Lighthouse Barque Belgian Golden Strong Ale

belgian_blondeBrewer: Lighthouse Brewery, Esquimalt, BC
Style: Belgian-style Strong Ale
ABV: 8.2%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: The latest in Lighthouse’s Uncharted Series, this Belgian-style strong ale is named in honor of the class of sailing ship that once served as the workhorse of the Pacific – including Captain Cooke’s HM Endeavour. This beer is brewed with a Pilsner malt and bittered with a combination of Saaz, Styrian Golding, and South Pacific Wai-iti hops.

Tasting Notes: I’ve always loved the Uncharted Series, mainly because of its emphasis on big flavor and strength. And this was certainly a big flavor-take on the traditional Belgian Blonde, employing rich malts, lots of candi sugar, notes of honey, white grape and other sweet fruits, and plenty of yeasty effervescence.

Appearance: Light gold, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong malt, candi sugar, yeast, grapes, citrus, floral hops
Taste: Rich malt, honey, sugars, yeast, white grapes and fruity esters
Aftertaste: Lingering malt flavor, yeasty bitterness, fruity esters
Overall: 8.5/10

P49 Sun of Hop Belgian Summer Ale

P49_sonofhopBrewer: Parallel 49 Brewing, Vancouver BC
Style: Belgian-style Pale Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.1%
IBUs: 26

Description: Another Parallel 49 seasonal release, this summer ale brings together Belgian Pilsner and Aromatic malts along with a combination of Willamette, Styrian Goldings and Sorachi Ace hops. It is then fermented using a Belgian strain of top fermenting yeast to achieve a summery, smooth flavor with a mixed hop palate.

Tasting Notes: Very little that Parallel 49 does manages to surprise me anymore. In fact, I feel like I’m beginning to become familiar with some of their niches. These include doing crossovers that merge Belgian, English/American and German styles, and the inclusion of hop varieties that normally aren’t associated with the style in question. And this is certainly no exception, employing a Belgian malt base, Belgian yeast, and a combination of American, English and Japanese hops. The end result, as expected, is a smooth, crisp ale that has a yeasty backbone and subtle but complex hop flavor.

Appearance: Light golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Grainy malt, Belgian yeast, hint of lemon and herbs
Taste: Crisp, Pilsner-like malt, mild tang, Belgian yeast, mild herbal and lemony hops
Aftertaste: Lingering tang, Pilsner malt, yeasts and mild hop finish
Overall: 8/10