Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DE PROEF & TERRAPIN'S KNOCKOUT "MONSTRE ROUGE"

Are you familiar with "The Brewmaster's Collection" from Belgian beermaker Dirk Naudts and his DE PROEF BROWERIJ? I have to say, we all need to get more familiar with this guy and what he's been doing with American beermakers in collaboration and solo the past few years. Let me run some names at ya and see if these make your mouth water: Witte Noir. Signature Ale. Zoetzuur Flemish Ale. Van Twee. La Grande Blanche. Les Deux Brasseurs. Ring any bells? These are all amazing beers, packaged in 22-ounce bottles - some made in conjunction with US heavyweights like Allagash & Lost Abbey, with most being made by DE PROEF on their own. They're mostly all still "in print", as they say, and I haven't had a bone to pick with a one of them.

Naturally any new Brewmaster's Collection release is going to be a big day in my household, and so it was when I saw MONSTRE ROUGE, a collaboration Flanders Red Ale with Georgia's TERRAPIN BEER CO. We already dig Terrapin as well, and know that they're fine makers of ales in their own regard. The sum of their parts leads to an even greater whole. Correct what I said earlier, this is an "imperial" Flanders red, a big version of this Belgian thirst-quencher at 8.5% ABV. I instantly loved it. It has an incredible woodiness both up front and in the aftertaste. Caramel, bready with very pronounced malts and yeasts. A really thin layer of sourness hangs around as well, but I kept coming back to "the wood".

I knew something was weird-o about this one that was making it taste so good, so I cheated and read the bottle before I'd finished typing in my, ahem, "tasting notes". That's it! Rye malt. Rye! That's what I'm tasting here and confusing with a thin, reedy woodiness. What a delicious beer. How some of you cornballs on Beer Advocate are coming up with a B- for this one is beyond me. I can't get enough of this guy's stuff - definitely in my Top 10 brewers worldwide. 8.5/10.

1 comment:

Nat said...

Doggone it, now I have to try this beer again. Had it last fall and thought it just OK.