Brouwerij Huyghe La Guillotine
Belgium’s Brouwerij Huyghe makes one of my all-time favorite brews — and one of the first truly authentic Belian Ales I ever had — the tasty Delirium Tremens (as well as their Nocturnum and Noel varieties). Based on my history with Tremens and suggestions from a few folks, grabbing this bottle of La Guillotine (an 8.5% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale) was a no-brainer.
This beer may not be as unique in flavor as the Tremens, but man, is it wonderfully crafted. It’s not as refreshing or as drinkable (it’s a warming brew) either. It more than makes up for what it lacks in those areas with a well balanced array of flavors with a strong lean toward the maltier end of the spectrum.
Bright golden in color, La Guillotine pours with a massive stack of white foam that took it’s time descending to the surface.
Grains, bread, Belgian yeast, apricot, pepper and a touch of alcohol combine for a welcoming aroma.
This beer tastes wonderfully grainy and fruity with a chest-warming finish. A moderate amount of sweetness blends well with fruity yeast as an active carbonation allows the flavors to jump all around the palate. The finish, though warming, is refined and clean with a light, peppery zing that lingers softly.
I may prefer the flavor of its more unique cousin in the Tremens, but I would happily pick up another bottle of this if I happen across it in the future. It would make a great winter warmer with the amount of warmth is produces in the chest. It’s more malt-forward presentation is balanced nicely with a yeasty presence and fruit notes. If you like your Belgian ales a little on the warmer side, and I’m sure a majority of you do, then you should definitely check this one out.