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Good For What Ales You

by Alex Knapp on 17 August 2009

Credit: Rachel Lafferty

Last Saturday, I had the occasion to drink three different beers. And given that this is not a rare occurrence for me, I thought I’d start sharing my tasting notes here at ManZine. So enjoy!

Delirium Nocturnum Belgian Ale

Delerium Nocturnum is brewed by the Huyghe Brewery in Ghent, Belgium. The initial pour from the bottle settled into the glass with a nice, white head and the ale itself was a dark, caramel color that was slightly cloudy. The head itself lingered on the glass in a lacy pattern. The initial aroma of this dark ale revealed strong notes of cherry and malt with hints of what I can only describe as peat, as I’ve encountered the same note in scotch before.

The initial tastes of this ale were definitely nicely sour with notes of malt and some red wine. After the initial notes faded, the midtaste was very pleasurable, combining hints of cherry and oak, and the finish lingered in a good way with a sweet cherry malt aftertaste. It was a nice smooth beer that excellently accompanied the steak I had for dinner.

Alex’s Arbitrary Beer Rating: 7.5/10

Boulevard Single-Wide IPA

Single-Wide IPA

For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Midwest, you’re not doubt aware of the wonders that constantly come from the Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Company, which makes some of the best beers on planet Earth. Still, even with that reputation, I’m not going to lie that I was a little nervous before I tried the Single-Wide IPA. Generally speaking, I don’t care for too strong a hops flavor in a beer, and well, I’d never actually had an IPA that I enjoyed.

So it was a wonderful thing to finally find an IPA that I enjoyed from the pour, which revealed a nice color (similar to a caramel candy) and a nice foamy, almost sparkling head. The initial aroma was sweet, with notes of grapefruit, hops and flowers. On tasting, the initial notes were floral, followed almost immediately by a lovely combination of white grapes and honey. The aftertaste was crisp but bitter, and the texture of the beer as a whole was simply bubbly and delightful. This is a fantastic ale for the summertime, and I’m a little sad that I only discovered it in mid-August when I could have been drinking them since May.

Alex’s Arbitrary Beer Rating: 8.5/10

McChouffe Artisan Style Belgian Ale

McChouffe Ale

McChouffe is brewed by the Achouffe Brewery, and represents a Belgian interpretation of a Scotch Ale. This is a rich, fine looking beer the color of molasses with a white, frothy head. The initial aroma is one of a delightful roasted malt, and the initial flavor is filled with notes of coffee and hops. The flavors develop more as the coffee subsides to reveal bitter chocolate with notes of caramel, and the finish is nice and clean with barely any aftertaste. This is simply one of the finest Belgian Ales I’ve ever had.

Alex’s Arbitrary Beer Rating: 8.5/10

About Alex Knapp

Alex has been published in the Kansas City Star, TCS Daily, and Comic Book Resources. He’s been blogging at Heretical Ideas since October, 2001 and at Outside the Beltway since June 2006. He also reviews cigars at Cigar Jack's Cigar News and Reviews.

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