Monday, August 18, 2014

The Best Thing I Swallowed on Sunday Episode 11

August 17, 2014

Today I opted to restore a bit of sanity to Sunday by not including a rare, world-class Belgian ale in my selection of beers--although some may disagree with my assessment of Straffe Hendrik. Today's choices are Great Divide Colette, Straffe Hendrik, and Founders Dissenter Imperial IPL.

Colette, Dissenter, and Straffe Hendrik

Great Divide Colette is an homage to the saison style using barley, wheat, and rice. I'm always excited to drink saisons, and Colette does not disappoint. While I wouldn't rate it among my favorite saisons, it is a great example of the admittedly wide-open style. At 7.3% ABV, Colette has that classic saison hazy golden color. It holds a nice head and leaves plenty of lacing in the glass. Its bready sweet aroma precedes a sweet flavor, followed by a dry finish.

Straffe, or Strong, Hendrik Brugs Tripel 9º is a traditionally brewed Belgian triple from the family-run brewery De Halve Maan (Half Moon) in Brugges. Founded in 1856, this brewery has been run by five generations of the same brewing family. As any self respecting triple should, it has a thick, fluffy head that leaves good lacing behind. It has a hazy, orange-gold color, with a fruity sweet aroma. It's flavor is somewhat sweet and a bit phenolic from the yeast. The 9% ABV really comes through in the rather dry and warmly alcoholic finish of this beer.

Lastly, I truly enjoyed Founders Dissenter, which is an Imperial India Pale Lager. The IPL has become a new trend of late, and I have to admit, I've enjoyed the results of creating complex lagers that bring a lot of flavor but maintain the light, drinkable body of a lager. Dissenter is a part of Founders' Backstage Series and is the first lager that Founders has brewed in twelve years. Brewed with several tropical and citrusy hops, it brings an amazing aroma. Typical for a lager, the head was nice but dissipated rather quickly. It has a clear, light gold appearance. The citrusy hop flavor is right up front, followed by the clean finish of a good lager. It is light bodied and very refreshing. Dissenter is big at 8.7% and bitter (70 IBUs). It's also delicious, which is why I chose it as the best thing I swallowed this Sunday.

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Tripelbier 9º