Ale's Well That Ends Well
Maredsous 8 - Belgium - ABV: 8%
This is a dark Abbey Ale brewed in the Benedictine tradition, fermented in the bottle and aged for over two months. Maredsous 8 compares very favorably to some of the other more common Belgian Ales (Chimay), in that it is very drinkable right away and can be had for a reasonable price ($8 @ BevMo). The initial pour delivers a creamy, peaked head reminiscent of lemon meringue pie, but once you get a little closer to it, there is nothing citrus-y about it all. The aroma of alcohol gets you right away, as it is a very strong ale, and then mixes with scents of roasted malt and caramel. Tasting the dark beer is like drinking a handful of warm hazelnuts, steeped in brown sugar, although it is not abundantly sweet. Hops comes out in a subtly bracing way, reminding you this is not maple syrup, but I wouldn't use the word "bitter' to describe any aspect of it. The body is clean and wonderfully light, say compared to a cloudy wheatbeer or heavy nut ale. The finish is perhaps the best part of it, making Maredsous 8 a fine sipping brew.