While picking up the Chimay Triple, I spotted this other Belgian beer. Now, as you all know I love to pick on the Belgians and the legions of pretentious fools who seem to think the best beers in the world come from it, I picked it up fully expecting another train wreck. As I took it out of the fridge, I looked at the bottle a little more closely:
Brussels White. Ingredients: water, malt, wheat, hops, yeast, coriander seed, orange peel.
What the hell is with the Belgian tradition of putting coriander seed in beer??? I have honestly never heard of this practice until reviewing Belgian beers, and quite frankly just don't get it. Coriander was the biggest turn off for Chimay Red and an involuntary shiver ran up my spine as I saw it was also contained in this brew. As for the orange peel, I won't even go into the stories I have heard about prison hooch and what they put in it, but I will say that orange peel was always mentioned as a primary ingredient. I suppose this was to give some logic to this product being called 'flavoured beer' as stated on the label. The bottle also had a second sticker on it proclaiming an abv of 5.5%, likely to coincide with LCBO guidelines for packaging.
I poured the cloudy brew into a glass an thankfully noticed a lack of sea monkeys within. There was no discernable scent off this brew to indicate the coriander or orange peel used in its manufacture. I tipped it back expecting the worst, but surprisingly it was actually rather mild with a creamy mouthfeel. There was no over-the-top coriander or citrus overtones, and it had a nice clean finish. While I can't say it would be a staple in my beer fridge, I could see myself enjoying a few of these on the patio this summer. All in all, the Belgians seemed to have got it right for a change. Worth a try.