Beery Christmas Day 22: Bosteels Single Batch Barley Wine
Bosteels – Belgian Beer with heritage
Back with another authentic Belgian recipe, ever since its foundation in 1791 by Evarist Bosteels, the Bosteels brewery has become the very definition of a family-business. In the same ownership for well over 200 years, the brewery has been managed by seven generations of the Bosteels family, brewing some of Belgium's most iconic beers along the way.
Among its canon are such classics as Tripel Karmeliet – Saveur Bière and Hopt's all-time best-selling beer – and the exquisite Deus Brut des Flandres, a Barley beer brewed in the champagne style - the méthode champenoise, which is yer actual French! - all brewed with the same care and attention as way back at the very beginning.
Bosteels Single Batch Beer: Please Sir, can I have some more?
Many of you out there know Bosteels for two beers – Kwak and Tripel Karmeliet. They’re both great beers – but not quite special enough for Beery Christmas 2018!
With that in mind, we put on our best teacher voice and told Bosteels “We know you can do better.” and ""Strive for excellence!” and guess what? They did! So, today we proudly present the “OMG Good!” Bosteels Single Batch BBB01…
Brewed specially for Beery Christmas 2018, if the name doesn't catch your attention, then the beer certainly will! This crazily complex Barley Wine is one of the big surprises this year, bursting with invitingly sticky raisin and fig notes and a warm spicy cinnamon and clove character.
The effortlessly smooth body is full of soft vanilla brown sugar and date sweetness, with a deep aromatic profile that conjures up walnuts, pipe tobacco, old leather and beeswax polish.
Add in a dash of spicy yeast and a generous alcohol content and this sumptuous beast is truly one of this year’s highlights.
Barley Wine – a very grownup beer style
Barley Wine is a close relative of Old Ale with a history that dates back to the 15th Century and beyond. It's a singularly English style with cousins in Belgium and the US in the form of Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Quadrupel and American Barley Wine sharing many of its traits. With a colouring from ruby to dark chestnut, this style is all about the sweet, sticky toffee booze character and a
Esters and Phenols: Belgian Beer’s secret weapon
As yeast gets busy fermenting it produces various flavour compounds. Two of the most important are phenols and esters. As they are produced, they react with alcohol to give the beer its distinct flavouring. Considered by some to be undesirable they are an integral part of Belgian beer, and Belgian beer yeast is highly prized for its amazing ability to produce these cheeky little compounds.
Phenols give a ‘baking spices’ character with hints of clove, pepper, vanilla and, at a more extreme level antiseptic throat-spray, medicine cabinets and sticking plasters.
while Esters are generally fruitier, evoking banana, pear, apple, honey and even bubblegum or acetone – nail-polish remover to you or me.
The warmer the fermentation, and the higher the alcohol content, the more you’ll taste these chemicals. That’s why Belgian beers in particular are often described as ‘estery’ or ‘phenolic’.