Sunday, July 8, 2018

De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrik Wild (2014 vintage)

Fill date: 2/14/14

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28A Brett Beer (base style: 26C Belgian Tripel)

AROMA: Strong, fresh, fruity aroma, particularly of lemon and pome fruit. The Brett character is evident in the background with a signature countryside Belgian terroir. Difficult to discern the base brew, however, as the hops and Belgian yeast esters are obscured or absent. There is a slight caramel malt character and minor alcohol as well. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely hazy shade of rusty copper. Scant sediment visible. Large foam settles to a pen-width, but never evaporates. 2/3

FLAVOR: After four years in the bottle, the Brett has grown remarkably strong. Citrus and pome fruit notes are much more subtle tasting than the nose would imply. Farmhouse/terroir taste is quite prominent, creating for a continually dry palette. Ironically enough, there is still a somewhat sweet caramel malt flavor in the background. Bitterness is rather low, and actual hop flavor is virtually absent. Signature Belgian yeast esters are also obscured; difficult to peg the base brew as a Tripel proper. Aftertaste is of green pear, with some alcohol lingering as well. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; very high carbonation. Smooth and comfortable in the mouth, though drinkability is impacted by the effervescence. Alcohol is surprisingly tame at 9% ABV as it imparts only gentle warmth. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: After 4 years of conditioning, the Brett definitely runs the show. Base brew is likely authentic, but upstaged. 7/10


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