Right. So I bought a load of these bottles in Aldi last Christmas – because, quite honestly, it’s better to pick up a reasonable foreign beer for virtually nothing there, than browse through shelves of uninspiring “brown beer” in the other supermarkets.
When are the mid-range supermarkets going to start stocking some interesting beers? I’d rather that they stocked less and more interesting, than more of the same “brown stuff”.
Anyway. As I said, this beer’s not available anywhere at the moment (not that I know of) but it might well be soon. (In fact Aldi, if you ever read this: you’re more than welcome to send me a case of the current week’s/month’s new beer and I’ll do you a write-up – how generous is that? Or, if you want advice on what to stock, send me some samples I’ll happily test them for you and recommend…one can dream)
Anyway (again) La Goudale Abbey Beer arrives in a glass leaving plenty in the bottle (it’s 750ml…hooray!) and has a bright amber body with a fine running bead and a nice foamy head that fizzles away maybe a little too rapidly.
The nose is vital, lively and phenolic. There’s a little orange juice (not the zest) with cereals, a bit of malty goodness and a faint ozone note on the end.
It’s a hearty mouthful, with a full Belgian effect that hits the roof of your mouth as a choir hits the roof of a cathedral. Orangey malts pair with a zingy carbonation to drive a full malt sweetness home. Riding in on the back edge are more orangey malt notes and a refreshing up-in the-attic dryness that makes your mouth run with saliva – meaning you have to get on and drink more.
It’s a refreshingly head-destroying 6% but doesn’t taste like it; there’s not a hint of hot alcohol. It could probably do with being even stronger, but I’d fear for my sanity if it was…
Marvellous and an absolute barn-storming bargain of a beer. If you see it, buy it on sight.
As I said, this beer was bought last Christmas from Aldi, so I’ve no idea whether it was a one-off or whether La Goudale brew it regularly. Have a look at their site and see if you can work it out: