« on: September 13, 2014, 10:43:32 AM »
First off, this is a great tasting beer. Too many hoppy high gravity Belgian style golden beers just don't taste right IMO. To often the citrussy hops clash with the fruity Belgian character. But I have been experimenting with some of the new hops (that I don't always enjoy in American Pale Ales/IPAs/IIPAs) in Belgian style ales and, using them almost like spices to accentuate the Belgian character, they can work great.
Duvel has done this with their Tripel hop. The Mosaic dry hopping really accentuates this beer nicely. In fact, I really like this hop in this application. The description says "tangerine and blueberry" but to me it is more mellon/mellon rind. It's the kind of beer that you want to enjoy more than one of.
But there is a big problem with this beer as well. We all know that Duvel is well known for its "head forming properties" and that it's supposed to be impressive because the malt bill is just "pils and sugar". But there is something strange going on with the foam here. The foam is more like "dish soap" foam. Large bubbles, unlike anything I have ever seen in beer before. As the tighter bubbles fade (and they do rather quickly) a swath of very large, translucent bubbles rush in to take their place. It's almost like foam stability was a problem, so they added a foam enhancing additive. It definitely detracts from the experience.
I'm also curious as to wether hop extracts were used in this application. The hops taste a bit too "clean" like some other hop extract derived American pale/IPAs I've had. I am assuming that this could also account for the strange foam.
Anyway, it's a beer worth searching out both for its fine complimentary dry hop and for its bizarre foam qualities.