Du Brabant Aristophanes
Style: Milk Stout
Brewed: Du Brabant, Belgium
Tested: Bottle, September 2016
After being one year in Belgium I am getting more and more critical to local brew masters. On one hand, they certainly represent a very high level of craftmanship and are more than capable to prepare various blondes, doubles, triples etc.; on the other hand, they seem to have brutal problem with interpretation of any non-Belgian beer style. With a very few exceptions, most of Belgium-brewed stouts and pale ales are simply bad. You will notice, that there is a local branch of pale ale existing - called Belgian IPA (put a sparkling water 1:1 with any double IPA and it is similar), probably because this is as close as they can get*
Still, even after one year, I will still try some local stout or IPA, just to see, whether there is a progress or stagnation.
This time the winner was Milk Stout from Brasserie du Brabant. Just to make sure that I got everything right – that beer was standing for a while in my beer cupboard, and I have also cooled it a little to obtain a proper temperature. No shaky, normal opening. And… after opening it literally blow up. Like a bottle of champagne. Bugger, I thought. A Stout that explodes? Not good.
Rather brown than black, no head at all (which is funny giving the level of carbonation). Muddy look. Aroma is almost no detectable, with a lot of imagination there could be some buttermilk or candy. Same is with the taste, mostly sweet, malt and yeasts. Hops undetectable. A brilliant example of wrong style interpretation. Let us just do everything as we did before (including Belgian yeast, that commonly results in that levels of carbonation), try to minimize the change and it it will be dark we will call it Stout…
Please, stop doing beer that you do not understand. People may really believe that Stouts are a kind of soft drinks for kids. Simply horrible.
* Second option is that local Brewers know their market and Belgians are not interested to try new tastes. Really possible, Belgians are a kind of closed minded when it comes to beer.