Thursday, May 03, 2007


The other evening while I was ensconced in the RUSSIAN RIVER beer tasting at the Toronado (my local bar of choice), it dawned upon me that it was late April, and that April was “Belgian Beer Month” at said establishment. The only other Belgian I’d tried that they’d trucked in from across the pond was the DE REGENBOOG ‘T SMISJE DUBBEL, and I loved that one. I then looked at my watch, and saw less than a week was left in April – so I needed to act fast. I ordered up something called a VAL DIEU WINTER, and got busy with it. I believe Val Dieu stuff is imported to the United States fairly regularly; though this was the first beer from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu I’d ever had, I know I’ve seen them on the shelves.

VAL DIEU WINTER is a hearty, strong, 10%+-ABV dark Belgian ale. Alas, it is also a syrupy brew that started very thin & appealing, but then, as it warmed, began to almost congeal and become a thicker, less enjoyable beverage. I liked that the alcohol was downplayed, and that the only betrayal of the high-ABV was that aforementioned syrupy taste that roared in after about 10 minutes. In short, a good Belgian, but not one I’d pick over others in a robust lineup of taps. 6.5/10.

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