I thought I wasn’t familiar with beers from the Belgian brewery De Ryck. But no! Not so long ago I drank their excellent Gouden Arend 125, in 2014 in Brussels I paid tribute to a triple, but the Steenuilke I tried at the Prodexpo 2021 did not make me happy.
At the last Bevitec I was presented with three more De Ryck beers, which I tasted in a relaxed home environment.
Arend Blond (Belgium, Herzl) – 6.5/15.7 As it should be blond, floral and fruity fragrance. A little bit of honey. The taste is full, baked. In the aftertaste flowers, a little grass and a slight alcohol, which rather warms up. Not very bright, but quite pleasant blonde. Rating “B-“.
Special De Ryck (Belgium, Herzl) – 5,5/10,5 Very simple Belgian style pale ale. The aroma of caramel, some figs. Taste malted, watery. Slightly tart aftertaste. When opening the bottle was quite strong hashing. Rated “C +”.
Steenuilke (Belgium, Herzl) – 6.5/15.7 This beer was first brewed in 2009 as part of a collaboration between the De Ryck brewery and the Flemish Ardennes Reserve (RLVA, to support the population of the local owl species – Steenuilke. Three herbs from the Ardennes – dudgeon, angelica and blackthorn – were used.
These herbs give the beer a very specific flavor. In 2021, I mistook it for burnt insulation. But no, I was wrong. After tasting it at home, I realized – yes, it was a mixture of different herbs. Unfortunately, the whole herbarium gives a very unpleasant taste (probably for me personally). Already realizing that this is not a defect but a “feature”, I nevertheless could not finish the bottle.
In addition to the aforementioned herbs, you can distinguish a floral aroma and caramel flavor. I love and support the owls, but I think that here is clearly too much botany. Grade C-.