Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal Dark
I love finding new beers on the shelves of some of my favorite shops. The prospect of coming across a brewery that I am unfamiliar with or a beer that I’ve never heard of is always exciting. Sure, I may kick myself for spending good money on a beer that ended up rather lackluster or make several notes to myself reminding me to buy more of it… and quickly.
This bottle of Dark from Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal out of Belgium is new to me — which is thrilling. The brew inside this elegantly shaped bottle, however, was more “meh” than “wow.” The brew is rather dark farmhouse ale with a good deal of roast to accompany its subtle funk. It’s just a combination that I’m not sure entirely works, at least, not for my palate.
A full column of light beige foam rests above the reddish brown liquid. It’s definitely one of the darker saisons I’ve ever had.
There’s a solid bit of upfront barnyard funk that’s accompanied by a touch of tartness, grain, grassy hops and subtle roast malt notes.
A light level of funk, yeast and grain notes all present themselves immediately before fading to a fairly hoppy finish with a touch of bitterness and a lingering hint of a tartness. The roast malt presence is more prevalent than in the aroma. It’s got an earthy character which doesn’t really compliment the base saison-like characteristics of the brew. The moderately crisp carbonation tingles the tongue and adds to the effect of the hop profile in the finish. There’s no hint of the 7.5% ABV.
This is an interesting beer. I’ve had a couple of dark saisons and farmhouse ales recently and I can never quite get in line with the roasty presence. Perhaps I’m regarding the style in a too much of a traditional sense, but then again, I do like what I like. And that’s a blondish, light bodied and crisp beer like Saison Dupont. Still, it’s always an adventure trying something new.