Apr 5, 2017

Green Flash Ideal Belgique

For Green Flash to call their bottle-conditions Belgian-style dark ale “Ideal Belgique,” they better have themselves one hell of a beer. Part of the company’s Cellar 3 program, the beer is crafted with Muscovado brown sugar, Munich malts and Styrian Golding hops as indicated on the label artwork. Those ingredients are employed to set the beer apart from the rest. Yet, while Ideal Belgique (9% ABV and 45 IBU) is pretty darn tasty, it doesn’t quite measure up to some favorites of the style.

With small differences in flavor thanks to those three called-out ingredients, the beer still pretty much tastes like a quality, straightforward Belgian-style strong dark ale. There’s a solid malt backbone, plenty of yeast (complete with peppery tingle), distant spices and dark fruits. Ideal Belgique, however, feels a bit rough or raw on the palate. It’s not as refined as as those its flavors aim to mirror.

I believe this is one of those beers that could use a bit more time in the bottle to mature and mellow out. The flavors are good, but don’t quite mesh fully with one another. A little cellaring would allow for all of those elements to come together in a more harmonious presentation. Perhaps, I’ll let the second bottle the wife picked up for me do just that and see how it turns out in another year or two.