After a mere 17 calls, I finally secured two crates of cherished Westvleteren beer for pick up next week.
For folks back home, Westvleteren is a notoriously hard beer to acquire, sold only from the brewery and limited to two crates per car, per 60 days.
The two crates can only be ordered, usually two weeks before hand, by calling the brewery “beer hotline” between 930 and 12.
This beer hotline appears to be a solitary cheery chap, gladly taking his orders in glorious West Flemish.
Today, is a good day!
Thought it great at first,
Now – a dry, boring Orval
Only one will do.
I’ve been back to this drop once or twice in the past few months, though despite always being a little disappointed by the blandness, there’s something that gets me buying it again and again. At 7.5% alcohol volume, it’s not exactly a beer that can be sneezed at, however it doesn’t sooth a thirsty throat like a non eleven percent-er should.
Interesting (?) to note is that you can read about Hommelbier on wikipedia in both eastern Flemish, and Western. Flanders. What a place, eh?
In Belgian terms, Vosselaer is on the other side of the world to Gent, being exactly 101 km from the steps of my appartment. So it comes as no surprise that the beer of Vosselaar has never in the past made it to my refrigerator. Why drive 101 km when your local options are just so damn good?
Fortunately via the miracle of modern-logistics, the local beer-shop delivered me two of Vosselaer’s finest beers from the brewery ‘De Lelie‘, Dutch for ‘The Lily’, however tonight I only want to waste your time on one – the damnnnnn fine dark brew ‘Pater‘ (Dutch for Father)
This daddy of beers is amazingly dark (at least in the light I am writing in – which is to say ‘candle lit’), or amber if you believe the packaging. The taste is subtle, a little caramelly, a light hoppy after-taste, and an over-all glow-enducing sweetness that is neither sweet enough to rot teeth or encourage any silly post-pouring sugar lumps.
Pater has an alcohol content of 6%, quite a low value for the beers it shares fridge-space with, however this makes the perfect after-heavy beer when a simple pintje (lager) just won’t do.
Apparently I was supposed to let this beer settle for a few months to encourage further maturation in the bottle, however it’s Saturday night and who has time for that sort of nonsense. Not me, that’s who.
A few nights ago I started off with the De Lelie’s primary beer, “Paus‘ (Dutch for ‘Pope’), however this was not an entirely memorable experience. The beer was a little too malty for my liking, and didn’t really register on my palate. At least not enough for a review, to say the least. I remember drinking the entire glass, I suppose. So it can’t have been that bad.
Pater = 8/10.
Paus = Drunken, but nowhere near as good as Pater. I’ll give it a token 6.5 -> 7/10.