Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Random Dutch (beers part twenty-three)

The calendar is telling me it's Spring. As are the shops: I spotted thres Lente (Sprong) Boks this morning in Dirk's Trousers*. Seems like a good idea to give them the old taste test. Or whatever these posts are.

But first a word about blogging. Boak & Bailey mentioned what an absolute no-no blogging about blogging was. Which immediately prompted me to have a go at it. Yes, I really am like a nine year old in many ways.

It's early Saturday afternoon and I'm sitting at my computer trying not to get distracted by all the flowering bulbs in the patch of mud and moss we call our lawn. Saturday is a good time for me to blog. Plenty of time. And I'm not knacked, as I usually am in the evening.  Of course, in insisting on posting every day, I've created not so much a rod as nailed myself to the floor.

This won't be the only post I write today. My Saturday goal is three or four. Enough to keep the pressure off at the start of next week. Once I've a couple of beers in me, I'll start on the next instalment of my trip report. The words flow more freely when oiled a little.

Erm. Reading that back, I can see Boak & Bailey's point. Deathly dull, isn't it? Much like most of my life. It's not half as exciting as you might imagine. Mostly it's boredom and stress. I've got a couple of trips that still need organising and booking. An article I haven't started due in a week. Recipes for a few collaboration beers that I need to write. Expense forms to fill in. Invoices to write. Non-stop glamour, really.

Enough of that bollocks. Time to get on with the beer reviews sketches. Oh, one last thing. For an article I'm writing, I needed a couple of quotes that I knew I'd blogged. Another reason posting every day is a pain: I've notched up more than 4,000 posts since I started in 2007. Finding one specific post is quite a problem. Tracking down two is even harder. It took me most of the morning.

Right, I really am starting the beer description rubbish now.

Grolsch Lente Bok 6.5% ABV
Crystal clear and an attractive shade of pale gold. Slightly perfumed smell, but little aroma, really. Sweet and fruity in the mouth. With a little bitterness and hop flavour on the back end. At least it asm't ridiculously sweet like their Autumn Bok. A little too sweet for my taste, but reasonably balanced. I'd drink it again.

Lente Bok is a relatively recent tradition, only really kicking off in the 1990's. Though I know from labels the at there were occasional Meiboks in the past. It's still nothing as big as Herfst (Autumn) Bok. All the older breweries and many of the recent crop brew a Bok in the Autumn. There's a much smaller field in the Spring.

Brand Lentebock 6.5% ABV
I'm not sure if this is correct, but I seem to remember Brand's being the first Lente Bok. Though then it was called Mei Bock. I wonder what was behind the name change? Extending it's selling season, perhaps. It looks very much like the Grolsch version. But it has more aroma: grass, cloves and a bit of fruit. Like a classy aftershave. The taste is similar to the aroma. I wonder where the clove flavour comes from? Not as sweet and much more characterful than the Grolsch.

Just checked their website. It has some handy details:

OG: 16º Plato
ABV:  6.5 Vol.%
Bitterness:  24 EBE
fermentation:  top fermenting
colour:  15 EBC

Guess the top-fermenting yeast is where the clove comes from. I'm slightly surprised by that. Brand is a Lager brewery and this style is usually bottom fermented.

Hertog Jan Lentebock 7.2% ABV
Looks the same as the others. Interesting - this one smells of clove, too. Seems thinner than the others. Maybe it's attenuated more. The flavours jar a bit. Saccharine sweetness followed by a harsh bitterness. My least favourite of the three. Their website tells me it's top-fermented.

"Mmm. Quite nice." is Dolores's opinion "But I couldn't drink much of it."

There's another post bashed out. And it's not even three o'clock. Plus I've had an idea for another post. A nice, easy, quick one.

* Supermarket Dirk van den Broek.


Marco Daane said...

Hi Ron. Brand's wasn't the first Dutch meibock, it was Arcener's (now of course Hertog Jan) in 1983, then a fairly new and independent brewery. And Brand seems to be able to produce a fairly large range of top fermenting beers nowadays. Their winter beer Sylvester is an ale, they have a weizen and then there's a range of beers that won their annual home brewers competition: first Zwaar Blond, then IPA, now Saison and later this year a porter. Looking closer, there are more of those older traditional Dutch breweries with top fermenting beers now: Budels, Lindeboom, Gulpener. It's all down to the global developments.

Elektrolurch said...

Those change each year quite a bit, don't they? I had those several years ago and liked them, but your description is different from my notes(yes, back then I took notes)