Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal – Winter 12

This seems to be a beer review week for revealing some of the new things I have going on in my life.  Monday’s post was dedicated to the new porch I have to drink on.  I guess that would mean this post is dedicated to the new pup I have to drink with.  For years my wife has been saying that she has wanted a new corgi puppy.  Living in a two bedroom condo with both a cat and dog made me believe it would be too rough to add another dog into the mix; therefore, when we found our new house, my wife immediately jumped to finding a corgi breeder.  So, one week after buying our new house, we have a brand new 12 week old corgi we named Pepe.

I actually feel this beer can be dedicated to my new little pal because I bought it on the way home from our second visit out to the breeder.  We drove the near 2 hours out into VA the first time to meet the breeder and the little 4 week old puppies.  Then, a few weeks later, we headed back out there to actually pick out our little guy.  On the way home, I asked my wife if we could stop by a different beer store I’d been hearing about.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love Rick’s.  They are definitely my go to store; however, Arrowine has a crazy good cheese selection as well.  Plus, this store was slightly more on the way home from the breeder.  So we hit it up to see how it was.

I ended up purchasing a few different bottles of beer in my first ever visit to Arrowine, but I ultimately picked this little bottle up because of its interesting artwork.  I’d never had anything from the brewer and there was no clear indication what the style of beer was.  It was clearly some kind of Belgian because you could see the sediment siting on the bottom of the bottle.  The beer guy at the store told me it was a saison brewed with rose petals.  I haven’t had a lot of beers that use rose petals, but I did have a Sam Adams beer that used rose petal water, so I thought it could be interesting and went with it.

This one poured out a golden yellow orangey hue with some ample white fluffy head.  There was some great lacing and very pleasant sticky residue left on the glass after the swirl.  The sediment lying on the bottom of the bottle is a clear indication this beer would be somewhat hazy.  I tried to be careful with the pour.  Like I said, you could see the build up through the bottle, so I didn’t want to be creeped out by the floaters.  I don’t even like pulp in my OJ.  Anyway, you couldn’t make out any real visible carbonation either.

The beer has a very herbal aroma to it.  A little google search told me that this beer actually uses dog rose petals in the mix.  I have no idea if they are even more potent than regular rose petals, but I have to assume this is the source of the floral and herbal aromas.  You get the ample clove that is associated with Belgian brews, and you get some very nice light citrus notes as well.  The sweet malts and light hops are certainly there; however, it seems to rely on a crisp and clean aroma for the most part.

The sweet malts dominate the onset of the flavor profile.  It’s rare I say anything else opens up any given beer.  That herbal flavor comes in quite quickly.  I feel like you can taste rosemary, thyme, and other herbal flavors; however, I’m not sure if the majority of these flavors can be traced back to dog rose petals.  There is some nice slight bitter hop flavor that comes in; however, they have a slightly more floral flavor to them, which I think compliment the herbal and floral qualities of this beer.  The clove from the yeast is not as dominant as it is in other brews, but it is still prominent on the flavor profile.  That herbal rose flavor kicks back up after the yeast, and it has a nice bready yeast finish.  The beer is quite crisp and clean throughout.

The mouthfeel features some great carbonation throughout the beer.  I always expect saisons to have a high amount of carbonation.  That might be why I accidentally over carbonated my version.  It does get a little syrupy towards the end of the mouthfeel; however, it tends to stay pretty crisp and refreshing throughout.  The hops and yeast seem to only add to freshness.

Sometimes buying beer based on a label can be a big problem.  Thankfully it worked out okay in this instance.  Now I have two great beer stores to frequent, and they both do tastings on Saturday.  Now I just need to figure out how to get to both in one day and stay happily married.  Maybe I can use our new little guy as leverage to sample my way around Northern Virginia on a Saturday afternoon.  Oh well, at least I have yet another friend to hang out with while I write my ramblings on beer.

Teacher Grade: B+

Pepe wasn’t pleased with his new leash


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