Friday, August 21, 2015

Brasserie Dubuisson Scaldis Amber Ale (7/10)

Brasserie Dubuisson produces one of my favorite Christmas seasonals, Scaldis Noel.  When I saw Scaldis Amber on the shelf at a local retailer, I had to grab a bottle to try out.

The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with finger-thick white head that lasts a few seconds before reincorporating into the beer.

The aroma is a strong malt and caramel one, with a bit of boozy warmth hidden in.  This is not surprising for this 12% alcohol by volume ale.

The flavor starts with a malty alcohol burn which intensifies and lingers.  Some hops bitterness is present at the middle and end, too.   It’s a bit too much for my liking. 

In the end, it’s fair to say that I like this beer, but it’s not one that I love the way I do Scaldis Noel.  Noel has more complexity, less of a boozy burn to it, and less bitterness.  It’s just a more-pleasant beer to drink all-around.  When I compare it to other 12% beers like Victory V Twelve, Scaldis Noel, and Rinkuskiai Before and After, it doesn’t hold up well.  Before and After is much cheaper ($2.69 a bottle vs. $7 for this one), a tiny bit more complex, and doesn’t have quite the burn to it.  V Twelve is better still, with more malt and more flavor, and also a much lower price ($6.99 for a bomber vs. Scaldis at $7 for an 11.2 ounce bottle).

All this said, I do plan to buy a couple of more bottles of this beer when I encounter them.  My goal will be to cellar those bottles for at least a year, maybe two.  I think the cellaring of this beer would mellow out the flavor, smooth out the hops, and maybe increase the complexity.  This is the kind of beer I think needs to be cellared to really reach its potential.  More on this in, oh, two or three years…

Beer Advocate rates it 87-91 (very good to outstanding).  Rate Beer gives it a 90 overall.  I'm giving it only a 7 out of 10.  

This beer can be purchased at the Whole Foods location in Dublin, and possibly at other retailers but I don't recall seeing it anywhere else.

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