Bellegems BruinMarch 1, 2011 Bellegem-Kortrijk, Belgium
Imported by: SBS Imports
Available: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA
This West Flanders brown beer, originally called “Ouden Tripel,” is made from a blend of a bottom-fermented beer and a lambic beer aged in oak for 18 months.
Original gravity: 1052
A Belgian brown ale blended with a proportion of lambic, a beer made by spontaneous fermentation that has a pronounced sour character. A burnished copper color, Bellegems has a deep collar of foam and a sour fruit—rhubarb? —and nutty aroma. Sour fruit and nuts dominate the palate, but a sweet malt note makes an entrance. Sourness continues into the finish, but there are pleasing notes of creamy malt and a late hint of hop resins. Tart and refreshing.
- Roger Protz
Pours with a beautiful garnet-brown color and raises a full tan head. Chocolate hits the nose first, followed by raisins, prunes, coffee, caramel and a whiff of lactic funk. And—zing!—there it is, a dash of lively acidity across the palate, moving with nice fruitiness through the center, arriving at a tangy finish with a touch of iron. This is a small wonderland of flavor. It’s neither aggressively sour, nor insultingly sugared up. It is filtered, but it’s hard to quibble when it pairs so nicely with your carbonnade flamande.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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