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August 29, 2012 - Beer Mistress
So, this doesn’t happen often. And I don’t mean, blogging. I KNOW, I’ve let you down. I have totally gone MIA in the beer blog world, and for this, I greatly apologize. I’ll admit that I am not entirely disappointed in this because this means that I have been working. I am an actor. An actor that is working is a rarity, so I’ll take the blogging inconvenience.
But, what I meant by “this doesn’t happen often” in this particular case, is the circumstance under which I bought this beer. I met a new friend and beer enthusiast who was raving to me about his love of Belgian beers. So, I went to my local beer store to peruse the Belgian section, in an attempt to find him a beer that would tickle his tastebuds. Instead… I found a beer with his face on it! Realizing that this is not typical, I had to buy one.
Now, I get that we’re actors, so our variety of looks might be greater than the average person, but when we met, he was playing Lancelot and I, Guinevere, so to find a beer called BRIGAND with his picture on the front was too coincidental. I had to buy one, and now, almost two months later, I’ll finally get to find out how good it actually is!
Brigand is made by Castle Brewery in Belgium. I’ve found online several different labels, so not all of them will have this bearded hero on the front, but they will have the same liquid goodness inside the bottle. I’m intrigued by the disparity of reviews online for this particular beer. Certainly if I weigh in with my own opinions, that’ll make all the difference.
This beer pours a dirty, straw color. It is very different than any common beer colors that I encounter. It almost looks like a tinge of green, with a medium brown color and a white head. A little creamy, a little foamy, and it dissipates after 2-3 minutes.
The smell is grapefruit, alcohol, and ripe oranges. Not what I expected from something with 9%ABV. But what we’re all really here for is the taste, and now I finally understand why the mixed reviews! What a polarizing beer. The flavor profile doesn’t even seem coherent.
The first thing I taste is lime pith, not at all a Belgian flavor in my opinion. There are other fruit flavors- ripe orange, grapefruit, perhaps a hint of raisin. There is a definite bitterness to this beer, and the alcohol flavor comes through with every sip. For once, I don’t know how exactly to describe it… it almost tastes old, overripe, or past its prime. I did a bit of online research, and this seems a common problem. I’m not sure if this beer is rare, or people don’t seek it out, or they just sit on shelves too long, but the people with the biggest complaints find that the manufacture date is many months to many years before.
If you are a true Belgian lover, you may find some qualities in this beer that meet your needs, but I find it’s lack of balance just a little too peculiarly flavored for my tastes. Either way, enjoy the Brigand on the front of the bottle.
The Dashing Hero- Brigand Beer