Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rare... well Belgian Beer Series - Reinaert Grand Cru

Text ColourReinaert Grand Cru, De Proefbrouwerij - 9.5%, Belgian Dark Ale

Ah there isn't anything better than a fantastic beer memory. A beer can tell a thousand pictures it's been said by myself, I opted for this little dark ale on my recent Bruges trip completely unaware of what was coming (to be perfectly honest it's a rarity even with the bar's fantastic ranges)

It was day one, De Dolle Oerbier as a starter along with a rich meaty platter in Ca
mbrinus it was time for something beefy and a little different. My palette had also been knocked into touch both flavour and quenched by the utterly divine Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze (in my opinion the daddy of all Flemish lambics)

The glass came, slightly chilled with a touch of haze and a dribble of yeast. I decided, among the ultra-rare Elliot Brew, Black Damnation and Embrasse Oak Aged I managed to sneak in this little beauty.

It pours with a dirty amber body, tinged with hints of marron and cloudy by a hint of yeast and a little bit chill haze. The head is off white, dense and fluffy, just the sort of thing you'd like to top off your rich Belgian wonder.

An atypical fresh, aromatic Belgian yeast character. Sweet, lemony and a touch of almost pancake like floury
character. Whiffs of brandy soaked raisins, not overly aggressive on the dried fruit front but a hint of overly ripe banana and peach too.

Warming, rich Christmas pudding soaked in a light Belgian ale (if that makes any sense) A little touch of sweet almost acidic alcohol through but very slight given the Belgian-esque abv. Lots of sweet fruit, rich candied apples and a hint of hop. There's something unmistakably characteristic of the dark style but with a lighter finish and a touch of grace and drinkability about it. Think Achel meets Chimay Tripel, the clash of the abbey. That could potentially make a reality television show with the same number of viewers as those who collect grains of sand.

A bit of an unknown in the grand scheme of things but certainly worth looking out for home or away. Delicate, balanced and obscenely drinkable for a beer of this strength.


  1. where in Belfast (or thereabouts) do you get your beers from??

  2. Hi. I generally get my beer online from Beerofeurope or Gapwines/The Vineyard. The ranges in the latter are a bit limited however, prices in the last year or two have become ridiculously inflated too. I'm also a bit sick of finding the usual raft of Chimay and similar, with such a vast range out there I really wish they'd make a change. Gapwines is good but the range can be a little bit lager heavy - they often have a few decent brews from Brooklyn including the superb seasonal Black Chocolate Stout.