‘Tis the season, for hearty beers. As I write this I am enjoying a Left Coast’s Asylum tripel Ale. We’re on the long arc of heartier winter beers on the show. Two weeks ago we started with a true Belgian Ale from St Bernardus from the of Flanders region in Western Belgium. But it is a very different beer from Asylum. The St Bernardus Abt 12 is a quadrupel ale with a dark and exceedingly smooth character and sub dued hops. Asylum is, well, I’m coming to that.
By contrast, Brian and I sampled Maudite Belgian-style ale from Quebec’s Unibroue this week. Rich with a malty sweetness, Maudite was a bit lighter than Abt 12. As for me, I prefer smoother pale ales and maltier beers. Brian, on the other hand, is a bit of a hops-hound. He’s waiting the season out for the IPAs that are great for spring, and even better in Autumn, when the air turns crisp and cool. Asylum is the next destination in that St Bernardus-Maudite-Asylum triple play(I wanted to say threesome here, but the wife said no).
On a lark today I picked up Left Coast Brewing’s Asylum Belgian-style Tripel Ale, at an awesome 11.8%ABV. This beer threads the line between malty sweetness and that bitter bite of hops. I keep a nice selection of beer glasses. This one I poured into a chalice to really pick up the fragrance. It poured to an even and frothy half inch head, which lingered for a few moments. The lacing was a bit weak(that’s what’s left of the head on the inside of the glass) but the first taste more than made of for that. It may well have been because I sampled the beer on the warm side, around 45F to awaken the aroma and really highlight the layers.
Even still the fragrance was a bit light, but still nicely imbued with a sweet, yeasty aroma. That first taste was sweet and fruity. It finished nicely with hops and a bit of spict at the back of the throat. Some months ago we sampled-a full six pack- of Revolution’s IPA, which was rich in hops, taking bitterness right to the edge without crossing it. Although the hops in Asylum are subdued by that initial sweetness, I was re minded a bit in the character of a nice IPA.
On their site the folks at Left Coast offer this, “Drinking great beer brings the world together. “Vrede op aarde” (Peace on earth).” Indeed. They pulled off a beer drinker’s beer, one that satisfies those, like me, who like a bit of sweetness, and those like Brian who are hungry for those hops.
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Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com