871-880. The Return of the Belgian Beer Fest: Part 1

Jadyn and I went to the afternoon session of Beer Advocate's Return of the Belgian Beer Fest on Saturday September 27th. This is always my favorite BA fest... I can't get enough Belgian beer. I do regret no going to the Friday night special session though. The format seems to be pretty constant now: unlimited 2 ounce samples, food from Sunset, Belgian sugar waffles, talks, and booths from a good variety of breweries and importers.

I was pleased to see New Belgium at this fest. They haven't been at any of the other Beer Advocate fests that I've been to, and I managed to get a couple samples of the phenomenal La Folie.

871. Brooklyn Flemish Gold

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Alcohol: 6.50%
Style: Saison, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a cloudy, straw golden. Topped by a white head that thins to a film. The aroma is fruity with notes of bananas, as well as grainy and hoppy aromas. Upfront is a neutral bready malt character. A mild banana sweetness in the center with a mildly hopped finish.

872. Brooklyn Grand Cru

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Alcohol: 8.40%
Style: Witbier, BJCP Style Guide

Pours an insanely cloudy, beige color with an almost reddish tint. Topped by a thick, off-white head. Notes of coriander, orange peel and alcohol in the aroma. Smooth banana fruitiness, citric orange, and peppery spice.

873. Saison Rue

Beer Stats:
Brewery: The Bruery
Alcohol: 8.50%
Style: Saison, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a hazed golden-copper. Topped by a sudsy, off-white head. Apples and a light peppery spice in the aroma. Apple sweetness with an accompanying tartness upfront. There's also a slight medicinal character in the finish.

874. Duvel Draft

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Alcohol: 6.80%
Style: Belgian Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a crystal clear, straw color. Topped by a rocky, merengue-like head. The aroma is fruity with hints of apple and banana. The flavor is mild. There are grainy and lightly fruity flavors with maybe a hint of apple tartness. The finish is lightly bitter with a grassy dry quality.

875. Ommegang Rouge

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brewery Ommegang
Alcohol: 5.50%
Style: Flanders Red Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a hazy reddish-brown. Topped by a thick beige head that faded quickly to a film. The aroma is nice and acidic. Amazingly tart upfront, with a cherry fruitiness and moderate sweetness in the center. The finish is woody and medicinal. Delicious. One of my favorites from the fest.

876. Rock Bottom Blueberry Lambic

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Alcohol: 4.00%
Style: Fruit Lambic, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a cloudy purple. Topped by a sudsy, purple head. The aroma is blueberries and funk. Sour upfront with blueberries throughout and a mild funkiness in the finish. I thought this was an odd combo, the blueberries and lambic characters didn't mesh well. I still have to applaud the attempt though.

877. Eric's Ale (Lips of Faith #3)

Beer Stats:
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing
Alcohol: 7.00%
Style: American Wild Ale

This is a sour ale brewed with peaches. It pours a hazed orange-copper, and is topped by a thin, off-white head. The aroma is lightly acid with hints of peach. Sour, but not mouth puckeringly tart. The sourness is balanced nicely by a light sweetness from the peach.

878. Harpoon Belgian Dip

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 13.00%
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

I'm guessing at the style here, so take that into account. Pours a hazed-reddish copper. Sweet on the nose: chocolatey, caramel and candi sugar. There's also a mild whiff of alcohol. Sweet throughout with dominant flavors of candi sugar, caramel and toffee. The finish has a pronounced alcoholic spice. Overall a bit one-dimensional.

879. Harpoon Belgian Chocolate Stout

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 6.00%
Style: American Stout, BJCP Style Guide

This beer is black with a sudsy, brown head. The aroma is deeply chocolatey with hints of toffee as well. Sweet chocolate upfront, roasty in the center and finish.

880. Monk's Brew

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Mikkeller
Alcohol: 11.50%
Style: Quadrupel, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a cloudy brown, and topped by a beige head. The aroma is fairly light, but is much the same as the palate. Caramel with hints of chocolate and dark fruit. The finish has a peppery and alcoholic spiciness.

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