Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold
The Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold is an undoubted degustation beer, based as it is on the 'classic' Adriaen Brouwer - but with an added, in-bottle, fermentation stage slipped into the production process.
It has a strikingly beautiful balance, juggling to perfection a troika of caramel, malt and dried fruits. As with the 'mother beer', the defining ingredient in this beer is the darker-coloured malt, which is dried (or oasted) that little bit longer, as well as at a higher temperature.
The original version of this brew was known as 'Roman Oudenaards Bruin', which can be roughly translated as "brown-beer brewed by the Roman brewery in (where else) Oudenaarde". The brewery itself has been operational since 1545, almost certainly making it the oldest brewery in Belgium, with a brewing family spanning over fourteen generations.
Back in 2003, the parent beer was renamed 'Adriaen Brouwer', in deference to the well-known painter hailing from the same city. This powerful, yet subtle, painter famous in his time for depicting the five senses. And for a notorious love of life, that allegedly lead him (naturally enough, we reckon) to many a time spent in local beer haunts.
Top fermented beer with re-fermentation in the bottle.
Carefully brewed with totally natural ingredients. The water is drawn from the brewer's own well, to which are added malt, wheat, hops, sugar and (of course) Roman's own yeast strain.
Colour & Transparency
This beer slips into the glass as a beautifully clear velvety-brown, and is (when correctly served) capped by a firm, beige creamy head of froth.
6 °C / 42 °F
Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold isn't served in the same tulip-shaped glass as its little brother (the Adriaen Brouwer) but in a suitably more robust, branded chalice – especially developed to suit the beer.
Character, Tastes & Aromas
There are intense aromas of roast malt and caramel, laced with a slight sour scent in the nose. The palate is simultaneously creamy and bitter, with a bitter-sweet finish, while the alcohol wastes no time in making its presence felt.
Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold would be delicious with a tomato-and-prawn combo: subtle tastes on the plate, to reinforce the sour subtlety in the glass.
There are plenty of ways to prepare the prawns: pair them with tangerines, and the sweet caramel, and the slight sourness, of this beer will come to the fore.
Keeping and Storage
With 24 months of storage, the Dark Gold lasts considerably longer than the 'classic' Adriaen Brouwer (10 months). This beer, however, is brewed with some care, and hits the market ready-to-sup.
So don't expect Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold to evolve in a positive way, especially when kept longer than advised. For optimal keeping, store the small bottles upright, while keeping the larger ones laid down (preferably), in a cool, dry and dark place.
Bottle ✔ On Tap ✖
Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold is widely available in Belgium, in both 33cl bottles and 75cl bottles, particularly in specialised café's, and beer-shops (even in some supermarkets).
As with the 'classic' Adriaen Brouwer international beer lovers won't have too many problems tracking this beer down, outside of its native Belgian home.
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