18 February 2008

Returning to the scene of the crime......

Yes, Max's is still standing. By my count there are still 37 Belgian beer available, including Brewers Art Resurrection, Ommegang Rare Vos (the last Ommegang standing), and the last inch or two of the two Brewers Art firkins on the bar. Did I miss any? Oh, yeah, if you poke around upstairs or in the side bar, you'll find a couple more. Still the proverbial "embarrassment of riches," then.

de Proef Zoetzuur Flemish Ale 7.0%--bright, deep amber, tart fruit-wine nose, I'm expecting a painfully tart Flemish ale but am pleasantly surprised by a very fruity beer, almost a Liefmans fruit beer balanced with a stone fruit body rather than their aggressive fruit flavors, with a balancing tartness with just a hint of wood. A truly nice Flemish, making me rethink the style. Or maybe everyone else will say it's to Flemish Red what Chapeau fruit beers are to the rest of Belgian fruit beers, I dunno.

de Glazen Toren Angelique (historic recipe), 8.0%--amber, bright, great head, vaguely herbal/woody nose reminiscent of Fraoch/its siblings.... I go Internet-searching for info, and find "Beer made by female members of OPA Aalst (local branch of Zythos vzw) and now released for mothers' day." Also three RateBeer reviews from other Max's drinkers posted in the last 48 hours. Nothing else telling me the "historic" nature of this dubbel, but way too many places (retail, pubs, and "I drank this" blogs just listing the beer.... the dubbel reminds one a great deal of Fraoch in that herbal sort of way...... a bit of woodiness and nuttiness akin to rye and/or oat malt. Think an herbal or old-hop bitterness as opposed to regular hops, and plenty of it--but then again, how much of this is from whatever yeast is used? I keep coming back to rye flavors.

Hiding in the coolers for possible future review: Three Aspall English ciders (Med., Dry, and Organic), plus three sets of bottles of Harviestoun Ola Dubh--12, 16, and 30 (relating to whisky casks, no doubt, and almost the price per 330ml bottle!), and looking very much like either a companion to or competition with Orkney Dark Island Reserve. Definitely more research needed.

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