Friday, 21 December 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 21- Brouwerij de Molen Bloed, Zweet & Tranen

Good evening all. Thankfully the world is still relatively intact, so you can all celebrate the lack of the apocalypse by reading my thoughts on another beer from Brouwerij de Molen (Bodegraven, Netherlands). Tonight it's the turn of Bloed, Zweet & Tranen, a smoked stout that's been brewed with a plethora of malts including peated and Bamberger, adding an interesting spin to the usual dark flavours one would associate with a stout. I've had a couple of beers in this style before, so I'm looking forward to adding another from one of my favourite European breweries. Review after the pics....

Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (8.2% ABV) pours a ruby-tinged black colour with a lively off-white head that settles to a centimetre of foam over the surface of the beer. Straight off the bat the aroma is very reminiscent of brine/pimento olives, which seems to be a combination of the smoked malt qualities and the coffee notes from the roasted malt. Once this initial power has died down the two components become more distinguishable, allowing some chocolate and caramel sweetness to come through in the process. The meaty smokiness works well with the sweetness and usual stout aromas- certainly good stuff so far! The taste delivers more intensity, with smoked malt, coffee, chocolate, yeast extract, caramel, a hint of dark fruits and some light hoppiness during drinking and in the finish. The smoked malt conjures up Islay whisky flavours (peat, iodine), and is a natural bedfellow to the coffee and chocolate stout characteristics. As with the aroma the oily flavour is quite prominent at first, and once the palette has become accustomed to it there's a nice dose of cocoa to break up the flavours. Drinking the beer produces a light tartness along the sides of the mouth, but this isn't cloying and allows for repeated sips. The finish is quite light and slightly dry, with the usual hop-derived remnants residing in the background. The mouthfeel is quite thick and the beer is well-carbonated, which balances out the smokiness and compliments the flavours on show. Overall, this is a very decent rauch-stout that creates a good interplay between the different malt types, allowing them to either coalesce or display their individual characteristics throughout the course of the beer. Well worth trying, although I personally prefer similar offerings such as Evil Twin's Ashtray Heart or Mikkeller's Beer Geek Bacon.

Until next time....

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