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Old 04-26-2007, 02:19 PM   #21
paranode
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Is there a Belgian style that has the fruity/estery flavor that everyone describes but is moderate in alcohol, say 5.5-6.5%, and not overly bitter or hoppy? Maybe a good commercial example I could try? I don't think I've had too many Belgian beers that I recall, and I was thinking I might try that on my next batch.

 
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:13 PM   #22
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Most of them are balanced or low hoppiness to begin with. Finding the lower abv is tricky though as most clock in higher than that. In fact they are usually so smooth that you don't ever recognize them as being such signficant alcoholic strength, that is until you've finished a glass .

I suggest an Ommegang Rare Vos. It is around 6.5% iirc. I think Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue is a good example of a White Ale, around 5% or so.
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:46 PM   #23
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So far my Belgium beer experience is limited.
I tried one on tap at a bar that was much too fruity.
I've had a couple Wits I don't care for.
And my friend gave me a Triple he brewed but was disappointed in, this is the only one I have liked. Not my favorite but I still like it.
I need to try a few more. The question is what to try. I usually like strongly flavored beers but not beers with added flavors. My favorites are imperial stouts, I also like IPAs with a good malt backbone in addition to Porters and stouts. I don't like pale beers, fruit beers or spiced beers. The description of a Dubble sounds interesting but I don't know. There is a bar that specializes in Belgium beers in town in addition my closest HBS is also a beer store with a wide array of beers.
What should I try?

Craig

 
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:52 PM   #24
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If you can find it I recommend "Leffe" Belgium Blonde.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:33 PM   #25
jezter6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranode
Is there a Belgian style that has the fruity/estery flavor that everyone describes but is moderate in alcohol, say 5.5-6.5%, and not overly bitter or hoppy? Maybe a good commercial example I could try? I don't think I've had too many Belgian beers that I recall, and I was thinking I might try that on my next batch.
As someone else said..Ommegang. Any of it.

I normally don't like yellow fizzy beer, but I've now hit my favorite beer style with saison, and lambic a close second.

Ommegang Hennepin is an award winning saison, and very good.
Ommegang Ommegeddon is the higher ABV saison (I think 7.5%)

If you like Hennepin, try Saison Dupont (import).

For the SWMBO (or if you decide you like fruity beer), go with Lindemann's Framboise. Lindemann's Peche is also fairly decent. The Lindemann's Kreik, however, seems to taste like cherry cough syrup, so I'm not a fan.

Also, like I said above - there are a number of regional Belgian beer festivals going on this year. Try to make one if you can. I did my first one this year and it knocked my socks off. I don't like the Tripel's very much, but some of the dubbels aren't too bad.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:58 PM   #26
jarrid
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I don't know about anyone else, but all of the Lindemann's I've tried give me a sore throat and heartburn, they clash violently with whatever else I've drank or eaten that day. I like them but only in small amounts. Are all "lambics" that way?

 
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:06 PM   #27

The Lindeman's Lambics are all too sweet for me with the exception of the Gueuze Cuvée René. My favorite Lambics come from Cantillon, Boon, Hansen's and Drie Fonteinen. I LOVE Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek!

 
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:16 PM   #28
jezter6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrid
I don't know about anyone else, but all of the Lindemann's I've tried give me a sore throat and heartburn, they clash violently with whatever else I've drank or eaten that day. I like them but only in small amounts. Are all "lambics" that way?
It may clash with some stouts or something, but usually any big change in styles will do that - at least with some heartburn and some basic unpleasantness in the stomach.

Never had anything with sore throat though. Maybe it's the carb level? Lots and lots of tiny bubbles?
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:51 PM   #29
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I just discovered Piraat yesterday. I've never fancied myself a belgian beer guy, but swmbo ordered a Delerium Tremens, which I thought was OK, so I decided to try something on the belgian list of the bar we were at. Ordered a Piraat and MAN, it was great.
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:40 AM   #30
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So I was browsing the beer isle at the grocery today and noticed that they carry a couple fruit lambics and the three Chimay beers. I was going to try to Chimay as I was curious but they were between $10 and $15 a bottle (750ml) and the bottles didn't look to be capable.
Are any of these worth the price?
What would be a good Belgium Dubble I might be able to find locally to try? I do have a local beer store with a great selection, so I should have a pretty good chance of finding most beers available in the US.

Craig

 
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