Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Limited Time Offer!

Beer: Margriet
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker

One of the great joys of being a craft-brew enthusiast is when, every so often, brewers experiment by producing a limited release beer, whether it be a seasonal ale or just a new variation of a particular style. Not only do these limited releases often result in some exciting or intriguing tasting sessions, they also add a certain quality of 'rareness' that makes beer hunting similar in a way to comic book- or action figure- collecting. Of course, the obvious drawback is that most of these one-off brews will not be brewed again; if you particularly enjoyed the brew, the separation can be traumatic. Only rarely do these brews make their way into regular rotation; the demand has to be justified. So drink 'em while they got 'em folks, cause supplies are limited.

Margriet is one of those beers. You've probably seen it in the liquor store recently; it's very recognisable, it's label sporting what looks to be a Vermeer portrait. How European...

It runs for about two bucks a bottle, and I have to say, it is damned worth it. It's essentially a variation of their own blonde ale (which is not usually available at any liquor or beer store in Ontario), but with some different flavours in the mix.

I poured this one into a chalice glass. Easily one of the best-looking bottle pours I've had in a while. The colour is a opaque light golden, and it leaves a thick, foamy head that simply won't go away. Terrific lacing right up the glass. Reminded very much of Duvel.

Smell is slightly yeasty with a bit of fruit and a faint note of alcohol esters. The taste is a lively blend of yeast, citrus (lemon), pear, nectarine and coriander with a slight bubble gum kick. There's loads going on here. The finish is dry and satisfying. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, yet creamy thanks to the (still thick!) head. Dry, but doesn't stick to the palate.

One of the best BPA's I've had in recent year. It's truly a shame that Margriet will only be available for a little while longer before it's done. (Hence the tissues in the pic...) I certainly will be out to snap up a few more bottles, because at the price, it's one of the best brews available at the LCBO right now! Hope you get a chance to try it.  (Grade: A)

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