Pros: Excellent Range of Beers
Cons: not available to my friends back East
Reading all of the New Belgium reviews last week made me a little thirsty. After finishing the last of my Belgium Black 1544, I noticed a map on the bottom of the 6 pack. Well last Saturday I coerced my wife into taking a little ride up to Ft. Collins.
We did the short brewery tour asked some questions and then got down to the serious business -- sampling the 6 beers that they currently brew.
While I pride myself on being a connoissuer, I never thought much of the wine experts who claim to taste bits of cherry with an oaken finish. Oenology aside, I now feel a good bit smarter. They start you off with a Summer Wheat, then throw the classic Fat Tire at you. Then the excellent Blue Paddle Pilsner. The last three are in my mind the class of the brewery! Abbey, Trippel and the Belgium Black.
Let me say that there is not a New Belgium beer that I dislike, so these comments are all relative to various levels of excitement on my part.
The abbey is a delightfully robust beer, while it has some heavy overtones on the hops side, it has an overall sweet taste.
The Trippel tastes like Honey to me. The bottle finish helps it pack a little extra punch; of course, 7.5% alcohol does not hurt!
The Belgium Black may be my favorite. It has a mature taste but for something so dark it is nothing like a stout. Much to my pleasure, New Belgium has decided to take this beer into full production, si look for it at a you local beer merchant.