This is an interesting beer from the small brewery in Damme, just outside of Bruges along one of the canals that lead into the city.
The brewery’s catchphrase is ‘old world meets new world’, and that is perfectly captured in this beer. Described as a black India saison, it is one of their seasonal brews made annually for the autumn. So I had to keep it for the autumn season in Oz!
It is a pretty uncommon style for a beer, and if you stop and think about what to expect it takes a minute to imagine what might be in the bottle.
It pours a dark brown, just short of black body, with a really rocky foam. Strong aromas of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and licorice follow through into the taste just as strongly.
Hopped with Citra hops, there is a faint hint of those tropical characteristics, but it really is beneath the malts. Fermented with a saison yeast, I don’t get a lot of saison funk, but the really dry finish attests to that.
Dark malts really are dominant, and I found myself looking hard for the other sides of this beer. Apparently smoked eel pairs really well – I didn’t find out! I did enjoy it as an interesting point of difference from a small brewery pushing boundaries and challenging the norms of Belgian brewing.