Scott: Well Well Well (3 holes in the ground) - Christmas has come and gone, but we are well and truly in that sweet period between Christmas and New Year. That point in time where we cram as much chocolate and alcohol in as possible, before verbally signing ourselves up for unrealistic resolutions we are never going to keep. No? Is that just me then? Well, I've not been overdoing it - no nights out or anything (oh I know... It's a tough read, the poor fella... tears were shed) but I have been trying to make my way through a bunch of the beers kindly given to me over the Crimbo.
I'm not going to do a full-blown review (again... I am getting lazy). I'm going to do it as a beer of the week again. This is mostly down to two things - Andy rattling out another few reviews since breakfast and me planning to round off 2017 with a beer of the year article. Picking out a few of the highlights of the 1st year documenting the spiral into alcoholism beer journey we have been on, getting the website off the ground and taking its first few baby steps. If any of you keen readers have suggestions on what you would like to see then please fire myself or Andy a wee email. We like having something to read.
So, my choice for 2017s final Beer of the Week is Westmalle's Trappist Dubbel (or more cleverly The Double!). This is one of the absolute highlights from the Beer Wulf Trappist Selection box. Trappist Dubbel is a Belgian Dark Beer, no longer brewed by the monks themselves although the brewery is still within the site of the Abbey. Traditionally they brewed their Trappist beer however this is The Dubbel, which involved them brewing with double the ingredients of the former, lending to it being a darker, heavier beer then it's predecessor.
I thought this was excellent. Pours a deep, dark colour but held to the light there is still a red hue in there slightly. The head is thick and creamy and remains on the glass as the contents are consumed. Nice sweet aroma and the initial flavour that hit me was like a burnt brown sugar. Delicious alongside the malty porter like body although a bit heavier than that. You can get hints of other notes in there like treacle or fruit too - so I think it's multi-layered. I suspect I'd taste it differently next time. Although it rolls in at a punchy 7% it doesn't at all overpower the flavour and is really drinkable. Very impressed with this.
The Westmalle website is excellent too - https://www.trappistwestmalle.be - and also translates pretty well. They have really in-depth details about the abbey, the monks, the brewing etc as well as some really cool recommendations for food pairing for their beers.
So that is 2017 at a close. I hope you guys have enjoyed reading along with our beerventures so far and will be joining us in 2018 for some bigger and better things. Happy New Year to you and yours!!
Andy: Once again I find myself hijacking Scott's BOTW article, to tack my own recommendation on at the bottom. I'll probably also tack a recommendation for Beer of the Year onto his excellent idea for another article once he submits it, the bastard that I am. Keep that to yourself though - it's a secret.
It's been a funny old week. I've drank a fair amount of beer, most of which was actually pretty disappointing. I'm not sure if that's because the beer itself wasn't great or because I'd built up unrealistic expectations for some of them that they couldn't possibly meet. It may also be possible that I've drank some excellent beers over the last few weeks, meaning that a beer has to be exceptional to get my attention these days.
Anyway, back to my BOTW selection. I've mulled this over a bit and decided to go for ...Budweiser!.
Ha! Only kidding! I'm actually going for Coors Light!
Ha! Double sting! I'm so funny! (In my head)
My actual BOTW is: Fallen Brewing's New World Odyssey. I'll be honest - after the good, but underwhelming Chew Chew from Fallen - I wasn't expecting much from NWO. I thought it'd be a solid, if unremarkable beer. How wrong was I.
Clean, fresh and fruity, NWO was the definite highlight of the multitude of beers I (stupidly) consumed on Christmas Day. Really enjoyed it and I'll definitely be looking out for it in future. Special mention should also be made for Fallen's Local Motive, which was another really great beer from the Kippen-based brewery.
Just to echo Scott's closing comment above, Happy New Year folks, here's to a bigger, brighter 2018!