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Beer Information
 
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
76 76 76 1 3 1

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Witches Brew by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Tripel
9.30 % ABV


 
Review by SAP on 08/15/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 3 8 15 4 8 2008
Spicy notes of cider, ginger and pepper greet my nose as I pour this into my 25cl tulip glass. The beer pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head; the head leaves lots of lacing on the sides of my glass as it very slowly subsides. The beer is a nice copper hue as it sits on my desk but shows a clear, bright gold color when held up to the light. Other aromas of melon, star-fruit, herbal grass, sweet clove, white pepper, something a bit like spicy oak and a flinty, almost metallic white grape skin note. This has a very complex nose to it, a bit warm, perhaps even hot from some higher alcohols, but still interesting enough that I can let it slide that this is not the most integrated of aromas.

Wow, this is very well carbonated; despite resting in my glass for the last 15 minutes, my first sip of this just seems to vaporize into a sea of foam. After a quick de-gassing the beer stills has an ample, peppery, fizzy carbonation that really helps to cut through the viscous body that this beer has. Sweet, though not overly so, with flavors of honey-like grain, some ripe melon notes and a touch of not-quite perfectly ripe pear. Quite spicy too, the ample carbonation certainly accentuates this, but there are also notes of clove, a ginger bite, some hot alcohol all of which contribute to a slight tongue numbing character. A base, toasty / cracker-like, malt character that I like to find in these types of beers is not much noticeable here. A touch of hop bitterness in the finish mixes with some of the spicy notes that are noticeable.

As the beer warms up I realize that much of the perceived sweetness is actually contributed by the fruity esters and the higher alcohols. This does actually achieve the lightness in body that I like to see in strong beers of this type. Warming up also softens the overall impact of this beer, taming the heat from the alcohols in the finish and allowing a creamy, smooth finish to become more noticeable. An interesting beer, this is actually pretty tasty & I find that I am enjoying this more than I expected.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Served In: Tulip

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