Skip to main content

Beer Advent Calendar Window Four - Maredsous Brune

As part of Duvel Moortgat, the beer of the Maredsous Abbey forms that interesting choice between being big enough for "craftier" idiots to think they can ignore, but too important for serious enthusiasts to ignore. 

The Maredsous beers are one of those groups I will personally tell the newer beer geeks ("kids") that they have had to have experienced before they can even talk beer with me. You don't discover classics like this after craft. Still, having said that, I haven't drunk tonight's Advent Calendar beer - Maredsous Brune 8 - in nearly 7 years and have little memory of its taste, so my beer hypocrisy continues. 

Maredsous Brune 8 is one of several beers that are included in this year's calendar that might not seem Christmas themed or based, but qualify under the criteria as its original incarnations were brewed especially for Christmas. Ergo, Maredsous Brune is definitely a Christmas beer. 

These days it is churned out for fun, under its new guise as the brewery Dubbel, between its Blond and Tripel. 

I managed to fit Window Four into a brief window of opportunity on Friday, but a hectic weekend caused the delay in the post. Apologies. 

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." 

Maredsous BiĆ©re d'Abbaye - Brune 8%  

This beer pours a lovely burnt auburn colour with big frothy head. The nose isn't huge - it's soft, dark fruits, like raisins and plums, at the front with a berry sweetness. All the flavour comes through the taste with brown sugar, prunes and a sherry alcohol sweetness. It's all held together with a big Belgian yeast character that is honey-like. This isn't a complex beer. Its like a supermarket mince pie - it's familiar, reassuring, solid and performs the job. It has all the rounded edges of a macro-produced, consistent beer. It doesn't demand complexity above solidity. Yet, there is a romantic edge to this drink that makes you think of history, heritage and that beautiful abbey where it was birthed. The flavours are consistent without changing by the time this beer ends. 

Like many of the darker Belgian beers, it makes me long for the streets of Ghent in winter, paired with some warm bloedworst and with images of St. Nicholas from every window. Once again, the beer is more emotive than flavoursome.  

Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 10/10 - this is a Mince Pie 

Best Paired with: A playlist of a choral choir singing Christmas carols. Heritage is best. 


Popular posts from this blog

"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

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

LIVERPOOL - the City that Craft Beer Forgot Part II (and found...)

After visiting Liverpool, one of my favourite cities, in February this year, and not impressing people with my rather hasty but honest verdict on the city’s lack of craft beer, I jumped at the chance to return last week and hoped to come out with a more attractive judgement. A couple of friends and I visited on a day out, with neither of them having been drinking in the city before. It was left to me – or rather, I volunteered – to plan the day’s itinerary and places to visit. I had a couple of new or unvisited places in mind myself, but knew it would be unfair to miss out on some of the city’s famous gems. With around 10-12 hours in which to fit in an entire city, I opted to concentrate on the famous Georgian Quarter and see if we had time for the Dale Street end later on.    We planned to arrive in the city for around 11a.m. just in time to walk up Mount Pleasant to the new-on-me, though I believe it has been opened three years, Clove Hitch on Hope Street for breakfast.