Over the last week or so I've alternated my evening drinking routine to include beer. For those that know me, I'm not a big drinker. Yes, I know, I have a ridiculous amount of bourbon but the reality is, I have a drink 3-4 times a week (and at times I go on a purge and have nothing for a couple weeks). In my younger days I was not a beer drinker and really stuck to mixed drinks along the lines of bourbon and coke, bourbon and ginger, rum and coke, etc. About mid career I was doing quite a bit of travel overseas and one of my first trips was to the beautiful city of Vienna Austria. Out for dinner my first week there a co-worker asked why I didn't drink beer and I stated "don't like it". Through some coercion, I agreed to have a beer. The veil of beer bigotry was lifted that evening and I started drinking import beers which eventually morphed into micro and craft selections. So here I am today talking about beer; specifically, Belgian Ale's. I've gone on a small buying binge and picked up a number of various import and domestic Belgians.
First up this week was an Ommegang Abbey Ale. This particular ale is a domestic Belgian made in Coopertown, NY. I'll just say this one really hit my sweet spot. Tons of dried fruit, dark chocolate, malt, mild hops and for lack of a better word, chewy. A must try for those that like dark, rich ales. This one was the lightweight of the three coming in at 8.5% ABV
Next, a Gulden Draak which I found to be less sweet than the Ommegang, contain a little more spice and a little smoother. A very good dark ale with 10.5% ABV; not a lightweight but certainly drinks like one as it went down way too easy.
Last this week was a Chimay Blue at 9% ABV was a real pleasure to drink. I think this may have been my favorite of the three which is hard to say since the Ommegang was terrific. This beer was pretty much hopless with dried fruit, molassas, malt and caramel. This is one I'll keep in the beer bunker for sure.
I feel sad that I've ignored my bourbon this week (well, not completely) but I thoroughly enjoyed these three Belgian Ales. I have more in the bunker and plan on continuing the tasting.