First off, I have not forgotten the Beer Bloggers conference. My tweets have been available via my blog but for now I am compiling a lot of material. Needless to say, The Beer Bloggers conference was outstanding and we were treated like Royalty by our wonderful sponsors. Over the coming few weeks I will be writing about what I experienced at the conference, the beers I had there as well as the ones I got home (26 out of 28 bottles survived).
Grimbergen Optimo Bruno was new to me, though I have had many a Grimbergen Blonde and which way I can. It pours how I would expect it to, but not as impressively as if I had poured it in to a Chalice instead of a Murphy's pint glass.
The aroma is full on boozy alcohol. Very Belgian with plenty of esters like banana, bread, lots of yeast and a little fruit. Some bubblegum was also evident.
The taste is not quite as interesting as the aroma but it is all there. I found it very smooth and not overyly fizzy like some Belgian beers. It is quite sweet but not overly so. All in all this is a solid Belgian beer that is readily available in Belgium and France and hopefully more so here because it is usually very reasonably priced to boot.
On the other side of the spectrum and indeed the ocean we have a Samuel Adams beer Blackberry Wit. This is a Belgian style with with Blackberry added in for some reason. Adding fruit to beers is nothing new, it has been done for centuries and can be a bit of a hit and a miss.
Personally I think this is a miss. Interestingly it seems Beeradvocate readers would beg to disagree.
The aroma is like Blackberry Cordial (syrup) added in to a Blue Moon. I can only imagine the horror that would produce but this seems as close as my imagination can produce.
There is some wheat and spices but nothing redeeming, especially since it finishes smelling soapy.
Then we move on to the taste. Sure it tastes like blackberry infused beer but the soap is just too much. I did not know whether to drink it or wash my hands with it. I certainly can wash my hands of it.
Am I being harsh I wonder? Surely everyone on Beeradvocate can't be wrong? So either my tastes do not work with this sort of beer or I got a bottle that did not travel very well or was a little off but it tasted fine as in it tasted how I think it was meant to taste. Sam Adams do some very fine beers but this is not one of them for me.