De Struise Brouwers, Oostvleteren Belgium. Portraits of owners/brewers Urbain Coutteau and Carlo Grootaert. After a week of sampling Belgian beers, I’d have to say De Struise was my favorite brewery. They consistently put out amazing brews and aren’t afraid to push the boundaries. I love how they experiment with aging in different types of barrels. Their ‘Black Albert’, a Russian Imperial Stout pictured above was a highlight. Although every one of their beers is a winner. Big thanks to Carlo for taking the time to meet with us and give us a private tasting. And also to my buddy Matt Shields who was persistent enough at getting in touch with him that he finally agreed to it. A real honor.

De Struise / Stillwater Outblack:

Tasty Belgian strong dark ale, that’s apparently a one-time brew. That’s sad, ‘cause it’s an awesome collaboration. It’s strong, at 10%, but that’s completely masked. The first thing I noticed is milk chocolate / cocoa. It’s quite sweet. There’s a hop to it that I can’t quite pin. I want to say it’s herbal/spicy, but that could be the rye here, too, which has it’s own spice happening. The oats don’t stand out at all, but the sugar addition definitely does. This is a complex beer, but it’s surprisingly approachable. I’d better keep an eye out for another one of these, while they still exist.


Tsjeeses by De Struise 10% Review No 2

Score: A

The same I reviewed before but this label is slightly different. The image is wearing green glasses instead of looking drunk. It has the same powerful caramel aroma. Chunky head. Low carbonation, medium body. Liquid bread flavor with some banana and brown sugar. Pretty awesome.

Beautiful amber coloring and a tantalizing hop aroma draw you into this exceptional IPA from @3Floyds. Created in remembrance of a lost friend and former employee, this beer definitely honors his memory with substantial yet palatable hop flavor and all-night-long drinkability.

If I had a rating system I would definitely put this one near the top. I suggest you get some while the gettin’s good.

Pannepot (2011) Quad from De Struise (Picked up at Capone’s outside Philadelphia). A 4 of 4. An incredible and exemplary quad. The spices compliment the standard yeast-driven quad profile well - lots of dark and light fruit, candy sugar, spice, yeast and other typical notes. Very, very balanced on the palate, and the booze never shows its face. The body is quite full and a tiny bit sweet and caramel-y, which gives your palate a nice break from the complexity that bombards it up front. Very balanced, very complex. Definitely an exemplar of the style, and an extremely excellent beer.

Beer Review: De Struise Brouwers - Ignis Et Flamma
  • ABV: 7%, Style: IPA
  • Brewed in Oostvleteren, BE
  • Best before April 2015
  • Served: 330ml bottle poured into a stemmed tulip

I think this might actually be my first Vuur & Vlam review. Off blog, I’ve had the Marble Brewery and the De Molen original. I’ll have to pick them up for review at some point in the future.

These beers historically were entered into a brewing competition and are all brewed to the same recipe devised by Menno from De Molen Brewery in Holland. The Borefts festival that De Molen organises then held a blind tasting to see which was best. This is seen as being the best way to decide the best brewer. This article about the 2010 winner explains a little more.

This bottle was dry-hopped with Cascade, although the original called for Amarillo.

Look: Deep copper beer with  chunks of visible sediment floating around. Minimal head, with very little retention. Light lacing.

Aroma: Dried dark fruit and spice. Smells like a wholefoods. Some treacle, some orange peel, some resin.

Taste: Good, fresh, heavy hop flavours with toffee and spice. Nice bitter citrus finish although it’s not particularly long.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. More like an English bitter.

Overall: Good bitterness on this beer considering the bottle lists it as 66EBU, it tastes much higher than that. Overall, this is a great fresh-tasting hoppy IPA. Very nice. 4/5

Beer of the Week 110 (Part 1) - 3/7/2012: De Struise Pannepot (Vintage 2007)

Well, last week was my last spring break ever.  Needless to say, I stayed far away from my computer at all times.  BUT, that doesn’t mean I stayed away from great beer!  In fact, I decided to break into my cellar to have some special beers to celebrate my last break in school.

First up is a Belgium quadrupel from De Struise.  Pannepot really took me by surprise in terms of how great it was.  Quadrupels are my favorite style of beer, and this one quickly jumped to the top of my list of favorites.  The aroma is bready and yeasty with really nice quad qualities.  Dark fruits like dates, figs and some slight prunes come through with some slight spices.  There are also some hints of cherries and a bit of cocoa powder, adding a nice complexity to the aroma.

The taste is really where this beer shines.  Flavors of rum soaked dates, figs, prunes and some raisin come out first.  Flavors of cherries and chocolate come next which really amps the flavor profile up for me.  There is a slight bit of alcohol, even for having aged for 5 years, but it is nothing offensive at all.  A very smooth and creamy body really makes this a very drinkable beer. 

While it is no Trappistes Rochefort 10, it is very close to being THAT good.  Really an enjoyable beer and one that I will love to revisit in the future.

Bar Review: Public House at Venetian (Las Vegas, NV)

This is a pretty nice bar/restaurant with a relaxing lounge feel and plenty of great craft beer. If you don’t mind shelling out the coin this is a great place to settle in and sample what’s available.

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De Struise’ Struiselensis (Thanks, Keith!). A 3 of 4. Aged in bourbon barrels with brettanomyces, this has a pretty incredible depth to it. Seems typical for the style with a bit of sour and acidic fruit notes, as well as some funk. Medium carbonation, and as you sip this a bit more, there’s quite a bit of oak here. Quite dry and acidic, but lots to unpack here beneath that.