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Belgian Strong Dark Ale

For those who seek a bit of mystery and intrigue, look no further than Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The mystery in this dark beer comes with the complexity of the beer, which is largely determined by the brewer’s intent. Intrigue comes from the sometimes deceivingly high alcohol that can hide from the senses behind the dark ale’s aromas and flavors. Deep amber to dark brown in color with a generous, creamy tan head, Belgian Strong Dark Ales deliver a range of rich, dark malt sweetness and toastiness, dark fruity esters, peppery phenolic spiciness and other sensory treats. As in most Belgian ales, these characteristics are all generally balanced nicely, with enough background hops to keep the sweetness in check. Traditionally bottle conditioned, some versions of Belgian Strong Dark Ale – especially authentic Trappist offerings – tend to be drier than Abbey and New World interpretations, which lean sweet.

Characteristics: Complex, fruity, malty, rich, medium-bodied
ABV range: 7.5-15% IBU: 20-50
Popular Belgian-style Strong Dark Ales: Chimay Grand Réserve Blue, Trappistes Rochefort 8, Delirium Nocturnum, Kasteel Brown, Brooklyn Local 2, Unibroue Maudite, Unibroue Trois Pistoles
Serving Temperature: Cellar, 55-57°
Cheese Pairing Ideas: Blue Cheese, Cheddar, Limburger, Munster
Food Pairing Ideas: Barbecued, grilled and roasted meats

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