Day Five, Ghent: De Hopduvel

After seeing Gravensteen we took the Number 1 Tram south, and then walked to De Hopduvel for a few rounds. The bar is dimly lit and fairly large. There's a small bar to the left as you enter, a room of seating to the right, and another room with lots of seating towards the back. There's an outside courtyard that's probably nice in warmer weather. The front room is decorated with an extensive collection of empty bottles and the walls of the back room are decorated with various beer signs. Aside from the decorations the place has the feel of a medieval house. The beer selection was excellent.

As a service to other patrons who can't read Dutch, the sign on the door to the restroom probably warns you about the step down that you'll encounter when you walk through the door.

David spent a while drawing various Belgian beer images on the back of a coaster, which included a version of the devil on the Hopduvel menu disco dancing. He gave it to the bartender, who seemed to like it.

537. De Dolle Dulle Teve

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a lightly hazy golden. Topped by a fluffy, meringue-like, white head with good retention and nice lacing.

Smell (4.0): Lightly fruity with peppery spice, citrus and grain.

Taste (4.5): Significantly bitter. Light fruity nites up front are quickly followed by strong peppery spice and hoppy bitterness. The finish is bitter with residual sweet and tart fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, lightly dry finish.

Drinkability (5.0): Easy to drink with a good balance.

Overall (4.4)

538. Witkap Pater Dubbel

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Slaghmuylder
Alcohol: 7.20%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Dubbel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear ruby-brown with a thick beige head with good retention and lace.

Smell (4.0): The aromas are light overall, with notes of tropical fruit and cherries. Light, but interesting

Taste (4.0): Light and fruity with notes of cherry and dark fruit. The finish is a delicate interplay of spice and bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, low carbonation, velvety texture.

Drinkability (4.0): Very mild and drinkable.

Overall (4.0): Nothing is over the top, but still manages to be a nice brew.

539. Grottenbier

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Alcohol: 6.50%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a clear ruby-brown with a three-finger, fluffy, beige head with impressive retention that leaves thick rings of lace.

Smell (4.0): Light overall. Notes of cherries, grain and sweet malts.

Taste (4.5): Notes of cherries and chocolate not accompanied by sweetness or tartness. The finish has some light roasted character.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, high carbonation with a light dryness in the finish.

Drinkability (5.0): Very balanced.

Overall (4.4)

540. Oudbeitje Lambic

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
Alcohol: 6.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Fruit Lambic, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Lightly hazy pinkish-orange with no head whatsoever, only large bubbles from pouring that disappear quickly.

Smell (4.0): My first impression was of overwhelming strawberries, but after letting it sit I could detect some nice funkiness, which was enhanced by swirling.

Taste (4.5): Intense acidic sourness is dominant from start to finish. Some strawberry flavors appear briefly with mild sweetness. The finish is earthy funkiness along with the acidic sourness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied, very low carbonation, lightly dry finish.

Drinkability (4.0): Pretty drinkable despite sourness.

Overall (4.1): Initially I wasn't impressed, but it really grew on me as I drank it.

541. Cuvée Des Trolls

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Dubuisson Frères
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Served in a frosted glass, so I have no idea if this is clear or cloudy, my guess is lightly hazy. Golden in color with a white head that quickly fades to a sudsy film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.0): Sweet Belgian yeast fruitiness along with light pepper and light grain.

Taste (3.0): Sweet banana and berry fruitiness with a peppery finish.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): A little too sweet.

Overall (3.25)

542. Hoppetje

I believe that this is the house beer brewed by De Proef. It's described as a 6º blond abdijbier.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: De Proefbrouwerij
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: Belgian Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a cloudy blond with a white head that fades to a patchy film leaving sheets of lace.

Smell (4.0): Interesting fruitiness. It's not the typical Belgian yeast aroma, though there are some sour apples. There's also a nice funkiness.

Taste (4.0): Lightly fruity with hints of bananas, some sour apples and a grainy finish.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability (4.5): Very drinkable, a good session beer.

Overall (4.1)

543. Moriau Geuze

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Boon
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Bottle, 37.5 cL
Style: Gueuze, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden with an off-white head.

Smell (3.0): Pretty light for a gueuze, but the acidic sourness and funkiness are there, you just have to swirl to get them.

Taste (4.0): Halfway between a sweet lambic and a sour lambic. The sourness is balanced by some sweetness. The finish has some earthy funk to it.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied, moderate carbonation with a dry finish.

Drinkability (4.0): Not bad for a sweet gueuze.

Overall (3.8)

I know David and I had dinner and played pool at some point on the trip. It's not written in my notebook, but I believe it was in Ghent. I had lasagna, in cream sauce, and David had pasta with pesto sauce.

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