Friday, 20 April 2012

De Struise Brouwers Cuvée Delphine

Good afternoon all. Unfortunately today marked the last contact I will have with any friends and close acquaintances until I return to uni in a week and a half, so I finally have to face up to the coursework that's been residing in my bag since I returned home three weeks ago. Last night I had a couple of very nice beers (Hitachino Nest White Ale and The Lost Abbey Lost & Found) and watched a trio of films that covered the whole spectrum of stupidity and confusion quite nicely. All of this fun has caused me to build up a small backlog of beer reviews though, so I thought it would be wise to write them up as a further respite/exercise in procrastination. First up is Cuvée Delphine, a Russian Imperial Stout from De Struise Brouwers, one of my favourite Belgian breweries whose offerings have graced many a post on this blog. Review after the pic....

Cuvée Delphine (13.0% ABV) pours a rich deep black colour with a very thick brown head that maintains itself fairly well throughout the course of drinking. Looks fantastic in the glass and I certainly wasn't expecting there to be that much head based on the alcohol content, must be the Belgian yeast bottle-conditioning. The aroma consists of candy sugar, licorice, raisins, blackcurrants, coffee and a caramel/candy floss sweetness. There's a light sense of chocolate and a slight awareness of the alcohol but this isn't too overpowering. It's certainly very rich and dark, and builds upon the characteristic imperial stout aromas with a barleywine sweetness. Some toasty notes also come through every so often from the roasted malt, and on occasion a bourbon quality can be detected. Tasting the beer brings up plenty of malt and yeast extract flavours, with licorice, blackcurrants, bourbon and a partial phenolic spiciness. There's a bit of an alcoholic burn during drinking and a slight bitterness to the finish. The majority of the flavour in this beer makes itself known during drinking, and there's almost a defined point for each mouthful where the flavour simply cuts out, leaving a dry sensation in the finish and aftertaste. The mouthfeel is relatively thick but doesn't mask the flavours, and the beer is well carbonated. Overall, a very good imperial stout packed with plenty of roasted malt, fruit and sweetness. The Belgian character that makes itself known in the proceedings every so often adds an interesting dimension to the experience, and I could definitely see myself getting this again in the future (along with virtually every offering I've had so from De Struise). Highly recommended!

Until next time....

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