Saturday, 28 January 2012

REVIEW #13: Grottenbier Brune (Brouwerij St. Bernardus)

Pours a murky, ruddy brown and has a large head that soon diminishes to a beige collar. The aroma is full of sugary, redcurrant and medicinal cough-sweet odours. A sweet sherry like taste upfront - cherries, berries, pear drops - changes to a spiced (cinnamon & clove), dry and full-bodied finish. The singular ageing process seems to have rounded off or blunted the aforementioned flavours creating a blend in which no one characteristic leaps out. Complexity is king here. Hops are not prominent, in accordance with the Belgian dark style.

I was struck by a rather random fact on this brewery's website: The liquor (brewing water) that acts as the base of all beers brewed by St. Bernardus is extracted via a 150 metre deep well and has been scientifically proven to to contain rainwater dating back to the time of Joan of Arc (early 1400s)! Grottenbier was devised in conjunction with Pierre Celis (who sadly passed away last year), the 'Godfather of witbier' (in truth more of a witbier revivalist who brought the style to the masses) and inventor of Hoegaarden. Grottenbier's uniqueness and major selling point comes from the fact that it is aged in marlstone (a type of limestone) caves in Belgium and Holland, natural cellars possessing constant temperatures of 11 degrees C.
  • MALTS: ?
  • HOPS: ?
  • IBU: ?
  • ABV: 6.5%

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