Thursday, May 07, 2015

Beer Review: De Mons Belgian abbey beer by Inveralmond Brewery


In the dark dregs of last year, Inveralmond Brewery in Perth brought a bit of winter warmth with the launch of De Mon, the second in their Inspiration series of world beers. While Inspiration No 1 - Sunburst - paid homage to the Czech pilsner, head brewer Ken Duncan looked to the Belgian abbey-style beer for Inspiration No 2.

And whereas Sunburst, with its gentle bittering, floral aroma and crisp finish was ideal for summer drinking, De Mons (6.0%) is one for long nights and smouldering fires, a seat by a big window with seaside views where you can watch the last of the autumn sun kissing the tops of the waves.

De Mons pours straw golden with a malty aroma that carries a light hoppy touch. Initially, there's a sudden sourness and that distinctive estery flavour typical of Belgian and Dutch beers that comes from the type of yeast commonly used throughout the Low Countries. Then you get a big complex rush of sweet flavours - raisins, red grapes, ginger, malt loaf and cloves - before a long medium dry and bitter finish. This might be a Belgian abbey beer, but De Mons does retain a Scottish feel to it, perhaps from the soft Perthshire water.

In the years since they launched in 1997, Inveralmond have built up a solid core range and a solid reputation, with Lia Fail, Ossian and Thrappledouser winning plaudits and prizes. Will De Mons match their success? Who knows. One thing's for sure: Inspiration No 3 has a couple of tough acts to follow.

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