Dec 5, 2017

De Proefbrouwerij Abtsolution

Belgium’s De Proefbrouwerij has been releasing their Brewmaster’s Collaborations for several years now. I’ve been lucky enough to snag a few through that time and each presents a unique character and craftsmanship in their own right. With the rise of American craft beer over that same period, the space imports such as these types of speciality releases has decreased in favor of local or the latest style trend. The fact that I spied a bottle of De Proefbrouwerij Abtsolution, a collaboration with Wisconsin’s New Glarus, was quite the surprise.

This big (9% ABV) and rich Belgian quadrupel sees De Proef take their expertise and bring in Santiam and Chinook hop varieties as well as lactose (all New Glarus influences) to create a wonderfully decadent and deceptively easy drinking experience. Dark fruits combine with yeast, caramel and bready notes while a soft hop presence adds a light bitterness. Everything is carried on a velvety smooth mouthfeel thanks to that lactose while hints of wood and vanilla linger at the edges. The warming Abtsolution goes down with dangerous ease, leaving a lasting impression of yeast and spices echoing into the distance.

Whilte De Proef has always included outside partners in this series, each beer has been refined and cohesive, never going overboard with those influences. Abtsolution is just another tasty example of that thinking. Both breweries have come together to create a seamless flavor profile that is excellent now or, quite possibly, a few years down the line when cellared properly. Maybe, I’ll have to find another bottle myself.