Tonight’s Belgian beer is Augustijn Ale. The bottle label depicts a monk hard at work in what must be an abbey brewery, and also informs us that this beer is 8% ABV. You know, something to warm me up while I enjoy watching the Rays stomp those ridiculous, cocky Red Sox.
Ahem. Anyway, on to the beer:
The beer smells inviting, with the clove and banana notes which are prevalent in most Belgian brews. There is no real hop aroma I could pick out, which in my experience is also typical of Belgians. There was a slight citrus note, which I found intriguing. Something else there, caramel or raisin, perhaps? Made me want to take that first sip.
Appearance was gorgeous – the beer poured with a ridiculous meringue head which lasted forever. The beer itself is a light gold/amber color and was a touch hazy. The lacing lasted quite awhile. Very inviting and true to style.
The flavor was impressive. The typical Belgian sweetness was muted and nicely balanced with some hop bitterness in the finish. The banana and clove I picked up in the aroma didn’t really come through strongly in the taste – rather, there was some raisin, a touch of vanilla, and something I interpreted as a touch of citrus tang. You can detect a bit of the alcohol in there, but it is very well disguised. Excellent beer – clean and crisp taste, and very enjoyable.
The beer was highly carbonated, leading to a very crisp mouthfeel. Unlike some Belgians, which coat your tongue like cough medicine, this beer was not too thick and cleaned itself up nicely with the carbonation and hop finish.
Wow. After the first Belgian Box review (Piraat), I was expecting the worst here. I figured the entire box had been mistreated and would yield less than enjoyable experiences. This bottle of Augustijn really exceeded my expectations. This was the perfect Belgian, in my opinion – high-powered ABV, but not at the expense of taste. Rich and deep flavor profile, without being overpowering or sickly sweet. I’ll be looking for this in my travels, and recommend you do the same.
Well, there you have it. I’ll be back soon with the next entry in the Belgian Box series. If you want to check out the previous entry, you can read my review of Piraat. Bis später!