Day Three, Antwerp: Dinner, Paters Vaetje, Waagstuk

After leaving Oud Arsenaal, we decided to go to Eethuisje de Stoemppot, a restaurant that was recommended by one of our guidebooks. The specialty was listed as Flemish cuisine, which sounded more appealing than "Brussels Specialties." David ordered a chicken and mushroom pie with spinach, which turned out to be chicken and mushrooms in cream sauce. I ordered sausage with mashed potatoes, which came with a dizzying array of mustards. We each had a Duvel with dinner. The sausage was very good, as were the potatoes. During the middle of the meal the alarm clock that we had purchased in the hostel in Brussels went off. Neither of us realized what it was and the waitress was walking around the restaurant trying to find the source. She ended up realizing it was coming from our bag before we did.

After dinner we walked back to the cathedral to go to Paters Vaetje (Monk's Tomb), which was located a mere 10 paces away. There were two levels. On the lower level there were benches and tables against the wall, where we sat, as well as some tables at the front and back. There were stained glass windows above the bar, as well as various beer signs. Oddly, they played a Death Cab for Cutie song while we were there. We ran into the German guys again, and ended up talking to them for awhile.

Distance from the bar to the cathedral.

521. Piraat

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Alcohol: 10.50%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian IPA

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy, dark golden, with a white head that fades to a thin film, leaving patchy lace.

Smell (4.0): Caramel and toffee maltiness, light fruitiness, a bit vinuous with evident alcohol.

Taste (3.5): Sweet upfront, with berry fruitiness. The finish is peppery with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, and very strong alcoholic warming.

Drinkability (3.5): The alcohol is pretty strong in this one.

Overall (3.7)

522. Moeder Overste

Moeder Overste means Mother Superior in Dutch/Flemish.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a cloudy brownish golden. Topped by a thick, dense, white head with good retention, leaving patchy lace. Seems a bit dark for a tripel.

Smell (3.0): Fruity, with some berry aromas as well as a light floral quality. No detectable spiciness or alcohol.

Taste (3.0): Sweet berry fruitiness that fades into a neutral center with light spice and bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light to medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Too sweet.

Overall (3.2)

For the next round we went with two De Koninck beers that I haven't seen in the US. We got a scratch card with the Winter Koninck. If we saw a glass we would have won a free De Koninck, but we came up empty handed on that one.

523. Winter Koninck

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij De Koninck NV
Alcohol: 6.50%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear, dark ruby-brown with a beige head that fades to a thin film, leaving sheets of lace.

Smell (3.0): Lightly malty, light dark fruit. Pretty clean overall, though what is evident is pleasant.

Taste (3.5): Light sugary sweetness throughout. Some light fruitiness, with some good spiciness in the finish.

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

Drinkability (4.0): Quite drinkable for a winter beer.

Overall (3.6)

524. De Koninck Tripel

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij De Koninck NV
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a clear orange-copper. The head fades to a thin film, leaving small patches of lace.

Smell (3.0): Very light fruitiness, light graininess and alcohol.

Taste (3.5): Mostly sweet, with some notes of bananas. The finish is lightly spicy.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, low carbonation.

Drinkability (4.5): Sweet and pleasant.

Overall (3.5)



After leaving Paters Vaetje, we went to 't Waagstuk to finish out the night. I seem to remember the bar being hard to find, but I may be mistaken. It had a tiled floor interior, with wooden tables and chairs, various beer items on the walls and an array of ceramic mugs hung from hooks on the ceiling. We had all three Westvleteren beers while we were there. We also had a nice conversation with the bartender, who was very friendly. He made some recommendations of beer bars and beers to try in Brugge and Gent. We talked about beer in America and I recommended he seek out some Ommegang. Later David challenged him to a tricep contest. He stopped before David. David claimed victory, but the bartender claimed to have work to do.

The tricep contest

12, 8, Blonde

525. Westvleteren 12

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Westvleteren
Alcohol: 10.20%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz
Style: Quadrupel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours a hazy, dark ruby-brown. A one-inch, beige head fades to a very persistent, thin layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell (4.5): Fairly light overall, but nice. Raisins and other dark fruit, light roastiness, with a light graininess. Alcohol is also evident, but is mild.

Taste (4.5): Very nice. Lots of dark fruit like raisins and dates. It's sweet but is balanced well by a peppery and alcoholic bite. The finish has nice bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Full-bodied, low carbonation with alcoholic warming in the finish.

Drinkability (5.0): Sweet, but very well balanced.

Overall (4.7): This is a great beer. It might not be the best in the world, but it certainly is fantastic.

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