Tag Archives: World beers

Ardwen Blonde

Ardwen Blonde

Ardwen Blonde

http://www.ardwen.fr/en/

Brewed by Brasserie Ardwen
Style: Blonde Ale
Launois-sur-Vence, France

Ardwen BlondeThe Ardennes in northeastern France, close to the Belgian and Luxembourg border, is a sparsely populated region mostly covered with dense forest, small mountains and not much else. 

But mad as it is, this area at the beginning of the 20th Century, was France’s leading region for brewing beers with no fewer than 230 breweries, mostly small enterprises. It might be due to the lovely fresh waters and rivers emanating down from the hills and valleys in the area. 

But the two World War’s put a sharp stop to a lot of this and brewing was beginning to look a thing of the past here. That was until, in 2003 some locals came together to start up some brewing in the area after all those barren years. That brewery was called Ardwen, using the local knowledge of the past in their pursuit of rekindling the traditions of yesteryear. Production followed shortly after, and with it some immediate success winning prestigious beer awards in France (Golden medalist at 2007 Concours Général Agricole)

Review: 33cl bottle of Ardwen Blonde: ABV: 5.6%

Ardwen BlondeHigh fermentation and also re-fermented in the bottle, using local spring waters this beer won a gold medal at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris in 2007, just so you know, ok. 

On pour looks fine, has a nice frothy white head, colour is of a deep cloudy golden beer

Head maintains well.

Some small carbonation going on. 

Ardwen BlondeA good bit of lacing present.

Lovely beer smell, can get the typical blonde smell of the malts, the fruits, and the hops, and caramel, over all a nice start.

Taste, not bad, a beer to saviour, a nice feel to it.
Typical blonde taste, but not too strong, or overbearing. Very easy to drink.
Nice beer overall, smooth, goes down well, got the malts, some fruits and the caramel 
A light beer and refreshing enough to drink, Not bad.

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Tell Lager

Tell Lager

Tell Lager 

https://www.coopathome.ch/en/Tell/Tell-Lager-Beer-6x50cl/p/3383551

Brewed by Heineken Switzerland
Style: Pale Lager
Chur, Switzerland

Tell Lager Tell is cheap supermarket fare from Coop, the large retail chain that one can see all over Switzerland. Sometimes when you live in a country where prices can be high when shopping it can be vital to get your hands on shit cheap beer, that’s important! 

I guess it is called after that great Swiss folk hero William Tell, you know, the guy who shot the apple off his son’s head. Either way it is produced by Heineken Switzerland, make of that what you want!

Review: 50cl Can of Tell Lager: ABV: 4.8%

Think it came in at about 50 to 60 cents a can, as far as I can remember,  but way cheaper than more established brands. 

On pour I got a golden colour with a large frothy head appearing,

Tell Lager Looks like there is a bit of sediment hanging around resulting in a darkish, not clear,golden colour. (perhaps I got a bad batch?)

There is a good bit of carbonation going on,  the beer has a decent sized head that surprisingly stuck around and has some decent lacing. 

Had a nice lagery smell and was grainy, which was faint but ok. 

Onto the taste, it was light enough but did manage to get some nice big mouthfuls
Tastes ok, smooth and easy enough to quench, albeit had a slight sour bitter note to it. 

Has the expected lagery taste, with light pale malts and grains, slightly metallic.

Overall not too bad, considering the price of it. For a cheap beer it can do the business, just about I might add!

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Valentins Hefeweissbier

Valentins Hefeweissbier

Valentins Hefeweissbier

http://valentins-weissbier.de/

Brewed by Park & Bellheimer AG Brewery 
Style: German Hefeweizen
Pirmasens, Germany

Valentins HefeweissbierBrewed by Park & Bellheimer AG Brewery  from the small city of Pirmasens (pop:40,125) in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, near the border with France, and named in honour of St Valentine (The guy in the bottle!), patron saint of lovers everywhere, but I have no idea if he was big into his beers.

Review: 0.5l bottle of Valentins Hefeweissbier Premium: ABV: 5.3%

Valentins HefeweissbierShould be served in a Weizen glass, that is if you have one. I dont! 

Brewed in the great traditions of monastic brewing and of course the Bavarian purity law of 1516.

Frothy on pour which settles very well. Hazy golden-amber colour

Decent sized white head and maintains throughout. Not a bad looking beer.

Nice balanced and pleasant smell of your typical weisbier of yeast, wheat, clove, and banana as well, albeit all smells were a little faint.

On taste has all the typical Hefeweizen tastes but on a very low level. Light yeasts, malts, the cloves, the wheat, and banana flavours.

Valentins HefeweissbierNice creamy mouthfuls. Creamy. Not much standout taste though, very subtle flavours. Not really bitter or strong aftertaste.

Very nice, inoffensive and well rounded, and very smooth, VERY SMOOTH. I’d imagine it would be a nice beer to pair with some good food on a nice hot day.

Nice on the tongue and finishes light and smooth,  very drinkable for me at least who isn’t the biggest fan of weisbier’s! An OK beer. 

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Stortebeker Schwarz bier

Stortebeker Schwarz bier

Stortebeker Schwarz bier 

https://www.stoertebeker.com/

Brewed by Störtebeker Braumanufaktur
Style: Schwarzbier/Black beer
Stralsund, Germany

Störtebeker Braumanufaktur is a German Brewery, founded in 1827, situated in the small city of Stralsund, near the Baltic coast. 

Originally called Stralsunder, they changed their name in 2011 to Störtebeker Braumanufaktur in homage to the German pirate Klaus Störtebeker, whose name apparently means “empty the mug with one gulp” in Low Saxon, easy known Klaus’ favourite hobby then!

Review: 0.5l Bottle of Stortebeker Schwarz bier: ABV : 5% 

Stortebeker Schwarz bierA “Schwarzbier” or Black beer uses lager yeasts to ferment (as opposed to ale for a porter) and traditionally starts with an initial hint of roastedness, is light tasting, and has a clean finish, while a porter or stout for example is thicker and a lot more bitter in the taste. All this is important to know before trying these kind of beers least you be disappointed! 

Lovely looking bottle, logo of a ship, really well done and stands out. 

As expected got a striking black colour on pour, but also interestingly some shades of dark red. Got a porter style tan head, which was large and very creamy. Head maintains well. Some nice lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

Lovely initial smell, was really pleasant, of roasted malts, some fruits and sweet coffee. Also got some dark chocolate on the nose. A nice balance of rustic smells. Good start.

Stortebeker Schwarz bierOn taste is very similar to porter, and very, very smooth. No real feel of the alcohol, at least initially. Nearly too smooth for my liking as I do like to feel some alcohol now and again, especially in a slow burner like this. No bitterness.
Safe, nothing extraordinary
Black chocolate found. Tastes light. Nice though all the same. Caramel taste apparent as well.
Nice large mouthfuls.
It is a nice beer to drink and I did enjoy drinking it.

Strong in the end, after the two bottles. Good and can do the business, but not going to set the world alight in terms of strong tastes as it is a little thin, but if it just added a bit more it could be a stand out beer as it does lack a little depth or flavour, a pity

I see they won the best black beer in Europe, a “European Beer Star” in 2010 and 2011. Frankly, that is taking the piss, lol!

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Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff 

https://shop.alpirsbacher.de/bier/klosterstoff.html

Brewed by Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest 
Alpirsbach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu is a brewing company in a small town called Alpirsbach in the Black Forest region of Germany

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffThe company was founded in 1877 by Johann Gottfried Glauner who reactivated the former monastery brewery. In 1880 the company was passed onto his son, Carl Albert Glauner and in 1906 the company was renamed to Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu. The company was and is continuously held by the Glauner family that is now in its fourth generation of ownership.

The company has an annual turnover of 22 million euros (2014), and its big seller, its “spezial” lager, won the prestigious World Beer Award in 2013. Read my review of that beer here

Other beers they produce have also won prestigious awards. Its Pils getting a silver in the World Beer Cup in 2014, and its Wheat crystal, Monastery Starkbier and Monastic substance all picking up awards in the World Beer Awards

Review: 0.33l flip top bottle of Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu Klosterstoff Märzenbier: ABV: 5.9% 

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffBottle with a cool flip top, lets open the beer from the Black Forest. 

On pour got a lovely crystal clear golden colour and a nice white head that appeared. 

Nice bit of carbo, bubbling away.

Head does thin out but maintains and the colour does fade a little, not as sparkling on pour.

Got a lovely initial smell of malts, all really pleasant on the nose but faint. But I also detected some hot spicy aromas which was interesting!

Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu KlosterstoffNice big mouthfuls. Tasted wheat, grain, malts, altogether not a bad taste at all and very smooth.

Very smooth, must be the good waters from the streams near the Black Forest, I guess! 

Good creamy mouthfuls, soft on the tongue.

A Good beer that was lovely and smooth.

Not particularly hoppy, to me at least. Easy to drink, refreshing, and very well balanced. It is not going to set the world alight, but I liked it. 

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Bush Blonde, when looks are not important!

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important!

Bush Blonde 

http://dubuisson.com/en-gb/beers/bush-blonde

Brewed by Dubuisson
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Pipaix, Hainaut,Belgium

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! Bush, a Belgian beer brand and the flagship product of the Dubuisson Brewery, located in Pipaix, a village near the Belgian town of Leuze-en-Hainaut in the Walloon Region of the country. 

An Independent brewery, using locally sourced yeast and fresh water from its own deep wells, with the hops and barley coming from the Czech Republic. 

In 1933, one year after Alfred and Amédée inherited their parents’ brewery, they decided to compete with the English who occupied a leading position on the market of strong beers. That is how the brothers created the Bush beer, with its 12% alcohol content. To compete they gave their beer an English sounding name. Dubuisson bière would be translated into English as Bush beer. However, in the United States, the beer is sold under the name “Scaldis” (the Latin name of the river Scheldt that flows through western Belgium).

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! It’s Amber Bush, created in 1933, is one of the oldest “special” Belgian beers and the most popular, and strongest, among Bush beers. Other selections include Bush Blonde, Christmas Bush and Luxury Bush.

Bush beers are sold all in the UK and all over Western Europe, North America, Japan, Brazil and South Africa, and they have won a variety of different awards down through the years: World Gold Medal Selection in Amsterdam in 1992,  gold medal and first place at the World Championship of Chicago in 1988, Gold medal at the World Beer Championships in Chicago in 2012. 

Review: 33cl bottle of Bush Blonde: ABV: 10.5%

The Bush Blonde, on the go since 1988, and introduced by Hugues Dubuisson on the 65th anniversary of the Bush Ambrée launched by his grandfather, Alfred. Considered to be one of the strongest beers from Belgium coming in at an alcoholic volume of 10.5%

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! A lot, and I mean a lot, of gas on the pour, a bit of a mess truth been told. Full of carbonation, resulting in a massive head and a beer that took a long time to settle.

It also was very murky looking, a lot of sediment in the bottom of the glass floating around, which looked a bit worrying and not at all appetizing. 

Head does die eventually to leave a small but decent looking head that maintains, and an orange looking beer. Minimal lacing.

Overall, it looks terrible! One of the worst I have seen. 

On the nose get a strong citrus and fruity smell.

Taste: initial taste, it was fucking horrible, a harsh alcohol taste, but once it settles down and I settled down myself from the shock, it is actually not too bad. Smooth enough for a 10% beer
Can feel the alcohol alright but quaffable enough and not overpowering, not hoppy

Bush Blonde, when looks are not important! Smooth enough, all things considering (all the carbonation)
Not hoppy. No bitter tastes. Yeah not bad
A lot of sweet malts, some sweet fruits,  and yeast. 

Overall this beer tastes a million times better than it looks, and after you get over the initial hit of all the strong smells and taste, it eventually is a beer to savour. 

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La Goudale Biere, a slow burner

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner

La Goudale Biere 

http://brasseurs-gayant.com/

Brewed by Les Brasseurs De Gayant
Style: Strong pale ale
Douai, France

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner Brewed in Douai, a small city in the north of France by the Gayant Brewers.

La Goudale, a blonde beer, is made with a recipe dating back to the middle ages, and also uses specially flavored hops carefully chosen from Flanders, has been brewed since 1994.

The Goudale got its name from the 14th century, where all good beers were called “Goudale” (Good Ale). 

The brewery have many brands such as Amadeus, Tequieros, La bière du Démon, St Landelin but their main product is La Goudale.

La Goudale is sold widely in supermarkets in the North of France and has won numerous awards down through the years, most notably gold at the World Beer Challenge in Portugal, 2014. 

Review: 50cl Can of La Goudale Biere: ABV: 7.2% 

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner Coming in a very interesting shiny can that had a lot of distinctive black lettering. Stands out, even if its not obvious what exactly it all means!

On appearance got a hazy amber orange colour that produced a pretty large frothy white head, which does die over time but maintains overall, albeit small. Some lacing. Nothing special to look at.

Smells of caramel and the usual blond aroma of yeasts, sweet malts, grains and with a bit of citrus, nothing special.

No hanging around with this beer, on initial taste you can immediately get the alcohol, straight in with an aggressive taste………lots of yeast and citrus lightning up the taste-buds!

La Goudale Biere, a slow burner But no real discernible after taste. All in the front taste.

Not nice, too harsh on the palate. Very bitter. Fuck me, its hard. Disgusting even!

Second can much more manageable. Deep tasting hops. Sweet Malts
Tastes much better. A slow burner.

Creamy bodied
In the end I kind of liked it, don’t know if the alcohol kicks in and the initial shock with the first can but it was ok, albeit the second can, similar to a Belgian strong pale ale.

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Pelforth Brune

Pelforth Brune

Pelforth Brune 

pelforth.fr

Brewed by Pelforth (Heineken)
Style: Brown Ale
Mons-en-Baroeul, France

Pelforth is a French brewery from Mons-en-Barœul, not far from the city of Lille and the Belgian border, in the North of France.

Pelforth BruneFirst established in the early 1900’s by three brewers from Lille, Louis Boucquey, Armand Deflandre and Raoul Bonduel, it was originally called Pelican after a popular dance at the time, the image of the animal still adorning the bottles of today. In 1972 the name was changed to Pelforth and in 1988 the small brewery was bought by the Dutch brewing giant, Heineken. 

Pelforth now produce over twenty varieties of beers, including seasonal ones, but it’s their Pelforth Blonde and Pelforth Brown (Brune) that are their big sellers, both widely available all over France. 

A recent re brand, initiated by Heineken, has seen the traditional pelican symbol on its red label replaced by a more up to date pelican style, and highlighting the various tastes of the beer rather than that its just another dark bitter beer, hopefully appealing more to the fairer sex. 

Review: big 65cl bottle of Pelforth Brune: ABV: 6.5% 

Pelforth BruneComing in a pretty nice looking 65cl bottle with a swing cap

The appearance was of a nice enough dark brown colour with ruby red highlights that had a head which reduced dramatically in size. 

Some decent lacing but overall nothing special to look at.

For the aroma I got a sweet initial smell of caramel malts but overall not a whole lot on the nose, very faint and not a lot going on.

On Taste got a very smooth drink, very easy to drink, nice mouthfuls, very smooth.

Pelforth BruneNot strong tasting, but did gets hints of caramel and plums and other fruits, but overall, truth be told, I struggled to get any real taste, some malts…….not much else, and no presence of hops.

Dark chocolate as well. A Coca cola style taste, lots of malts but no alcohol. 

Very smooth, pleasant and nice to drink, but for me it doesn’t taste at all like a beer but more a strong version of coke with added sugar. Bland and disappointing all things considering.

Some critics have compared this to an English ale, particularly Newcastle Brown Ale, while some even have found a likeness to porter. For me I just cant see these comparisons at all, yeah perhaps in appearance but definitely not in taste. The Pelforth Brune, for me, is just too sweet, far too sugary, too smooth and flavourless, and nothing at all like an English ale or porter. Disappointing. 

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Kühles Blondes, based in Vienna

Kühles Blondes, based in Vienna

Kühles Blondes 

http://www.ottakringerbrauerei.at/de/home/

Brewed by Ottakringer Brauerei AG 
Style: Pale Lager
Wien, Austria

The Ottakringer brewery is a large brewery based in the Ottakring District, Vienna,  Austria. 

Founded in 1837 by Heinrich Plank originally under the name the Plank brewery. It wasn’t until the 1850’s when two cousins took over, Ignaz and Jakob Kuffner, that the operation really began to expand . The two built the small plant into a large brewery.  In no time the brewery became successful.

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaBut bad news arrived in the form of the World War and the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. Moriz von Kuffner, Ignaz’s son, was forced to sell his business because of his Jewish background. It was sold for a rather low price of 14 million Austrian schillings (about 36 million Euros at today’s values) to Gustav Harmer, who was also forced out of the business for two years after the war. After the liberation by the Allies, the brewery was temporarily managed by the Russians, before the Harmer family managed to legally prove their purchase. The heirs of Moriz von Kuffner, were also compensated for their loss,

In 1986, the Ottakringer Brewery was listed on the stock exchange, and presently the parent company, Getränkeindustrie Holding AG, owns 70.31% of Ottakringer Brauerei AG. 

Today the brewery is still going strong, and are a major sponsor of the Austrian football team SK Rapid Wien for many years now.

Review: 0.51 cl Can of Kühles Blondes: ABV: 5% 

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaBought cheap in Aldi. Comes in a striking yellow can, which has some interesting lettering, looks like it could be a fruit drink. 

The appearance is one of a very clear, golden yellow colour, bubbling away with some pretty good carbonation. Produced a nice big frothy head, which did die a bit but overall maintains throughout. Had some very light lacing. Altogether, not a bad looking beer.

The aroma is of a nice light beery smell, getting the yeast. Also getting a faint smell of citrus and malts.

Kühles Blondes, based in ViennaFor the taste I got very nice mouthfuls, of light grains and sweet malts.

Smooth and clean to drink and pleasant enough. Very smooth in fact, I found it very nice and easy to quaff.

But I didn’t find any discernible or interesting tastes though, and couldn’t find the alcohol. 

Clean malts for sure, but no hops noticeable in the taste

Nice for a session, as they go down well, but very light, low bitterness, and no real bite to it. 

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La Chouffe

La Chouffe, a small time brewery done good.

La Chouffe 

http://www.achouffe.be/en

Brewed by Brasserie d’Achouffe/Duvel Moortgat Brewery
Style: Belgian Blond Ale
Achouffe, Wibrin-Houffalize, Belgium

La Chouffe is a Belgian strong golden ale, produced by the Brasserie d’Achouffe located in Achouffe, a small village in the municipality of Houffalize, in Wallonia, Belgium.

La ChouffeThe brewery was founded in 1982 by Pierre Gobron and Christian Bauweraerts, two brothers-in-law, as a hobby. In September 2006, the brewery was bought by the brewery group Duvel Moortgat, this move helping the small brewery to enlarge and also to export to new destinations. 

Brasserie d’Achouffe now produces several different beers, and exports far beyond its borders,  72 countries and counting, but it is its Blonde that is the star attraction, accounting for over 80% of its output. 

The brand is famous for its gnome that adore its bottles, a little gnome with his little red hat, looking all cute and sprity. Legend has it that it was a gnome just like this that passed on the special recipe to the brothers in law inspiring them to get started. 

Review: 330 ml Bottle of La Chouffe: ABV: 8% 

La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer that re-ferments both in the barrel and from the bottle. 

On pour got a big frothy white head that retained, with a golden appearance that later settled down to an orange hazy cloudy hue. Some small carbonation and some thin lacing. Not bad looking. 

Very fruity aroma which I found very nice, lemon, orange, banana, a variety of fruits on the nose.

La ChouffeAlso found the fresh coriander on the nose

Smells good, sweet malts on nose too.

Smelled quite strong, with the Belgian yeast also apparent, but overall it was a nice, pleasant smell and well balanced.

Ok, it is another one of these strong tasting Belgian Ales that I find difficult to appreciate. Strong Has a lot of fruit flavours in it, lime, bananas, peaches, apples……and the coriander that seems to be prominent throughout. 

Found it quite similar to the Delirium Tremens which I reviewed not too long ago. Not quite the same style of beer I know, but unlike that beer, I found this one much more palatable on the stomach and taste buds. 

Bitter aftertaste, very bitter. Not bad though, grows on you with the gentle floral hops 

A bit of a slow burner, and quite tasty, albeit strong in the alcohol. I definitely do feel the alcohol kicking away. Yeasty! But having said that it is not too overbearing with the alcohol, manageable. 

After the second bottle, I think it isn’t too bad, not great, but ok, a nice crisp taste, but would like to try a few more to give a more definite review. 

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