When we stopped by the Flat Rock Brew Cafe back in December 2014, it happened to be at the time when Flat Rock’s head brewer Vince de Soyres was collaborating on a brew with Kieran Allen of Pixel Brewing. In the sweaty summer heat the pair were thinking ahead, conjuring up a Belgian dark ale to age and release the following winter. Alas, winter duly came and went but the beer apparently slept through its alarm clock and failed to emerge. Now, as we approach the following summer, it’s here.
The past nine or so months have had the beer ageing in a Rutherglen barrel which, with the addition of caramelised figs to the brew, has put sweet dried fruit characters fully front, centre, forward, behind, up, down, backwards and any which way you like it in this beer; think muscat, dark candy sugar, cherry and any other similarly rich fruity flavour and you’re in the right ballpark. Rather than rattle off the list of malts used, it’s simply sufficient to say it’s a complex bill – Vince even hinted that in hindsight it might have been a little over the top, though in the same sentence indicated that, were they to brew it again, there’d be little inclination to change it.
At 10.5 percent ABV it’s a substantial beer but, as with a dessert wine, the sweetness helps it glides right through without bothering you with any sort of alcohol warmth. Nonetheless, it’s a beer you’ll be inclined to sip and enjoy slowly. And for something so long in the making, that seems entirely appropriate.
- Strong Belgian Dark Ale
Flat Rock Brew Cafe