Monday, November 9, 2009

132. Bornem Triple Abbey Ale

Bornem is made by Brouwerij Van Steenberge in Ertvelde, Belgium. Triple Abbey Ale has a sweet candy nose mixed with esters, fruits, and metallic aromas and light port or sherry oxidized fruit hints in the background. Pouring a dusky tan that borders on copper, it has a pillowy white head. And there is no disjunction between the nose and taste—both are very Belgian. The front is sweet and spicy—we would guess mostly from the yeast esters—before moving into some fruitiness in the middle with apple, raisin, and port flavors, and continuing through to a spicy bitter finish. In addition, there is a complex rich malt backbone that runs across the flavor profile—subtle, smooth, and well developed. Triple Abbey Ale is medium to big-bodied with a rich, creamy carbonation and some alcohol warmth. Nonetheless, it is very well balanced for a 9% ABV beer—the warmth remains in the background. Overall, a delicious beer with pleasant complexity; we wonder if the fruitiness and spiciness would continue to develop with age—it does seem like it would age well, and the port and fruit flavors might deepen and oxidize to build upon current malt flavors and already developing dark fruit flavors. The only thing we can add is that this is a Top 10 Best contender.

From the Global Beer Network website (their importer—there’s nothing on the Brouwerij Van Steenberge site): “Golden shining and soft feeling in the mouth - perfectly balanced taste - full body and heart warming, a splendid aroma, tickling in the nose - hoppy dry long finish. Triple means that the brewer adds 3 times the normal amount of malt in the brew kettle, which gives us a rich beer. You can age the Bornem Triple for many years, just like wine.”

ABV: 9.0%


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