The latest Malthouse blog features a range of wonderful, magical characters including Orval, Westmalle, Asterix, Maredsous, Obelix and the Playful Chouffes of the Ardennes. It is titled “Belgium’s Biggest Resurgance since Asterix and the Big Fight“:
As a young beer neophyte, I would read books – surprisingly common activity in those pre-easy internet days – in which various great and good beer writers described Orval has having a distinct aroma of “sweaty horse blanket.” The concept seemed ludicrous. Surely even the most ostentatious wine scribe would hesitate to use such a descriptor, particularly if they wanted readers to actually try the beverage.
One exploratory sniff of my first Orval demonstrated that not only did it smell exactly like a heavy cloth which had been extensively worn by a perspiring example of the genus equine, but that it was absolutely delicious in doing so.
In startling beer news, Tactical Nuclear Penguin’s tenure as the strongest beer in the world (32%) might be short-lived with Schorschbock claiming an unbelieveable 40% ABV. It is a lager from German craft brewer Schorschbrau. Schorschbock is produced through Schorschbrau’s own proprietary fermentation process. It includes a rarely-used method for producing ice bock, supplemented by extended cold-lagering for a minimum of six months.