Felt like something different for this week's Cocktail Hour so I decided to expand upon our original Belgians on Ice post.
Today, I needed to go to the store for some groceries and remembered that the Stater Brothers in Glendora is right next door to Lone Hill Liquor, home to a vast array of beers.
For me, it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a St. Bernardus brew, so I go with the hyper-strong ABT 12, which clocks in at 10% alcohol.
First the sour...Rodenbach is a classic Flemish Red Ale made in Roeselare, Belgium. It's sour, real sour with...as my wife says...no hint of sweetness at all. That's fine with her as she likes her sour ales as sour as possible. It's aged over two years in oak barrels and has added bacteria to impart that tartness.
When it hits the tongue, the first thought is vinegar, like the malt vinegar you put on fish and chips, but let it linger a little bit and you'll find a rich savoriness in the background that's quite interesting.
I admit, I'm still developing my taste for the sour ales but each time I try, I like it a little more.
The St. Bernardus is an abbey ale, a quadruppel, which goes down very smooth like a good Belgian dubbel like Petrus or Kwak. It explodes with a rich, deep, almost sweet taste that goes down like velvet.
At 10% alcohol, this one will kick your ass if you're not careful...I think I'll need a nap after this bottle. Only drink it if you're somewhere you won't have to drive from any time soon.
It's a delicious beer with a well-hidden kick.