Tag Archives: belgian

Leffe Radieuse

Date: 10th September 2011

Alcohol: 8.2%

Volume: 330mL

Price: $4.95 (bottleshop), $12.50 (pub)

Manufactured: Belgium

Leffe Blonde must have been one of the first Belgian beers that I ever experienced.  To me it’s a bit of a ‘standard’ that you know if there is nothing else interesting behind the bar, that the Leffe Blonde will keep you interested.  I am pretty sure that I have also tried the Brune from time to time but I have never really noticed the Radieuse (Radiant).

Appearance (4.5/5)

At a passing glance you would describe this beer as cherry red in colour.  Well not quite, but it does have some bright redness to it.  It is pretty clear to see where the radiant title came from.  The clarity os clear as a bell.  The head is thick and creamy giving great ‘whipped egg white’ foam with a colour reminiscent of one of Richie Benaud’s famous sports coats (off white). An all-round great looking beer.

Nose (3.5/5)

The nose is very light.  Nothing offensive just not much notable till you really get your nose in the glass.  There is light yeastiness and some sweet fruit that I can’t really place.

Flavour (5/5)

I immediately like the flavour of this beer.  It is fruity, in a Belgian kind of way; dark fruits and sweet caramel with classic Belgian spiciness.  There is hoppy bitterness up front but this is lightened by some great effervescence.

Finish (5/5)

There is a very big finish on this beer similar (in length) to a substantial red wine.  You get a lovely warmth from the alcohol (8.2%) but most notably is the sugary bitterness that lingers on.  On the pallet I am left with sour cherries and bananas and I am not talking about ‘hints of’, I mean I’ve just finished mashing bananas and cherries into my face.  It is slightly unusual and I understand that it might not agree with all but I love it.

Rating: (18/20)

I can’t figure my scoring system.  Drinks that I think are good rate poorly (overall) and others do surprisingly well.  What do I mean in this case?  Well the flavour and finish are really fantastic but do I really think this is one of the best beers I have tasted (18/20)? No, but it is particularly enjoyable.  I would definitely recommend picking one up and taking it for a ride.  The bold flavours would work well with a powerful meal.  I am thinking a starter plate with Stilton cheese and walnuts.  For the cigar guys out there, this would go well with a big Cuban no problems at all.  Either way, give it a go.


Posted by on 10th September 2011 in Beer

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La Chouffe

Date: 12th July 2011

Alcohol: 8.0%

Volume: 750mL

Price: $14.95 (bottleshop)

Manufactured: Achouffe, Belgium

It’s a Belgian beer and it has a little dwarf on the front; of course I was going to pick it up.  The first time I came across this beer was when I stopped by the local Belgian beer café and noticed the dwarf on the menu.  I didn’t try it at the time but made a mental note that we would meet again.

The story of the Brasserie d’Achouffe is not unlike a lot of micro breweries these days.  Two blokes like beer and think,’ we should make our own beer and sell it… we’d make a fortune’.  The two blokes were in fact brothers in law and started brewing in 1982.  Think it as a Belgian version of Mountain Goat.  As happens they were bought out by Duvel in 2006 and probably now sitting on a pile of money drinking their profits.  Good luck to them.

Appearance (3.5/5)

The beer pours a golden amber colour and is clear without sediment.  I have heard a few people say that it is a cloudy beer.  I can only assume that the clarity is due to the 750mL bottle keeping the sediment well away from the bulk of the beer.  The bubbles are larger than expected but still provide a classic Belgian head for the life of the beer.

Nose (4/5)

The nose is unmistakable Belgian yeast from about 3 feet.  Someone could open one of these in the room and you would have a good idea of what was going on.  On closer inspection you get toasty grains and a general smell.  The best I can do is something like candy floss.  Overall appealing.

Flavour (4.0/5)

Once again this is a caramel bananas beer.  It hits you right at the back of the throat and is very moreish.  The other fruit further forward in the palate is yeasty apples; sounds funky but is quite pleasant.

Finish (3.5/5)

The finish is all yeasty, honey goodness. Not particularly complex but it hangs around for some time.

Rating: (15/20)

I really wanted to like this beer and all things considered it’s an enjoyable drop.  La Chouffe is not however, a sensational beer.  I would definitely buy it again but it just doesn’t have some of the complexities of some of its local competitors.


Posted by on 14th July 2011 in Beer


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