Beer blogger Leigh Linley continues his regular column on WOW247 with a look at a strong, golden and citrus-y brew that’s just perfect for the BBQ season.
Every month Leigh picks out a terrific tipple for you to try – and July’s recommendation is the spiky, superb Duvel Tripel Hop.
Style: Strong Golden Ale ABV: 9.5%
Web : www.duvel.com
We’ve all played the ‘Desert Island Beers’ game – listing our perennial go-to beers for all occasions. To reveal all of mine is perhaps a conversation for another day, but I can reveal that one space on my virtual bartop would belong to Duvel; the strong golden ale from Belgium. It has a grace and supple roundness of flavour that really makes it stand out from the crowd and – considering its bruising alcohol content – is the definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove.
That familiar dumpy bottle and gothic red-and-white label may make it one of the most recognisable Belgian beers in the canon, but that’s not to say that the brewers, Duvel Moortgat (who also own the Vedett and Maredsous brands), have resigned their flagship beer to the ‘do not touch’ box. It did, however, take some time for them to bring us something new.
Traditionally brewed since 1920 with only two hops (Styrian Golding and Saaz), a special edition of the beer with a third hop added appeared on the market in 2012. That year, Citra was the interloper; 2013 saw the addition of the herbal Sorachi Ace. Mosaic – an intensely citric-smelling and tasting hop that’s related to Simcoe – is currently gatecrashing the party for 2014.
So, what’s it like? Well, fans of Duvel will immediately recognise that the aroma is much zestier than the usual yeast and delicate pear-drop of regular Duvel. That familiar, abundant head is still present, and the beer pours a lighter shade of gold, too, but the taste – although still packed with rounded sweetness – has a spikier, spritzier finish. Bitterness comes and goes on waves of citrus pith, displaying supreme balance.
The Tripel hop series are a welcome addition to the Duvel family and go much further than a ‘novelty’ beer. Released every spring, you can still buy bottles online at Beer Merchants, Beer Hawk and Beers of Europe.
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