Posts Tagged ‘golden ale’

Buffalo Bitter

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

2010-01-09-buffalo-bitterPerhaps a strange designation for a Belgian golden ale, Buffalo Bitter is brewed by Br. Van den Bossche in Herzele, Belgium. I don’t have any background information or anecdotes about this beer or brewery. Before I opened the bottle I didn’t even know what style of beer it was.

The Buffalo Bitter is a very pale straw color, with just a hint of haze. The head is thick, moussey, and long-lasting, supported by the strong effervescence of this beer. The nose is remarkably clean for eight percent alcohol. I get whiffs of hops, a grassy character accented by flowers. Just a bit of pale malt is present as well.

The flavor is quite delicate. A green grassy and herbal flavor comes first. Despite the name there is not a whole lot of bitterness, but the hop flavor is clean and bright. This is accompanied by malty sweetness that may have a bit of corn as well. It is hard to say if that apparent character is actually simply from the pale malt and a decent addition of Belgian candi sugar. There is just a bit of residual sweetness that coats the mouth, but the carbonation balances it to maintain quaffability.

Overall, the Buffalo Bitter is light and refreshing. Like gossamer it seems to be in your grasp but then floats away. This beer reminds me that spring is not too far off (despite the two feet of snow outside my door).

+Buffalo Bitter

3.7 (4-7-7-4-15)

Brasserie Lebbe L’Amalthée

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

2009-09-03-lebbePierre and Annick Lebbe are living the dream. They live on their organic goat farm in the south of France, making cheese and beer. They grow barley for the malt on their farm and feed the spent grains to their goats. Pierre brews and bottles about 450 liters of L’Amalthée a month. This beer was recommended to me by Erin, the manager of Lush Halstead. Head on over to the importer’s page – Charles Neal Selections – for more information and a neat story of discovering this true farmhouse brewery.

L’Amalthée pours an opalescent goldenrod. The off-white head is ridiculously thick, buttressed by ceaseless bubbling. It settles a bit and reveals itself to be quite creamy and lasting, leaving a near-solid lacing on the glass. The nose is delicately malt and cidery. A bit of toast, corn, and sulfur hearken to Munich golden lagers. Hints of spicy hops.

The palate is rich and creamy. A light sweetness balances the tiny alcohol warming without straying too far from dry. A complex hop character: some earthy herbs with a pleasant spiciness. Malt flavor comes through as caramel and bread, with a bit of DMS adding the character of corn.


3.5 (5-6-7-4-13)