Tag Archives: Belgian

Pilsner and Willamette Petite Saison SMaSH

Lately I haven’t been brewing that much, but yesterday a buddy and me did a big double batch brewday.  We brewed two beers using Willamette hops, because I have a bag of Willamette leaf and I want to use it up to make space in the freezer.  So here’s the first beer we brewed:

12 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malt

approximately 6 oz Willamette hops.  1.5 oz measured FWH, the rest approximated and added over a steady stir for the last 5 minutes of the boil, with a 10 minute hop stand.

Now last time I did petite saison smash I used 3711, this time I used T-58.  The main reason for this was I had a pack of dry T-58 and didn’t feel like making a starter, and didn’t have any 3711 anyway, so the choice was easy.  I’ve used T-58 a number of times now in my small experimental batches, and I’ve liked it.  We’ll see how it performs on this batch.

Fermentation will be at 64F.  I didn’t dry hop the last petite saison, so I might try it on this one, but then again I might not.  We’ll see.

The other beer we brewed will be in another blog, with some pictures too!  That beer is test run #1 of a clone of Texas Big Beer’s Working Stiff Ale.  Much more on that to come!

Freetail Brewery IPAs

Was working on a deck over on that side of town, and stopped at Freetail Brewery to see what bombers they had for takeout.  There were four bombers available, and I didn’t know what any of them were all about, nor did I have the time to read about it or discuss it with the staff.  So I picked the two IPA type beers to try later that day.

Two days later, we finished the job early, so we went to Freetail for lunch and a couple of beers.  I saw that there was a third IPA in bombers for takeout, so I picked that one up too.  I guess it’s Freetail “IPA week” for me!  I’ll post the review of Soul Doubt IPA below.

The other two IPAs I picked up:

Velocihoptor (what a great name for an IPA!).

Buffalo Hump 1840 Belgian IPA

In addition, I had another round of Spirulina Wit, a delicious rye witbier with spirulina added to give it a wonderful and deliciously strange green color!  At 3.9% ABV, it’s damn easy to drink, and I could easily have several of these in a sitting.

I also tried Uglie Ollie Stout, a delicious dry Irish stout that’s full bodied, but only 4.1% ABV.  These two brews made a nice lunch (along with some delicious pizza from their food menu).

I am going to try to make it there this Saturday for the “battle of the wits” where they’ll have various varieties of their witbier for your drinking pleasure!

Cheers to Freetail!

 Soul Doubt IPA

Pours a nice amber to copper color, mostly clear, with a creamy head that left about a 1/4″ sheet of dense foam capped on top the whole way down, leaving sheets of nice sticky resinous lacing.

The aroma doesn’t blow me out of the water, by any means. It’s somewhat subdued, but I get Cara-Munich malt first, then some herbal, earthy hops.

Flavors much follow the aroma, but they stand out more, and leave me wondering why I don’t make it out to freetail more often! The Cara-Munich and aromatic malts (along with whatever crystal malts they used) make a great base, and an unusual one for an IPA. I like the innovation! It’s well hopped, but balanced very well with the moderate ABV and bold malty backbone. There’s a little citrus, but I am getting mostly heavily earthy and lightly floral or grassy hop flavors.

This IPA is very unusual, and very likeable. Just don’t expect to be getting a standard west coast 47 lbs of hops per five gallons type of IPA. This beer is well crafted and delicious, but it’s not Pliny the Younger or Heady Topper.

Cheers to Freetail brewery for this brew!

St Sebastiaan Grand Reserve

An interesting selection that I found in the local supermarket.  They actually have a pretty good selection of beer there!

This one comes in an opaque white ceramic bottle with a flip-type Grolsch style lid, great for re-use in homebrew!

Pours a cloudy yellow/tan color with a very large, lasting head and sticky lacing.

Aroma is fruity, spicy, with clove and banana, citrus, a little hops and some biscuit malt.

Flavor is tasty, it’s got tons of spiciness, with clove, coriander, pepper notes, banana and bubblegum, and some funk.

Body is pretty thick with plenty of carbonation and slightly noticeable EtOH.

Overall it’s pretty tasty.  A nice Belgian Strong Pale that fits the style nicely. If you like this style, it’s worth a try.

Cheers!

Dogfish Head Raison D’etre

A rather strange offering from Dogfish Head, Raison D’etre scores a 96 overall, 92 to the Belgian Strong Ale style on ratebeer.com, and 83 on beeradvocate.com.  As much as I just love Dogfish Head, this has not turned out to be one of my favorites from them.

Brown with amber notes and clear.  One finger head and so-so lace.

Definitely a bubblegum component to the aroma.  Fruity and a little spicy, with some maltiness.

Flavor is more bready and toasted malty but still has some bubblegum character, a little spiciness, and some raisiny fruitiness.  Alcohol is pretty noticeable.  Hops seem to be out of whack, too strong in overall bitterness, but perhaps not quite there enough on flavor/aroma.  The whole thing is a bit muddled and chaotic.

Body is slick and thick, carbonation is pretty low, and alcohol is noticeable, moreso than it should be for an 8% beer.

Overall it’s a beer in chaos, but it’s not bad.  I really don’t think this fits the Belgian strong dark ale category nearly as well as it would fit the brown ale category, except for perhaps the yeast.  But even then, the usual Belgian notes just aren’t there to the extent that you’d expect.

%d bloggers like this: