In blessed times, on my last trip to Belgium, they brought us two cases of different beers from small breweries for a tasting. Until then, I was sure that almost all Belgian beers were at least not bad, if not excellent. But, those two cases were tough for us. One of the comrades even refused to participate in the tasting for fear of his health. So in the blind tasting of Ratingtelling, we considered some Blanche de Liège to be spoiled and asked to withdraw from the tasting.
I took one bottle of regular Blanche and one bottle of Rosée home to see if the beer was really “dead”. To my surprise, I found out that the producer is Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu, which may not be outstanding, but their beer is quite decent.
As for the problems with Blanche de Liège, it was clearly not tainted, and a little less than a year from the date of bottling (and on Rosée only six months), with a claimed 24 months – nothing at all.
Blanche de Liège (Belgium, Aubel) – 4.9/13 Very watery. The aroma is weak, sour. In the aftertaste a little coriander and nothing else. Together with the inherent acidity of the blanc, it all adds up to some slightly sour, slightly spiced water. I didn’t think that Belgians could abuse blanc like that. It is more inherent in the Russian regionalists who decided to play with Kraft. Rated “D+”.
Blanche de Liège Rosée (Belgium, Aubel) – 4.4/13 Much better. The aroma is just like raspberry. The taste is moderately sweet. Tartness in the aftertaste, as from a raspberry seed. Slightly grassy tone. Clearly raspberry concentrate went well and hid the wateriness and lack of transparency of this blanc. C+ rating.