16 August 2008

More Dutch courage

First beer of the evening, back in Amsterdam yesterday, was a bottle of Parlus Magnificum from the Urthel range. This is dubbel-like in flavour and taste with a plummy aroma and sharp yeasty fruitiness on the palate. Not the most flavoursome brown Belgian I've ever met. I was, however, much more impressed by the Steenbrugge Dubbel which I had down at De Beiaard at the bottom of Spuistraat. Here there's a sharp and spicy fruitcake character hitting all the right notes for a tasty dubbel. Again, a bit more of everything would improve things, however I suspect I may be on an eternal quest to find a dubbel to beat Westmalle and have unreasonably high expectations of it happening.

De Beiaard owns the Bekeerde Suster brewpub elsewhere in the city which I visited last year. The microbrews are therefore available elsewhere in the chain, and one I hadn't seen before was De Manke Monnik -- so that'll be one manky monk for the wife, please. It claims to be a tripel, but the estery citric notes it displays has me thinking much more of a German weiss, albeit one of the sharper, more highly hopped variety. The spice of a tripel is there, but at 7.2% ABV it's a bit of a lightweight. Tasty, though.

Two nightcaps brought yesterday to a close: first up was an Einbacker Urbock Dunkel: a limpid amber beer, sweet with a touch of caramel and a mildly bitter smoky flavour. Definitely better than the Hell from the same brewery. Ramping up the sweetness and strength I finished with a dark, sticky Weihenstephan Korbinian -- a sticky treacle-laden 7.4% ABV sipping dunkel. A great end-of-day beer.

Today's beering began at yet another branch of De Beiaard, down in De Pijp. We'd been walking in the sunshine for an hour or so, so refreshment was a priority. I went for the beer of the month: a 3.1% ABV fruit number called Apple Bocq. It was tastier than I expected: tart and juicy and just what I was after. Mrs Beer Nut ordered a Liefmans Frambozen: not too fruity, heavy and dry, and decidedly quenching. Thus fortified we headed back into the streets again.

The last piece of business this afternoon was a raid on the Cracked Kettle. I'm currently enjoying one of the spoils from that: a superbly bitter oude gueuze called Oud Beersel. Sharp, refreshing and just what I need as I cool off. As the bottom of my glass approaches I can hear the call of 't Arendsnest. See you later.

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