Monday, March 28, 2011

An Evening with De Struise

I decided my cellar needed a little cleaning so why not go into some of the beers I picked up from Belgium.  De Struise is a very small brewery in Belgium run by only a few people.  Seems like a nice place and the owners appear on BeerAdvocate every once and a while which is neat.  If I ever get to Belgium it's definitely a place I want to visit.  Since one was a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and the other an Imperial Stout, I decided to start with the former, the De Struise Tsjeeses.  Don't ask me how to pronounce the name, though, as I have no clue.
Smelled of caramel, bread, and yeast.  Lovely aroma.  First sip was very tasty.  Sugary fruit (almost raisin like), some spices, and a very pleasant note of alcohol.  It's hard to describe as there was a little burning but it was a nice burning.  As I drank more, I definitely got that nice Belgian bite which was very refreshing.  Nice and dry as well so not too sweet.  I really enjoyed this, way more than I expected.  I originally got it as filler for my order and now wish I had more.  At least it shows up in the states, so I may be able to find it again if I try.

After that was the Black Damnation II: Mocha Bomb.  What a great name.  It's a 12% imperial stout with 50% aged on coffee, 25% aged in Jack Daniel's barrels, and 25% of another beer named Cuvee Delphine.  Complex to say the least.
The first thing I'll say is that I never realized it was 12% so that's a big point in its favor.  Very intense coffee nose.  Chocolate, roast, coffee with a little bitterness in the finish.  Aftertaste is a really clean coffee flavor.  As I drank more, I started getting tons of chocolate notes up front.  It became more and more prevalent as I worked my way through the glass.  Good mouthfeel too.  Very good and much better than the last time I had it.  Definitely glad I got to try it by itself to get a clean experience of it.  I have a few more things from De Struise and looking forward to trying them all.

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