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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.) 


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