Skip to main content

Advent Calendar Window 3 - Biere de Noel

Here is the Calendar introduction

Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu seem to be something of an enigma when it comes to researching them online. Contrasting stories refer to a brewery that was opened in 1997, but also “centuries of brewing” and recipes “perfected throughout the generations.” I haven’t had time to get to the bottom of this unfamiliar Belgian brewery before needing to post this blog (awful journalism I know but I’ll do it tomorrow I’m sure) so I have little information to bring you about tonight’s festive beer behind Window 3 in this Advent Calendar.

This beer was purchased last December as well and has been sat waiting for its chance this year.

  
This pours very cloudy and a muddy tawny colour with brilliant, foamy, white head. Again, similar to the beer in Window One, it's really Belgian - sickly sweet, plenty of caramel and a little peach on the nose. It does though, have its own character within the taste. It's very full bodied and hits you with lots of satsuma and necatarine skin. It's sweet, but bouncy and low on the carbonation for a Belgian beer. As it progresses this whole orange peel flavour really dominates. This is what pith is for me, in all the years of that word being used as a taste descriptor. Pith is the defining characteristic of this beer. I don’t mean it as a reference to a bittering hop, I mean actual Orange pith tastes like this. PITH. As it warms and settles, there are little hints of spice, like cardamom and Star Anise lifting the tongue to suggest that this may be a quietly spiced but well-rounded Christmas beverage. It doesn't deliver the greatest of complexity in the finish that a beer with such body deserves  and the flavours still suggest it's better cold than supped in front of a roaring fire. So, a very decent beer clouded by it's misappropiation with Winter. PITH.


Christmas Spirit Rating: 35%. Delicious beer that would be delicious ice cold on a warm beach somewhere… Merry Christmas. 

Revisit: Wadworth's Dray Bells from December 3rd 2012 (even though I never will.) 
or

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of