De Molen Verdeel&Heers
BA Imperial Stout Brett
t'Verzet Kameradski Balsamico
Experimental Fusion of Oud Bruin and Imperial Stout
Lervig/Oud Beersel Black Acid
stout/lambic blend aged
It was supposed to be blinded competition. After giving it some thoughts I have decided not to do so. First, because I am the huge fan of Kameradski Balsamico. Second – there is no official beer style for sour stouts, thus a fair comparison is difficult to make.
Finally, I have decided to give you some thought about all 3 beers.
The one from De Molen is quite impressive one – rich aroma of dark chocolate, roasted malts, dried fruits and plums. Flavor is barrel, rum, whiskey, plums. Overall very tasty, very well balanced. One point of the criticism is that I cannot see the Bretanomyces doing the job. All acidic notes may as well come from barrel aging and that makes V&E quite close to many other BA Imperial Stouts. It is not a bad beer, it is just not as exceptional as I thought.
Lervig/Oud Beersel is a different approach. Stout is gone and lambic is taking over everything. Can you imagine drinking a dry beer? Well, it’s the effect obtained here. Kind of like drinking very, very dry wine. I have looked on Ratebeer and some people tend to find there some malt notes and richness. I clearly don’t, it is one sided, acidic and boring. And, yes, I have tried well before the “Best before” date.
Now the Chocolate Stalin – how ‘t Verzet calls Kameradski Balsamico. Whereas it is not a beer for everybody – this is one of the most rewarding beers I have ever tried. Pitch black in color with a brown foam. Smells with malts, coffee and caramel with light acidic notes. Taste is acidic, but balanced with sweet fruits, berries, coffee and chocolate flavors.
For me this beer is simply amazing and the best Belgian beer ever (Westvleteren XII is a joke in comparison). Knowing that it is not everybody’s beer I have tested it on a chosen group of beer lovers. Very polarized reactions – from I don’t like it, to where can I get 10 bottles. For me, another sign of exceptionality – it does not a beer that leaves anybody warm.