee Movic and Suzanne Schalow on Dec. 5, 2014, at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA.
Christoffel NobelABV: 8.7
Tasting Notes: Overall rustic in nature, it pours a murky yellow with aromas of earthy hops, papaya and old cut grass. This strong lager emits flavors of tart lemon and crusty bread with burnt caramel. Our sample was slightly oxidized. As it warmed it took on a cellarlike aroma, a little damp, and the hop character was more pronounced, in a slightly stale way.
Historic Ale, GrÄtzerABV: 4.0
Tasting Notes: A collaboration of several breweries, what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in aroma and taste. Brewed with 100 percent wheat malt, it’s a bit chewy on the mouthfeel. Notes of pepper, bacon fat, oaky smoke, wheat and ashtray. Our tasters say it’s great for lovers of peaty scotch. A strong match for hot-weather drinking paired with grilled meats and barbecue.
La Trappe Isid’orABV: 7.5
Tasting Notes: What at first had a closed-off nose, this caramel-colored beauty of a Belgian strong pale ale soon yielded flavors of honey-poached pears, apples, black pepper, toffee and banana bread. Digging deeper, we found orange and clove, and even subtle hints of cotton candy. Robustly carbonated, a wonderful sipper.
Spanning & SensatieABV: 9.8
Tasting Notes: Dark brown, almost black, with low carbonation and poor head. The word most often used to describe this Russian imperial stout was complex. Aromas and flavors of molasses, chocolate milk, lightly roasted coffee and banana bread, it finished with a slight cinnamon heat. It’d be great to use in making mole or with fresh berries and whipped cream.