Monday, February 6, 2012

10 Commandments Belgian Strong Ale

Tasted last Monday for RIBCo's 1/2 priced draught pints. I unintentionally got a whole pint of this which deterred me from my original 3-pint-plan, and resulted in two for the night. Reviewed on premise in a pint glass.
10% ABV

Appearance: Mahogany Brown with very little head, if at all. Definitely filtered, and maintaining a very pristine clarity when held to the light Carbonation looks to be strong initially, with an accumulation of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. Off white ring for a head an wet speckled lacing left in its wake.
Aroma: Caramel and raisin...And very fruity overall with alternative sensations reminiscent of plums, figs and grapes. Subtle hints of cocoa and biscuit are present under a rich vininess. Some molasses is picked up upfront as the beer warms. 
Taste: The front is rather acidic with a strong viney taste to it. Biscuit and caramel for a brief time can be experienced. Next up, a predominantly grape related flavor and champagne-esk tartness comes through rather aggressively. Roasted fruits and other complexities are present at the end along with a very assertive alcoholic flavor. Raisins are consistent throughout, and become more intense as the beer warms. The absolute end (before the aftertaste) does engage with a lot of clove related phenols, and even hints of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: Bubbly and acidic from start to finish. The front may come off as a little light, but in this case, the beer develops more of a body as it transitions towards the finish. Drying end, but not from the hops, more from the fermentation by-products.
Overall Impression: I'd see this as more of a clash between a port, and carbonated dry wine with a hint of beer flavor if you were to be generous. Lots of raisins, almost to the extent they overwhelm. In fact, they do. Most of the complexity is front bound, but the second half reveals a lot of fermentation based flavors as well. Alcohol is very present in the finish

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