Monday, 28 December 2015

Random Dutch beers (part thirteen)

Christmas over, I can return to cheaty posts with nothing more than my random burblings about random Dutch beers.

Starting with one from the first of the new crop of Amsterdam breweries, De 7 Deugden. One that, unusually, had its own kit right from the go.

De 7 Deugden Scheepsrecht 7% ABV, €1.90 for 33 cl.
 "Tripel with a touch of cloves" it says on the label. I hope it is just a touch. It's a slightly mucky golden colour. That's my fault. I wasn't watching closely enough when the yeast appeared. I usually make a better job of it. Mmm. Don't know about a touch: I can smell the cloves without even putting my nose into the glass. And I've got a bit of a cold. Speculaas. That's what it smells like. I get orange in the aroma, too. I suspected this is what it was going to taste like: cloves with a bit of beer flavouring. Tastes like there's nowt wrong with the beer underneath. And they brewed it themselves. Which is more than can be said of a lot of the new Dutch beers I've tried. I'll be finishing this one.

It's one of the beers I picked up in Deen, one of the supermarkets nearby. They had an impressive range of beers from new Dutch breweries for Christmas.

Looking more closely at the very informative label, it says: "made from honest dune water". Or Amsterdam tap water, as it's more prosaicly called. Not that there's anything wrong with brewing from it. Quite the opposite. It's top-quality stuff without added chemicals. And a very low mineral content. Perfect for brewing. I wouldn't ever bother buying bottled water here. Whereas in Britain, I struggle to force it down. Like drinking from a swimming pool.

Next is another from Deen. But from a brewery-less brewer again. The label says it was brewed at 't Hofbrouwerijke in Belgium. That's good. Very transparent.

Tongval Zware Tongval 8% ABV, €2 for 33 cl.
I tried really carefully to pour this clear, but it still ended up full of floaters. Not my fault, this time. Grass and spice is all I get from the nose. Quite fizzy. Rather too fizzy, for my taste. My defizzing efforts leave it with a plump head, as tempting as a well-rounded bottom. Not too nasty, but not quite right. Beer shouldn't taste like turnip, should it?

This is a general point, drawn from my experiences of the last couple of weeks, not these two beers. Can't help thinking some of the new Dutch breweeries aren't going to be around long, if they don't get quality sorted.

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