St Stefanus blonde is a Belgian beer owned by SabMiller. It was presented to us at the beer bloggers conference and I was pretty impressed and made sure I brought home a bottle. It pours very lively with a massive foamy head. The aroma consists of strong banana esters with some lemon sherbet. Upon tasting it starts off sweet with banana and some slight spice. Little sour in the finish and that seals the deal for me. They used three different yeasts in the beer. I really like this.
Jopen brewery's Jacobus RPA is a 5.3% Rye pale ale. The aroma is sweet with rye bread. Summer fruits and caramel. The taste starts off with citrus of the grapefruit verity. I found it quite watery to be honest. Some caramel malt make up a little body. A slightly bitter and spicy finish but disappointing how thin it is. Nice enough beer but I would not seek it out.
Aha, a bottle of beer with boobs on it. You can't go wrong with boobs on a beer bottle. Brouwerij ’t IJ is one of those words that is probably a lot easier to pronounce than it looks. Their IPA is a bit of an odd one. I got banana on the first sniff followed by bubblegum. Indeed it was like banana bubblegum. It was like a sweeter version of hopfen weisse even though I don't believe it's meant to be a wheat beer. That did not detract from it as it was a lovely beer. There was only a slight hint of alcohol burn making its 7% ABV known.
De Molen are great for one off small batch beers. This one is called Rook and Vuur, a beer Steve was pouring for me at EBBC12 somewhere in this video I think. I did not recall the beer itself so it was great that I had a bottle to bring home and try. I needn't have bothered as it's a complete mess of a beer, or at least this bottle was. Firstly it was a a fizz bomb. Secondly it was a smoke bomb. I'm surprised my luggage was not taken off the plane and me placed under arrest for having such an explosive beer in my suitcase. It tasted like fizzy iodine. There must be more going on somewhere but I could not get it through the bubbles and overpowering iodine. Somewhere there is supposed to be chili but I found no trace. A real disappointment for me.
Not all foreign beer is muck, I tend to look for domestic beer to be in that category but a mixed bag here. None were muck but Rook and vuur came close for me. That said, it does get 98 on ratebeer so maybe it's just not to my liking. Either that or ratebeer favours very weird beers..... er....