Friday, July 17, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol XV)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits in Minnetonka, your one-stop booze shop.

One of pleasures of travel is getting to enjoy beer in a variety of countries and settings. That's why when I've been to the Netherlands for work over the years I've always taken advantage of the opportunity to sample some of the fine beers brewed in...

...nearby Belgium. No offense to the Dutch, but to be honest about it beer's not really their thing (nor is food for that matter). It was only a recent trip that I was able to find myself in a bar that offered up a widespread selection of Belgian offerings. But I have quaffed the more commonly available Belgian beers while in the Netherlands in past years. Beers like Leffe, Palm, and Hoegaarden.

On my first trip to Amsterdam some years ago, I savored the experience of sitting at an outdoor cafe sipping on a Hoegaarden on a summer day. But I only recently learned that the name is properly pronounced as hoo-garden and not as it looks (which is the answer to the question, "Where did Paris Hilton get those lovely tomatoes?").

Hoegaarden is usually served in distinctive six-sided tumbler glasses and if you're not getting it on tap, you'll want to be sure to swirl the bottle before finishing the pour to get all the unfiltered goodness out.

The 11.2 oz bottle is brown with a slight bulge in the neck. The label has a silver background with a medieval font (fitting for a label that also includes "Anno 1445") and shields of blue and gold.

Beer Style: Wit

Alcohol by Volume: 4.9%

COLOR (0-2): Cloudy white gold. 2

AROMA (0-2): Pronounced citrus with hints of spice. 2

HEAD (0-2): Strong bright white with good staying power. 2

TASTE (0-5): Very crisp and clear with flavors of wheat, lemon, and coriander. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Smooth, but a little light. 1

OVERALL (0-6): This is one of the milder Belgian beers when it comes to flavor. It's lighter and less complex than German wheat beers, but it still makes for a very refreshing and tasty summer beer. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14

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