Jon Griffin here, your professor at AskTheBeerGuy.com with another quick beer update.
I should start calling this The Beer Review instead of Ask the Beer Guy because it seems like I’ve been doing a lot of them lately but that’s the time of year it is. It’s nice and warm outside so I can go outside and do these reviews. I like doing it a lot better than sitting at my table. Since we had Belgian Week starting this week in class, I decided I’m going to do something a little different and I didn’t just pull out the doubles, the triples, the strong darks, the wheat beers, and those. I tried to get some new cool breweries from Belgium.
Obscura beer review
A lot of people don’t realize this but Belgium, like the rest of the world, is going through a renaissance in the beer world. There’s a lot of small brewers coming up. Even though there’s the big few that make a lot of the main beers that everybody knows, there’s a lot of new beer styles and breweries coming up in Belgium. The brewery we’re going to talk about today is called The Brouwerij, The Musketeers. They name all their beers in the typical craft beer way as kind of silly names. The Brouwerij was founded in the year 2000 by four brewing grads who found out that it really isn’t that easy to get a job in the brewing industry. They decided to form their own.
The four brewers got together because they found that it was really hard. The brewery elite kept the recipes in house. Many were family brewers with a lot of tradition. They got some home brewing equipment, made up some recipes including a semi-strong blond, which is their first beer that they really liked. They finally got a big production system and started brewing. They named their brewery after the Troubadours of the old days where the music was to be enjoyed as well as newsworthy. This is a review of the Obscura, which is, they call it, a mild stout. At 8.8% alcohol, you be the judge of that. I don’t call it mild but it’s a Belgian tradition of a stout. It’s like a stout with a Belgian body and Belgian yeast. I have not tried it yet. This will be the first time I’ve tried it, and through the magic of television, you’re going to get to see it as it happens.
This is the beer, Troubadour Obscura mild stout. Alcohol 8.2, I’m sorry I thought it was 8.8. In any case, that’s what the bottle looks like and we’re about to pour it and open it up. Actually, I’ll read the back for you. Mild stout re-fermented in the bottle. Pleasantly bitter with a perfect combination of roasted malt and chocolate flavor derived from the dark malt, creamy head. Serve at 42 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. See they must have known they were bringing this to the US. Actually, the importer probably did that but they don’t have it in Celsius. Those of you not in the States and use that old, antiquated new system called the metric system well you’re going to have to translate that yourself.
Through the magic of television, we’re going to open this up here. Not as big of a pop as I would have expected with a hiss from carbonation. There is definitely some in there. I can see the bubbles even though you can’t. Another shout out to Big Dog’s, my local brewery. Hint to brewers who want to have their beer reviewed on Ask the Beer Guy, glassware is always appreciated to pour your beer. In any case, here we go. We’re going to pour the Obscura in real time here. Nice creamy white head. I can tell already, plenty of carbonation as you can see there. Nice big foamy head. Definitely get the Belgianness on this. A lot of Belgian yeast character. I’ve actually had this out for a bit so it’s nice and warm.
So yeah, I keep getting more Belgianness. I get a tiny bit of chocolate but if I had to guess, I’d call this a double without trying it. When you get to the flavor, definitely get the fruitiness, a lot of fruitiness. Dark fruit. It’s kind of like a cross between a Belgian double and a foreign extra stout or maybe a Russian Imperial. Although not quite that chocolaty, I’d say it’s more like a foreign extra stout mixed with a double. Definitely get the sweetness, the Belgianness of the beer, of the Belgian side of the beer. Carbonation body mouth feel very Belgian. Nice Belgian lay, some foamy head. I wish you could see that. I’m not sure if you can or not. You can see that in there. You get the hints of chocolate, which you normally wouldn’t get. The roasted malt that isn’t very typical in most Belgian doubles.
It’s kind of an interesting beer. I actually kind of like it. It’s different. Wouldn’t call it a mild stout. It's really it’s on category like most beer these days. Can definitely tell it doesn’t have the dryness of a dry stout. It’s got the Belgianness so much in that yeast. I can’t really describe it except to say it’s Belgian. Once you’ve had that, you know. Pretty much all the aroma I get is the tiny hints of chocolate, maybe a little coffee, and lots of that Belgian yeast character.
I kind of like this beer. That’s my review. Hard to judge this because there’s really no category for this. On a scale of 50, just judging it for what it is, I’d probably give it in the low 40s. Very drinkable even though it’s 8.2%. It’s probably a little scary, kind of like the strong dark Belgians that don’t realize you’re drinking something that big. It’s actually quite refreshing and I’m warm. I’m certainly not in the middle of summer here. It’s about 80 degrees out. It’s probably this beer is at about 50 degrees or so, 55 maybe. It’s perfect temperature for drinking an ale. I highly recommend you get this beer.
Again, any breweries who want their beer reviewed let me know. Send me some information. If I can get it in Las Vegas, I’ll be happy to review it. If you have, your distributor out here send me a glass that would be even better. You can follow me on askthebeerguy.com. I’m going to soon have my classes online as well. You can actually get your PhD in beer or at least a little bit of beer education for free. Make sure you go AskTheBeerGuy.com and sign up for the newsletter. I don’t spam. All I do is send out a weekly review of what I’ve talked about in the week and that’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this beer review and go out try this fine beer. I forgot to mention, this was a bottle-fermented beer. It is yeast in the bottom. If yeast at the bottom of beer scares you, just decant it. Otherwise, do what I do and stir it, slosh it up, and get those B-vitamins.
Lots of Belgian yeast character. Hints of chocolate. Tiny hint of coffee.