This is a co-blog event as the tasting group consisted of me, my husband Dave, my co-blogger Dave and his wife Debbie. We had a cosy corner in Clink and we were ready to go with Roberto Ross at the helm.
Roberto has recently returned from an epic trip to Belgian and Holland. He was there to take cask beers from Landlocked to the Alvinne Fest. Of course he couldn’t visit without going to see some brewers and one he visited was Brouwerij ‘T Verzet.
Verzet are a new Belgian brewery which is pretty much unheard of since most breweries in Belgian have been around forever. It’s about 2 years old and the 2 brewers have a great pedigree from working at De Ranke and De Proef. Roberto told us that whilst at De Proef they had been brewing beers for Mikkeller and when they set up their own brewery they brewed a beer called Scandinavian Pussy (probably best not to Google that at work!) a 3.8% session IPA as an insult to them!
They are specialising in barrel aged beers and currently have an Oud Bruin as one of the six core beers. We were lucky enough to try all of these core beers along with a 750ml bottle of a special variation of the Oud Bruin brewed with raspberries.
Another fun fact shared by Roberto is that they name all their barrels after rock stars so there are, to name but a few, Marley, Bowie, Cash and Johnny Rotten!
As this is a co-blog I’m going to put both our sets of tasting notes in (it is good to see we concurred on most of the beers!):
The first beer we drank was Super Noah – this is a 4.9% Belgian Blonde unusually these days, brewed with no American hops..
C&D – It has yeasty, bready flavour with some good citrus notes too.
D&D – Good mouthfeel, typical Belgian yeasty taste, biscuity with a slight citrus bitterness kick and a bit of oomph!
Moose Blues was next. A 7.5% red bruin/Belgian dubbel. A nice nod to their rock and roll interests is the note below the beer name “B-Beer King”!
C&D – It had a sweet, dried fruit taste with the label description mentioning maple syrup.
D&D – Sweet, first sip is quite refreshing for the abv then the alcohol hits and it becomes quite boozy.
Sticking with 7.5% we moved on to Golden Tricky brewed with Australian and New Zealand hops.
C&D – This had a murky IPA taste but still with the flavours of Belgian yeasts and some tropical fruits.
D&D – Not a typical IPA at first, again tastes quite light and refreshing but then becomes more substantial , juicy and fruity with that Belgian yeasty taste.
The next beer is the favourite style of the brewers – Oud Bruin. 6% this one with 2 years in barrels before blending.
C&D – As expected it had a sweet balsamic/cider vinegar taste with a fruity finish – we agreed a great food pairing for this would be strawberries.
D&D – Quite acetic, Deb thought it a bit like a balsamic vinegar, fruity on the nose with a rich, red colour to it.
Back up to 7.5% next for Oaky Moaky a complex, oaky, smokey barrel aged sour.
C&D – I have to say it had a distinct taste of blue cheese with a possible pecorino aroma! However this just added a creaminess to the mouthfeel and balanced the, also present, strong barrel aroma and slight oud bruin vinegar flavour.
D&D – Complex, hint of tartness, a bit smokey and cheesy.
Our penultimate beer was Rebel Local, the strongest beer of the night at 8.5%. This is a Belgian blonde, basically a ‘big’ version of Super Noah.
C&D – It tasted well below the abv with a sweet, bready flavour. We also detected some bananary notes in there too.
D&D – Drinks under it’s abv, bready with hints of banana.
Our final beer was a special addition – Oud Bruin Raspberry Harvest 2016. This is the Oud Bruin but with the addition of 150g/L of raspberries.
C&D – The fruit taste was immense and a great balance to the vinegary nature of this style of beer.
D&D – Really strong raspberry on the nose, and unsurprisingly quite tart and fruity.
We did a round table at the end to find out everyone’s favourite beer of the night – here are the results:
Debbie – Oaky Moaky for its complexity.
Dave H – Rebel Local “like a supernova traditional Belgian style plus extra!”
Roberto – Oud Bruin an old style reimagined at this new brewery.
Dave W – Oud Bruin Raspberry simply “it’s f-in good”
Catherine – Oud Bruin a great new example of an old style of beer.
Thanks to Roberto for getting these over to us to try, Verzet don’t currently have a distributor in the UK which is a shame as their core range is really good and I’d be interested to try a lot more of their special editions too.