Thursday, 29 March 2012

REVIEW #85: La Trappe Witte Trappist (Brouwerij De Koningshoeven)

Pours pale orange with a poorly retained head that's dull white. Typical delicate witbier aroma of spiced oranges and lavender. The taste is everything you'd expect from the style; fragrant and fruity. The middle is perhaps slightly more malty than the norm with caramel toffee notes. Low in bitterness, it finishes with a coriander and peppercorn zing. The beer is a little thicker bodied than other examples I've tried (2 of which are reviewed in head-to-head #4).

Brouwerij de Koningshoeven is based in the Abbaye Onze Lieve Vrouw van Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. It is the only Dutch Trappist brewery. The brewery inside the abbey opened in 1884. They started off with a lager and began brewing a single ale from 1980 onwards until 1987 when a Dubbel and Tripel were added to the range. In 1990 came a Blond. In 1999 the brewery was taken over by a subsidiary of brewing giant Bavaria. Due to this commercialisation the Authentic Trappist designation and logo was forced to be removed by law. However an agreement was reached in 2005 by which the monks once more take a more active role in day-to-day operations in exchange for the reinstatement of the logo. La Trappe now produce the largest range of beers of any Trappist Brewery (cf. Abbaye d'Orval which produce just a single beer). They also brew beers for other breweries such as John Martin and Brouwerij de Leyerth (who do the Urthel range). Perhaps the most sought after La Trappe ale is the oak-aged version of their Quadrupel. If you can find them, Wieckse Witte and Gulpener Korenwolf are two other Dutch witbiers well worth tracking down.

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