I first had Troubadour Magma at the Snowdrop Inn beer festival, one of the best beer events I’ve been to in a long time. It was the last beer of my day, downed as we were walking out the door. The first mouthful made me stop, take another gulp, then sit down. I immediately wanted to finish the glass and order another. It was incredible. Why had I never had this beer before? It’s a strong Belgian beer dry-hopped with American hops. Imagine a Tripel meets an American IPA.
But I was drinking it as I was leaving. Lauren had hold of my empty hand and was pulling me out the door. She’d already sat and watched me drink beer for too many hours and it was time to go. With one hand in hers, the other was rooted in the pub through the grip I had on my pint glass. Lauren versus a 9% beer, with me stuck in the middle. Both had the potential to knock me out but one was about to do it before the other had the chance...
Then for my birthday last week Lauren puts a big box in front of me. Ripping off the beery wrapping paper, it contained all of the best beers from the Snowdrop – Saison Dupont, Anchor Bigfoot, Odells IPA and Troubadour Magma (it also had some Mikkellers and more Anchor – Lauren did good).
Magma (9% ABV) had two days in the fridge before I busted it out. Tropical fruit, fruit salad sweets, vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce, a perfumy fragrance, mango, roasted pineapple... Not many beers smell like this. The body has a sweetness to it but that balances the bitterness at the end. The hop flavour rocks, there’s a dry finish to it all, and each mouthful is different and interesting and exciting. A brilliant beer. It’s the best Belgian beer I’ve drunk all year, in fact.
When Belgians do American hops well, they really do them well. This, Vivan Imperial IPA, IV Saison, Chouffe Houblon. Delicious.
Must look out for Magma and others. Chouffe Houblon is one of my all time favourite beers. Raging Bitch (the other side of the coin) is one of the Wife's.ReplyDelete
I have my own homebrewed version and I'll bring you a bottle sometime Mark.
Tropical fruit, fruit salad sweets, vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce, a perfumy fragrance, mango, roasted pineapple... Not many beers smell like this.ReplyDelete
You make it sound revolting! I've never understood the 'tropical fruit' language people use about hoppy beers - I wouldn't want to taste those flavours in beer, and I don't think I'd want to smell them either.
Had this in Cambrinus a few months back. Had it in amongst a load of other incredible beers but it still stood out. Would like to go back to it with a fresh palate.ReplyDelete
How is the IV Saison? Saw it everywhere in Belgium when I was there a couple of weeks ago. It's difficult to choose another saison when Dupont's is readily available, seductively calling your name...
Dredpenguin - Sounds good! I almost mentioned Raging Bitch by saying how I love these Belgian beers with US hops but don't like US IPAs with spicy Belgian yeasts. We had a bottle of really old Raging Bitch at the weekend and that was delicious - the hop had disappeared and it was really rounded and mellow.ReplyDelete
Phil - It smelt of hops and tasted of beer. Why wouldn't you want to taste mango and pineapple in beers?! They are some of the best flavours. Drink Marble beers and you've got tropical fruit.
Chris - IV Saison is one of the best beers I drank last year. We had it on tap in Moeder Lambic and it was so good. I'd choose it over Dupont, it's that good. The US hops just work so well in it. Now I'm massively craving IV Saison and it's not even 7am yet...
Big fan of the Troubadour beers - had this one at last year's Bruges Festival and was immediately won over. The Belgians seem to be getting into hops more and more - next time at the Brges Fest (4-5 Feb next year by the way - you really should go - link here http://www.brugsbierfestival.be/nl/home-230.html )ReplyDelete
Looking forward to Belle Fleur, the new IPA from De Dochter van de Korenaar (which, froma slow start) is staring to become one of the more interesting Belgian brewers).
It brings a tear to my eye.ReplyDelete
Man meets beer. Man falls in love with beer. Man is torn away from beers loving embrace...
But fear not it has a Hollywood ending. Man is reunited with said love by his other love.
We had a similar scene recently when the other half gave me a homebrew book and her credit card "go buy the stuff you need and brew me some beer"
Why wouldn't you want to taste mango and pineapple in beers?! They are some of the best flavours. Drink Marble beers and you've got tropical fruit.ReplyDelete
I want to taste beer in beer, unless it's Fruli - when people say they can taste mango and pineapple I think of alcopops. The only fruit flavour I've ever tasted in a beer made without actual fruit is the sour/bitter hit of grapefruit. Never tasted or smelt mangoes in Marble beers. Lemon, woodsmoke, dry grass, pine needles, dark chocolate, aniseed, cough mixture and vomit*, yes; fruit salad, no.
*Not one of their best.