Beer O’ The Week: April 14
Alcohol overload dooms Kasteel ale’s flavor
Kasteel Triple from Castle Brewery in Van Honsebrouck, Belgium, is an 11 percent alcohol golden ale.
It pours a nice rosy golden color and the head is thick but fleeting. The first whiff is dominated by an alcohol burn, not unexpected in an ale that packs this kind of punch, but shocking nonetheless.
Upon further sniffing, orange and honey can be detected through the alcohol fumes. Taste is fruity with orange and plum with a mean alcohol scorch for an aftertaste.
It’s hard to enjoy a beer when the alcohol is as prominent as this. As it warms, a triple should get better, not undrinkable. I couldn’t finish this beer and that is usually not a problem when I’m drinking a Belgian ale. I like a strong triple, but it’s strength should be hidden in a well balanced ale that doesn’t make you cringe when you take a drink.
Rating: 2 caps
If taste buds had a groinal region, this beer would be a kick to it.
Right off, it’s 11 percent alcohol by volume and you can taste every molecule of it. I like a strong beer — Avery’s Hog Heaven Barleywine and its Salvation golden ale or Old Rasputin Imperial Stout come to mind — but the alcohol taste in this brew smacks you like a Steven Segal throat punch.
Also, it’s sweet — very sweet. It’s a very rich caramel flavor, but the sugariness is just as overbearing as the booze factor.
Kasteel Triple’s not the worst beer I’ve ever had, but I won’t go looking for its stumpy, unusually shaped bottle again. Maybe it would make a decent dessert beer for someone whose tastes lean that way, but even then, you wouldn’t want to have more than one in an evening.
Rating: 2 caps
One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.