I am not a beer connoisseur by any means, but I do enjoy a good pint (or two!) on balmy spring nights.
Coming home to an especially warm April evening after a long day, I thought it a perfect time to try two selections from the Rare Beer Club - part of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club.
When you choose the Rare Beer Club - part of the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club, each month you’ll receive two, 750 ml bottles of exclusive and rare beers from around the world and a newsletter with detailed tasting notes, beer profiles, brewery histories, and suggested food pairings.
Troubadour Westkust – Dark and Handsome
The Troubadour Westkust is a black IPA from Ursel, Belgium. I’m a huge fan of Belgium beer (especially Witbiers such as Hoegaarden), so I was excited to taste Troubadour. It is a Black Imperial Pale Ale (IPA) that’s fermented in the bottle and brewed with 100% Belgium Westkust hops. This beer was surprising for me, as I’ve only seen light-hued IPAs.
The label referred to the Troubadour Westkust as a black and bitter Ale with hoppy flavors and barley malt.” The beer had a velvety pour, layering into the glass with a thick beige head. Its rich chocolate color reminded me of Guinness stout, which I thoroughly enjoy on occasion. But unlike the thick Guinness, Troubadour was light on the tongue. The bitter aftertaste of coffee was indeed noticeable but not unpleasant after a few sips.
At 9.2% alcohol by volume (ABV), the full-bodied beer packed a punch. I enjoyed the first sips alone, but after a while, I craved some strawberries. Sweet, fresh-picked berries went well with the Troubadour’s assertive flavor. Beer of the Month Club suggests pairing chocolate or grilled meat. Nexttime, I think I’ll have chocolate-covered strawberries!
Drinking the Troubador Westkust took me back to a beer garden in Nolita (New York City) where my friends and I would gather during the summer after work. We’d soak in the warm air and suds with pints of Guinness and the occasional Irish Car Bomb :).
NOTES – Alcohol by Volume: 9.2% || Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Pinot Glass | Country: Belgium | Brewery: Brouwerij The Musketeers
Sly Fox 20 – Sneaks Up on Ya!
With a pop of the cork, I was ready for the Sly Fox 20. The golden ale poured hazy with a massive sudsy head. Those bubbles were huge!
Sly Fox 20 is a Belgian-style ale from the Sly Fox Brewing Company, a family business in Phoenixville, Pa. The brewery produced this limited edition in celebration of its 20th anniversary (1994).
The 6.6% ABV of the Sly Fox 20 is more my speed, as I can comfortably drink without fear of becoming tipsy after one pint. But this tasted way more like an 8-9% to me. The citrusy aroma was enticing, and I noted some sweetness at the end of a sip with a crisp finish.
I thought Sly Fox 20 could stand on its own, so I didn’t pair it. Beer of the Month recommends “buttery, fattier pairings,” such has chicken or duck to complement the Sly Fox’s “effervescent carbonation and pepper.”
NOTES – Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%|| Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Chalice, or Pinot Glass | Country: United States | Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
Enjoy and drink responsibly!