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Posts Tagged ‘Flanders Oud Bruin’

Windy City Brews: Goose Migration

May 3rd, 2011 Bill Zavorskas No comments

You'll want Madame Rose in your biergarten

Anne and I were in Chicago this past week on vacation. We enjoyed everything that this world class city had to offer, including exceptional food and drink. And you knew we just had to pay a visit to one of my favorite breweries, Goose Island, on Saturday.

Their Clybourn brewpub is located in Lincoln Park, and has 20 beers on tap plus many more in bottles. The menu ranges from traditional pub food to artisan cuisine.

We started with the delicious Artisan cheese sampler for an appetizer, along with a bottle of Goose Island Madame Rose (Goose Island Beer Co.; Chicago, IL; Flanders Oud Bruin; ABV: 6.5). Madame Rose is a Belgian style brown ale aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, and brewed with Michigan cherries and Brettanomyces. Crimson rose in color, the big notes of sour cherries and roasted malt is complimented by dark fruit with a dry wine like finish. Madame Rose is a rich and full bodied oud bruin.

I had the scrumptious lamb burger for lunch, while Anne had the Classic caesar salad. For round two, I had a pint of Goose Island Tingly Tongue (Goose Island Beer Co.; Chicago, IL; Belgian Style Black Witbier; ABV: 6.0). Coal black in color, Tingly Tongue is brewed with orange peel and balanced by notes of Yuzu and Thai long peppercorn, mustard seed, and Thai chilies. This zesty, complex witbier is very smooth from start to finish. Tingly Tongue was crafted in collaboration with Chef Stephanie Izard of The Girl and the Goat restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop.

Goose Island has several signature beers on tap at numerous pubs and eateries throughout the city. My favorite of the group was Goose Island Honker’s Ale (Goose Island Brewing Co.; Chicago, IL; English Bitter; ABV: 4.3), which I had the night before at the superb Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House. This amber colored English bitter is incredibly smooth, with a perfect balance of citrus hops, caramel malt, and a hint of biscuit on the back end. The medium bodied Honker’s Ale makes an excellent session beer, and paired nicely with the best Alaskan king crab legs that I’ve had in a long time.

As usual, Goose Island was right on the mark with each one of these excellent beers.

Goose Island Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House on Urbanspoon

Haandbakk’s Comet

October 31st, 2010 Bill Zavorskas No comments

Haandbakk is worth waiting a century for

While at Bruisin’ Ales in Asheville two months ago, I purchased a bottle of a very interesting sour ale. HaandBryggeriet Haandbakk (HaandBryggeriet; Drammen, Norway; Flanders Oud Bruin; ABV: 8.5) is the first wild yeast-fermented beer brewed in Norway for more than 100 years. And since Beer Advocate ranks Haandbakk as one of the world’s five best in its beer style, I decided it was time to give this ale a try.

Aged in oak barrels for two years, Haandbakk pours a deep mahogany color and has considerable notes of sour cherries and dried fruit such as raisins up front. These fruity notes are complimented by vanilla spices, and hints of caramel and roasted malt at the finish. There’s definitely an oaky undertone from the barrel aging, and it cuts down on the acidity that’s characteristic of a lot of sour ales.

Complex and tart with a brandy like backbone, Haandbakk takes its place among the world’s finest sour ales, and is highly recommended.

Grand Duchesse

September 6th, 2010 Bill Zavorskas No comments

Duchesse rules

When Anne and I were in Asheville recently, one of our stops was The Thirsty Monk. This brewpub has been noted for its extensive selection of craft beers, particularly from Belgium. We ordered some pub fare, along with a couple of outstanding Flemish ales.

Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne (Brouwerij Verhaeghe; Vichte, Belgium; Flanders Red Ale; ABV: 6.2) may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had. Named for medieval duchess Mary of Burgundy, it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Red Ale (Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.; Ertvelde, Belgium; Flanders Oud Bruin; ABV: 5.5) is brewed annually, in a limited quantity, for the acclaimed Philadelphia brewpub. Exceptional in its own right, this sour ale is chestnut in color with notes of tart fruit and sweet malt complimented by a woody backbone. Like Duchesse, Monk’s Café is smooth and well balanced, although it’s a tad lighter.

While Monk’s Cafe is brewed in limited quantities, Duchesse is appearing in more and more brewpubs nationwide. I strongly suggest giving each a try.

The Thirsty Monk on Urbanspoon