When I was contacted by BelgiBeer, a subscription service dedicated to the discovery of Belgian craft beers, to ask if I wanted to try out a box, I literally leapt at the chance. When the box arrived on my doorstep I tore it open like it was Christmas day, vibrating with anticipation at what I might find. Inside were 8 bottles of beer (2 of each type), a BelgiBeer glass, bottle opener, beer mats and my beer menu, which would tell me all I needed to know about each beer and the brewery it came from.
First impressions were good: I had 4 brand new beers to try from a brewery I had never heard of and, on further investigation it turned out they only exported to the US- exclusive! The most interesting part for me was that Gruut Brewery still use traditional techniques for brewing, which means that they don’t use hops, only herbs and spices.
Wit (5% ABV)
This was very aromatic indeed and, to be honest, I was slightly concerned about the herbs coming through too strongly in the taste. I needn’t have been as this proved to be a typically refreshing wit, light bodied and clean. If anything I think it could do with a little more spice! I need to get a fridge load of these to accompany my BBQ sausages.
Blond (5.5% ABV)
I thought I’d start light and work my way up so chose the blonde next (and obviously I was itching to try it as I love a good blonde). This poured a golden yellow with a white head that disappeared pretty swiftly. It smelled incredibly sweet, which was fine, but the sweetness came through in the taste strongly without enough bitterness to balance it out. It was fine, it just didn’t knock my socks off (I’m a difficult customer).
Next up was the amber and boy was it darker than I expected! The aromas were also of deep, dark fruits (cherries mainly). The taste? Rich and barley wine-ish before sweet caramel came through with a shout of bitterness at the end. I found this really interesting, but ultimately not for me. It’s taste, it’s subjective and I can see a lot of people loving this, just not me.
Finally it was time for INFERRNNOOOOOOO. How can you not want to drink a beer with a name like that?! I was expecting something a little darker, but as you can see it poured a hazy golden with a large white head that fizzled away so quickly I couldn’t even photograph it!
The aroma was very floral with some pepperiness coming through. Now, I have to admit- I didn’t know the ABV before tasting and the fact that it’s 9% does not come through at ALL. There’s no heat from the alcohol, just a strong spiciness complementing the main fruity base of the beer. I could have put quite a few of these away (I suppose it’s lucky I only had 2 eh?)