09 July 2012

Old flame

Much as I love De Molen -- the brewery, the approach and most of the many, many beers -- Vuur & Vlam IPA wasn't one that floated my boat when I tried it a couple of years ago. But someone must have liked it, because Menno released the recipe to all the brewers attending his festival at De Molen in 2010, to brew their own version and have them judged by the festival punters. Haandbryggeriet took the gong on the day, and Marble dined out on their second-prize-winning iteration for a while afterwards.

I don't know where Struise placed, but I recently got hold of a bottle of their version, dubbed Ignis & Flamma. 7% ABV and hopped with Galena, Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade and Amarillo. It should be a bit of a powerhouse but, like the original, it's rather tame. Yes I know it's two years old, but there's very little sign of those hops: it's smooth and a little spicy but not properly bitter and in no way fruity. I find it a little strange that two brewers, working independently, managed to hide all those high octane hops.

Its not a bad beer by any means: rounded and pleasantly warming. Hopheads would be disappointed, however.

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