Reviewed by Tom Becham
Tried a few more over my 3-day weekend.
Krusovice Cerne is another Czech brew, this one a dark lager. The Krusovice brewery is famous for being a favorite of recent Czech President Vaclav Havel, who would have cases shipped to his residence. So, I expected big things from this beer. I was disappointed. Most of the descriptions I’ve read of the dark Krusovice cite caramel and nut flavors, but the only thing I picked up from this beer was the smell and taste of oversweetened coffee. Now, I like sweet, malty beers, but this one was WAY overdone. It tasted like it contained artificial sweeteners and there was no balance or subtlety to it.
St. Bernardus Tripel is a Belgian Abbey Tripel style beer. Abbey Tripels are usually gold, strong in alcohol and packed with strong flavors, both sweet, spicy and sometimes bitter. St. Bernardus was no exception. The nose was citrusy, hoppy and yeasty, and the flavor had hints of citrus, coriander and earthy hops, with sweet undertones. It was about as subtle as a bludgeon, but the beauty of a tripel is that even the pedestrian ones can be enjoyable, at least to me.
Finally there was Saison DuPont. Saison’s are Belgian “farmhouse” ales, and subsequently, they tend to be a little rough around the edges. They are intended for consumption in the heat of summer, so they are lighter in color, medium bodied, and generally quite hoppy. DuPont is considered the benchmark Saison. The strong horse-blanket quality of the yeast smell filled the room upon opening the bottle. Not much else was evident in the aroma, as it was overwhelming in yeastiness. The flavors were citrusy hops, some light biscuity malt, a spiciness from the yeast, and a long-lasting low-level bitterness. I’m thinking that a chicken or lamb dish in the French country style would have brought out the best qualities in this beer.
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