I hadn't planned on doing Belgian weeks back to back but years from now no one will care so here we go. I bought these at Tully's in Maine in the summer. I had the blond as well as the double and went back for more based on their strength. Not a cheap range as each 11.2 oz beer went for between $3.59 and $4.99 USD.
I know zippo about the brewery De Regenboog but that is what the internet is for, innit. The BAers seem to say that there is no website for the brewery. This is going make it tough. Seeing as the beers feature lime-blossom, mustard seed or honey and dates, I am suspecting that this is not that close to a medieval monestary. And the Burgundian Babble Belt has the brewery making beers for them. Our pal at the Belgian Beer Blog sings the praises of another beer made by De Regenboog, Guido and translated this interview of the brewer last December. We'll we have a week. Maybe I'll pick up a few more tidbits to share. But now to the beer:
- 'T Smisje Blond: Ale brewed with lime-blossoms, 6%. Heavily clouded light amber ale with white rim. Very prominent lime on the nose and in the mouth. The lime is neither skin sharp or juice sour - all green and vegetative with a strong weedy hop behind it. The yeast is milky and the malt round, burlappy and fresh. A whopping 29% of BAers do not like it and, frankly, I can see why. They likely didn't read the fine print that says "brewed with lime-blossoms". There is a combination of bitters notes that are pretty brusk. There are plenty of double IPA that as far more bitter but not in this way - like the flavours in a Thai green curry. But if you know that going in, it should be fine.
- Dubbel: Ale brewed with honey and dates, 9%. Big lush rich brown ale. Clouded chestnut ale under a tan head that resolves to foam and rich rim. An entire guzz. Dear oh dear. A light fresh entry point, water and biscuit followed hard upon by the big malt and sweet date. Just to be clear, my favorite food is date squares. I know not only that but that my family eats them because three generations ago a friend of the family brought the idea from the USA to a village in Scotland. So the overlay of date in the deep dark malt is a particular drippingly sweet Middle Eastern treat. The honey is there, too, a light third layer of sweet floating above and at the tip of the tongue. The cloy - and what cloy there could be - is almost cut by hop, a reasonable spike of hop amongst it all to remind you there is more to life than sweet and, then, to let you get on enjoying the sweet in a structure. The yeast? Damask meets your own compost pile. The end resolves to fresh open graininess, hop and the honey. Nothing less than the 100% BAer approval is warranted.
- Wostyntje: Mustard beer. Yup, 7% mustard seed beer. The brew pours a quickly and fizzily dissipating head. Mustardy-amber clouded ale. Smells like mustard and sweet ale. In the mouth, apple cider, mustard and...mustardiness. The bottle says:
- 't Smisje BBBourgondier: The brewery's quadrulple weighing in at 12%. Cloudy brown ale under a tan rim, a fairly unattractive brown, sort of a shoe brown. Medium shoe brown. An incredibly well hidden 12%, under another lightish fresh mouthfeel full of prune, fig, apple butter that sort of thing. Some burlappiness but not a whole heck of a lot. Some heat peaking out at the end but not a whole heck of a lot. 3% of BAers are not impressed. I am certainly not impressed as much as I was with the dubbel but if I was asked how to hide 12% alcohol in a beer, I would recommend this one as a technical example.
Wostyntje is a dark blond ale brewed with 90% barley malt, 10% munich malt, 2 sorts of hops, dark candi sugar and mustard seeds.Oddly, this works. The De Regenboog yeast is there - tangy, earthy and rich. In in fact it makes us the largest part of the taste. The beer is fresh, watery moreish, with low carbonation and mustardy. Sort of hard to describe - well balanced sweetish country mustard in a light sweetish beer. 91% of BAers say MUSTARD!!! while 9% say Mustard??? This is potentially the greatest hot dog beer ever.