Posts Tagged ‘high alcohol’

This years Adventures in Food special Christmas beer comes from the Belgium brewery De Dolle and is called Stille Nacht. Apparently Christmas fire sales do not apply only to holiday decorations, apparel, and other Christmas themed items normally found in department stores. I walked into Binny’s to pick up some good wine for my holiday party and found their entire display of Christmas themes beers on sale on an end cap display. I had recently read about Stille Nacht as a faux holy grail to beer lovers around the world and felt that I was never going to get a better price.

Stille Nacht pours a beautiful cloudy, tangerine orange. This is another one of those impossible beers to pour and the head far outweighs the liquid and quickly fills your glass. What I did love, though, was that the head resembled fluffy mounds of snow. I’ve attached a movie below to show the sheer amount of carbonation that lifts from the glass after pouring only 6 ounces into a pint glass. The head is snowy white, but sticky and does not disappear for some time. I  wound up drinking several mouth fulls of head before I ever got to the beer itself. The aroma bursts of sweet malts with bananas, cloves, and tangerines. The first sip immediate burst of sweet malty goodness with a tinge of heavy orange syrup. The spice notes quickly take over and tantalize different parts of your palette until finally a taste of banana takes over before beginning to fade from existence. This is not a gulping beer, in fact, I’m embarrassed that I even poured this into a pint glass at all. This would be a fine sipper drunk straight from the bottle or poured into a snifter.

I want you to know that words cannot accurately describe everything that is going on with this beer. De Dolle clearly has an understanding of what it takes to make a good beer and this is near perfection. I have no complaints, nor any critiques. Any mistake in pouring to create too much head is my own fault. If this beer cheated on me with my best friend at our wedding, I would probably still take it back. It’s that good. However, perfection comes with a pricetag that many might be scared of. You can purchase a 12oz bottle of Stille Nacht only around the Christmas season for around $6 ($4 if you wait for the fire sale). The 12% ABV is prevalent while drinking this beer, but by no means is it overwhelming. I can tell you that you will feel it by the end of your bottle. You probably shouldn’t plan to drink more than two of these in one sitting. Stille Nacht is a perfect beer in my world and should be heralded and replicated year round. It receives the highest rating in my book.

Grade: A+

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The Yard House Belgian Amber Tripel is listed as a house beer, but is actually brewed across the ocean by the Brasserie de Silly. It’s an exclusive brew sold only in Yard House locations across the United States. This Tripel has been recreated as the old version was retired due to a lack of positive customer feedback. The brewmaster took hops from England, Germany,and Belgium to create a unique amber colored triple (most tripel’s are not amber). I know this only because the Yard House put together a YouTube promotional video. Really? Yes, really.

There is one thing kept running through my head as I was working my way slowly to the bottom of the glass.

God this is good.

The Yard House Tripel pours a beautiful pale red-orange color, hazy, with a good amount of foam that sticks around for a few minutes. Mine was poured into a tuliped glass. Immediately, I was hit was a sweet caramel and fruity aroma that lies somewhere in between raisins and bananas. The taste is warm, full bodied, and incredibly complex. There are distinct honey and brown sugar notes that bring out a pleasurable sweetness. Part of me swears they ferment this beer is dark rum casks (they don’t).

The Yard House has a tremendous amount of high quality beers, but I would not hesitate to order the House Tripel again if I was looking for a familiar friend. The Yard House sells a goblet of their Tripel for around $7, but does not allow it’s patrons to purchase a half-yard or take any home in a six pack. You will not find this in any store, nor will you be able to order it direct from Belgium (emails to the Brasserie de Silly were not replied to). At 9.0% ABV, this is a potent beer that is meant to be enjoyed and not guzzled. If you find yourself in an area with a Yard House, you may want to stop in, have a pizza, and enjoy this amber ale. I highly recommend it.

Grade: A