These are most of the beer tasted during the above period - that is, those beers I wrote a
short comment about. Just a few beer, without rating and comment, are missing in this file.
Of course you can find all the beers in the Database in all its formats.
The comments are the ones I wrote at the time of the tasting; the rating is instead the updated one.
Sometimes I don't rate a beer at my first taste, and sometimes I just give a "+"; and for the moment I don't give the Lambics any score. See Notes in the main database page.
15/11/1997 LA TRAPPE QUADRUPEL (TRAPPIST ABB. KOENIGHOEVEN); ALE; NED; 10.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
The best of the lot. True Trappist beer (the only in the Netherlands) maybe it is not up to the same level of Westvleteren, but nonetheless an eccellent Ale. Copper, almost orangey colour, drier and hoppier compared e.g. to Chimay Blue or Rochefort, reminding a little of Orval. Strong but drinkable. Difficult to classify, seems more a Barley Wine.
25/11/1997 SMOKED ALE (ROGUE); SPECIAL; SMOKED (AFFUMICATA); USA; 6.0 alcvol%; 14.5P;
A smoked beer from the NW Coast of USA. We appreciate smoked beers - both me and Ross, see Schenkerla Rauchbier - but this one we did not like very much, maybe it is this type of smoking or its matching with a quite bitter character...
10/12/1997 CRIPPLE DICK (ST. AUSTELL); ALE; BARLEY WINE; ENG; 11.7 alcvol%; voto:+;
A strong ale or a barley wine? Quite strong, a bit sweet, maybe I would have liked it just a bit hoppier. A good beer if you like strong ones, but it doesn't enter the TOP of my ratings.
20/12/1997 GRANT'S SCOTTISH ALE (YAKIMA); ALE; SCOTTISH PALE; USA; 4.7 alcvol%; voto:8.25;
If you look for bitterness and hoppiness Grant's ales will not disappoint you. This one balances the bitterness with a good body. An interesting and satisfying ale without being strong.
30/12/1997 MERCK TOCH HOE STERK (SCHELDEBROUWERIJ); ALE; NED; 8.5 alcvol%;
A bit sweet and sour. It's not my favourite style of beer, but it could have its appreciators. I will not rate it.
10/01/1998 ALBION PORTER (MARSTON'S); STOUT & PORTER; PORTER; ENG; 4.8 alcvol%;
A black Porter, pleasant but not exceptional.
17/01/1998 ROCHEFORTOISE WINTER (ROCHEFORTOISE); ALE; BEL; 12.0 alcvol%; 26.3P; voto:+;
A beer with a strong character, very good although my expectations were even higher. Brown, strong, full bodied, warming, the Belgian answer to Samichlaus. Belgian yeastiness and hoppiness are a bit subdued to the maltiness. A noteworthy ale, perhaps just a bit "monodimensional" to be admitted to the Olympus...
23/01/1998 STILLE NACHT (DE DOLLE BROUWERS); ALE; BEL; 9.0 alcvol%; 28.0P;
Definitely the most unusual beer of the lot. With an astounding 28 Plato (same level of EKU28!) you can expect as much as 12% Abv or more, but it is just 8% (according to the label) or 9% (according to other sources and my gravity measurement). Accordingly, the result should be an extremely full bodied and sirupy beer, yet this character is balanced and attenuated by a fresh sourness, so that the beer comes out quite drinkable and even enjoyable. Difficult to classify and rate to me.
01/02/1998 WARSTEINER SCURA (WARSTEINER); LAGER, DARK (SCURA); GER;
Pleasant without being anything special. Undefined style.
03/02/1998 GIRARDIN GUEUZE (GIRARDIN); LAMBIC; GUEUZE; BEL; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:L;
An authetic Gueuze made in the traditional way - not available in Italy. Its beginning is quite sharp and tart, but you get used to it after a few sips. Winey and fruity, maybe less tart than Cantillon, the only other true traditional lambic I tasted. If you like lambics, that's a Classic. Quite noteworthy.
06/03/1998 SAISON DUPONT (DUPONT); ALE; SAISON; BEL; 6.5 alcvol%; voto:+;
Saison is a beer style I am starting to know and enjoy. They are characterful ales, beacuse of their yeast, the spices, and a hoppyness which is high for belgian standards. The Dupont is a very good example of this style.
17/03/1998 CALANDA ICE (CALANDA); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); ICE; SUI; 4.8 alcvol%;
17/03/1998 WESTVLETEREN 8 (TRAPPIST ABB. WESTVLETEREN); ALE; BELGIAN STRONG; BEL; 8.0 alcvol%; 19.6P; voto:9.75;
It is not up to the level of its bigger sister, the one at 12 belgian degrees, but certainly it is a world class beer, with the same kind of aromatic maltiness but less rich and sumptuous.
24/03/1998 CINEY SPECIALE (UNION); ALE; BEL; 9.0 alcvol%; voto:7.25;
Good but not unforgettable: in fact, I must confess that as I am writing these notes, I can't remember much about the tasting but the fact that the beer was no bad at all...
31/03/1998 SAISON DE SILLY (SILLY); ALE; SAISON; BEL; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
Another "Saison". Despite the low strength and the fact that it is not bottle conditioned, it makes head against the rival Dupont in taste, character and complexity. Quite noteworthy.
02/04/1998 ZOTTEGEMSE GRAND CRU (CROMBE); ALE; BRUIN; BEL; 8.4 alcvol%;
Not easily classificable to me the sweet-and-sour notes are restrained and work well to balance a structure quite big for the style the result is good and enjoyable.
06/04/1998 FORST BIRRA DI PASQUA (FORST); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); ITA; 5.6 alcvol%;
Pleasant and of good quality without being exceptional. As I am speaking of Forst, let's mention the dark Sixtus I tried again in the same days: really no bad on draugth.
18/04/1998 ZATTE BIE (DE BIE); ALE; BELGIAN STRONG; BEL; 9.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
A surprise: the Hit of these months. Produced by a tiny micro (280 hl) in Watou, in the same blessed region featuring also the Van Eecke, S.Bernardus and Westvleteren breweries. Great worls class beer, rich but drinkable, smooth and chocolatey as Rochefort 10, it gave me similar feelings as when tasting Westvleteren 12. It is always difficult to rate a beer at my first try, but this seemed to me a little step above many other excellent "Belgian Strong" ales that I recently tasted, including the above mentioned Westvleteren 8. I would like to drink it again (but it would be difficuly to find it) to see if I can admit it to the "Olympus"...
28/04/1998 IMPERIAL STOUT (ROGUE); STOUT & PORTER; IMPERIAL; USA; 11.8 alcvol%; 26.0P; voto:9.00;
This regional brewery of the North pacific Coast of USA seems specialized in the production of ales so strongly and sharply tasting as to be "balanced in the narrow area between extreme pleasure and pain" - these are the words of the World Beer Champioship tasting panel describing another legendary product of Rogue, Old Crustacean, a 120 IBU barleywine.Also this Imperial Stout is no joke, not only because of bitterness but also aroma, roastiness and alcoholic flavour - all you ask from a beer of this style. The rating rewards the "daring" more than the balance.
07/05/1998 HERTOG JAN GRAND PRESTIGE (ARCEN); ALE; NED; 10.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
A well regarded beer which surprised me a bit. It is not in the Chimay-Rochefort style as I was expecting, but it's a potent dark ale with a touch of winey sourness that makes it comparable to the Dolle Brouwers products or to an English wood aged Old Ale. Not to be missed.
10/05/1998 BRUNEHAUT VILLAGES (BRUNEHAUT); ALE; BEL; 6.5 alcvol%;
30/05/1998 BOON FRAMBOISE (BOON); LAMBIC; FRAMBOISE; BEL; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:L;
30/05/1998 CANTILLON KRIEK (CANTILLON); LAMBIC; KRIEK; BEL; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:L;
Two authentic lambic tasted in the same occasion... Cantillon Kriek is quite sour, I think evevn more than the Rose' de Gambrinus and the gueuze Boon is an easier beer and perfect in its balance.
09/06/1998 CAVES (VERHAEGHE); ALE; BELGIAN RED; BEL; 5.5 alcvol%; voto:7.25;
I don't know how to classify it, but it is a very good beer slightly sour and not too sweet.
12/06/1998 DELICATOR (HOFBRAUHAUS); LAGER, DARK (SCURA); DOPPELBOCK; GER; 18.0P;
Probably a good beer but.... I tasted it in a Koln pub so crowded and noisy that I could not appreciate it! A pity, I can just tell it was very sweet and malty.
12/06/1998 FRUH'S ECHT KOLSCH (FRUH'S); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P;
12/06/1998 GARDE KOLSCH (GARDE); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P;
12/06/1998 PAFFGEN KOLSCH (PAFFGEN); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P;
13/06/1998 GAFFEL KOLSCH (GAFFEL); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P;
13/06/1998 MALZMUHLE KOLSCH (MALZMUHLE); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P; voto:+;
13/06/1998 SION KOLSCH (SION); ALE/LAGER HYBRID; KOLSCH; GER; 5.0 alcvol%; 11.5P;
During a 24 hours stay in Koln I had the chanche to compare the different versions of this local speciality, the Kolsch... it is a very delicate beer, it has the strenght and the appearance of a Pilsen but is an ale. It is difficult to recognize the subtle differences between the various breweries' products, anyway I could find Malzmuhle as the maltiest and one of the favourites.
13/06/1998 MESTREECHT AAJT (GULPEN - ZWARTE RUITER); ALE; BRUIN; NED; 3.5 alcvol%;
A very special, I would say unique beer. It is made by blending a traditional Oud Briun (dark, light and sweet) with a sour beer partly fermented spontaneously and aged in wood for a long time. The result is a beer at the same time interesting, enjoyable and refreshing.
03/07/1998 BELZEBUTH (JEANNE D'ARC); ALE; BARLEY WINE; FRA; 15.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
Extra strong are becoming fashionable... this one has an exhorbitant strength, it is noteworthy because it's an ale (anyway tastes quite similar to the Demon). It is all-malt, balanced and does not show to the palate its 15% abv (tastes more of a 10-11% abv beer). My judgement would be more than positive.
18/07/1998 ENAMEL TRIPEL (ROMAN); ALE; TRIPLE; BEL; 9.0 alcvol%; voto:7.25;
A good triple, more drinkable than one would think at 9% abv.
01/08/1998 CISK LAGER (FARSONS); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); MALTA;
01/08/1998 FARSONS STRONG ALE (FARSONS); ALE; MALTA; 6.2 alcvol%; voto:+;
Two good quality beers apparently of unlikely origin. Actually Malta has a tradition in brewing dating from the time it was an UK colony, and Frasons' is well known for its ales but the lager is also no bad.
26/08/1998 ASASHI SUPER DRY (ASASHI); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); JAP; voto:6.50;
29/08/1998 FREEDOM PILSENER (FREEDOM); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); PILSEN; ENG; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:7.25;
24/09/1998 PYRAMID APRICOT ALE (HART); SPECIAL; APRICOT WEIZE; USA; voto:7.25;
A shame my bottle was a bit old, but this match of a wheat beer with fruits (apricot) is surely enjoyable and appropriate.
01/10/1998 THE GHILLIE (BROUGHTON); ALE; BITTER/PALE; SCO; 4.5 alcvol%; voto:6.75;
Good pale ale maybe more english than scottish.
17/10/1998 KASTEEL TRIPLE (VAN HONSEBROUCK); ALE; TRIPLE; BEL; 11.0 alcvol%; voto:+;
Good and robust triple, I'll have to taste it again to check if it is up to the same level of the best ones like Westmalle of just a step lower.
27/10/1998 POLSTER (POLSTER - MENABREA); LAGER,PALE (CHIARA); GER; 5.0 alcvol%; voto:6.25;
Nothing exceptional but no bad for the "hard discount" price. Good hoppy character.
11/11/1998 PORPORA (LAMBRATE); LAGER, AMBER (ROSSA); ITA; 6.5 alcvol%; 15.0P;
11/11/1998 LAMBRATE (LAMBRATE); ALE; ITA; 7.0 alcvol%; 16.0P; voto:8.25;
11/11/1998 MONTESTELLA (LAMBRATE); ALE; ITA; 5.5 alcvol%; 11.5P; voto:8.25;
11/11/1998 S. AMBROEUS (LAMBRATE); ALE; ITA; 7.0 alcvol%; 16.0P;
These are the first beers by a micro that I ever tasted. The impression is positive,the beers are good, from the hoppy Montestella to the Lambrate that deserves a good rating to support the efforts of this micro.
04/12/1998 TICKLE BRAIN (BURTON BRIDGE); ALE; BELGIAN STRONG; ENG; 8.0 alcvol%; voto:8.25;
Brewed by en english micro but in a belgian abbey style, as suggested by the funny label. The target is achieved, the beer has a good malt and yeast character...it is just too "explosive" in its head!
16/12/1998 HARVEST ALE (LEES); ALE; OLD/WINTER; ENG; 11.7 alcvol%; voto:+;
It is an ale of very high gravity, with single varietal malt and hops of the latest harvest. It is quite sweet and malty and reminds me of the Thomas Hardy's Ale.
22/12/1998 S.ARNOLDUS (RIVA); ALE; TRIPLE; BEL; 7.2 alcvol%;
The bottle tasted was perhaps too old and the beer had started to oxidise.
30/12/1998 JULE OL (SPENDRUPS); LAGER, DARK (SCURA); SWE; 5.3 alcvol%;
A bit sweetish... unremarkable.
01/01/1999 VINTAGE ALE 1997 (FULLER'S); ALE; BARLEY WINE; ENG; 8.5 alcvol%; voto:9.50;
The best beer to start the new year in the best way, in fact I opened the bottle at midnight of 31/12/1998 instead of the usal sparkling wines. It could be the bottle conditionedversion of Golden Pride barleywine. Strong and full bodied but not heavy, malty, fruity, perfectly carbonated, it hits you immediately with the hop aroma, flavour and bitternesswhich balances the other beer components without hiding them. Excellent.
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