This is an incredible Belgian Strong Pale Ale that is dated 4/2012 and has been maturing 8 to 9 montsh.
The beer as it ages is supposed to go from a straw color starting out to a black ale. As the colors change so are the flavors supposed to change with it from a light and fruity to a more dark and complex. This is somewhere in the middle which to me, makes it even more complex because all the flavors are apparrent none more so than the other making it that much more difficult to decipher, or am I wrong here?...
This beer is probably one of the best beers that I have ever had in general. I'm going to put it up there in my top 5 all time favorites so far! If not number one. I just haven't had a belgian this good yet, so my list most likely is always going to change, but WOW!
The bottle is a win. I can reuse it for homebrew!
The beer pours a dark straw color. Presumably darker than when fresh. It's darker but holding on to that straw color and looks a little lighter than what the label says it should be at 9 months. The beer is clear with maybe a slight hint of haze and the head was a good two finger head fading to one for the entire duration of the drink.
Aromas of honey, citrus, malt and fennel.
The taste is sensational! It almost has a champagne feel to it, perhaps from the yeast. Flavors are numerous and well balanced with malt, honey, citrus and a peppery fennel that is enhanced by the carbonation to slightly numb the tongue, but not really. It's mouthfeel is smooth and the body medium and alive with carbonation. Head retention is so nice and the lacing excellent. The finish feels peppery and dry with almost no hops, yet but a little that come out in the soft dry ending.
This flavors almost become more apparent as you drink it and the temperature falls releasing more of them!
I am so glad that I have another bottle of this to drink next year! I can't wait! I will definitely seek this beer out again! I hope that you do as well!
10 Points go to St. Stefanus!