A Belgian Dark Strong Ale for the winter
We were always fans of winter beers, we loved the labels with snow, Santa Claus, mistletoe or fairy creatures, so since we opened our brewery we were restless and we wanted to make a winter beer. And since the winter beers are usually dark and strong in alcohol, we started to think about the recipe in the summer time.
The brewing was in the first days of July and while everyone was sunbathing and enjoying the summer, we were thinking about our winter beer.
It started with a recipe of a Belgian Dark Strong Age: six types of malt, two types of hop, Belgian dark candi syrup and extra, we added during boiling some spices (grains of paradise and coriander) and lots of cocoa husks. And of course we fermented with a fresh yeast blend (Belgian strains). After the fermentation ended, we wanted to do more and we transferred in the secondary tank on cherry wood chips, a couple of kilos of organic cocoa beans from Ivory Coast, more cocoa husks and grains of paradise.
The summer passed, the autumn passed and after three months of maturation we decided that the beer is flavoured enough and we bottled it, letting the yeast do her thing in the bottle.
The result was as we expected, a sublime beer so complex and warming with 11.8% ABV. The aromas are so pronounced, with a lot of dark chocolate, praline, toffee, tobacco and coffee. The taste is impressive, rich and intense with lots of cocoa, roasted notes, dried cherries and woody fruity hints. The complex character is increased by the cherry wood chips that gives an extra pleasant robust flavour. This is a strong beer, dry with a bitter finish, enjoy it now or leave it for the next years, it will be better and better.
1st of December is our National Day and this year our country celebrates 100 years and even though last year we celebrated by working (brewing beer), this year we decided to stay at home and just celebrating and contemplating about how it was our year while enjoying Oriel Winter.
Oriel Winter is about the joy of holidays, gratitude, bonds and pure happiness just because we are happy, Oriel is our dream came true and this month we complete 1 year of activity.
Stay close for the future events: launching this winter beer (4th of December) and our 1st Anniversary on 15th of December.
Savour an artisanal Oriel and take joy in living!