Earlier in the year Lighthouse brewery in Victoria released their Belgian Black. A deep coloured Belgian strong dark ale made using a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain. Their release notes on it are here ( http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/products/big-flavour-series/belgian-black )
“On January 16, 2012 Lighthouse Brewing released the newest addition to our 650mL Big Flavour Series. The Belgian Black is a beer like no other before it. You will not want to miss out on this one. Belgian Black was fermented with a Belgian Ardennes yeast strain. Enjoy the rich malty features of plum and dark cherries backed with subtle spicy notes. Lighthouse Brewing Co. is a premium craft brewery dedicated to producing unique, high quality, unpasteurized beers. Label artwork for Belgian Black was created by Victoria artist Michelle Landry. ”
Shortly after they released that beer they released their now quite well received Switchback IPA, an Pacific northwest inspired uber hopped IPA I reviewed previously. This beer is inclued again here because it was part of a featured cask night on April 9th at the beagle where they introduced Killswitch IPA. Killswitch IPA was a 66/33 mix of Switchback and Belgian BlackThis mixture of these two brews was the brainchild of Dave Mitchell (aka @eskimodave or disco dave) that yielded a surprisingly delicious hoppy brown ale.
Add to that most recently the Belgian white. Similar to the black in its yeast strain this beer is an Imperial Witbier making it the albino cousin of the black. Here’s what Lighthouse has about Belgian White from their website. ( http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/events/product-releases-2/belgian-white )
“Lighthouse Brewing is excited to announce that we will soon be releasing Belgian White for your enjoyment this summer! Belgian White is an Imperial Witbier (Belgian White Ale) made from wheat, oats and malted barley. Galaxy and Citra hops lend subtle citrus flavours that are woven with a thread of clove from a classic Witbier yeast strain, and finished with a dusting of ground coriander seed. Label artwork for Belgian White was created by Victoria artist Michelle Landry.”
For this tasting I intended to consume them from light to dark with the idea that perhaps the delicate accents of the lighter beer wouldn’t get overpowered by the heavy malts of the black. For this reason I drank these beers in the reverse order from how they were released.
First up is Belgian white. This beer pours to a golden colour with a frothy white head on top. There is a large scent of hops from it as well as yeast. When you taste it you understand why they have this in their ‘Big Flavour’ series. It indeed is a big flavour beer, both yeasty and bitter. It has a lovely hoppiness to it, but not citric. It is smooth, well carbonated and leaves some lacing in the glass. The bitterness really sits with you, its quite resonant. It echoes in your mouth and throat like a chamber choir.
Leapbeer #161 is Belgian White by Lighthouse
Next I move to the amalgum/frankenbrew cask project Killswitch IPA.
As you mix these two beers it becomes really similar in appearance to a Nut Brown ale. There is a really great citric hoppy smell to it. It literally tastes like an ipa stout if there were such a thing. Perhaps a Imperial brown stout ipa? I’m just spitballing there, but I love it. It is a very tasty and easy drinking blend of these beers. Kudos to its creator, It’s delicious.
Leapbeer #162 is Killswitch IPA by Lighthouse
Lastly I move to the Belgian black. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. When they announced its albino twin coming out I knew what to do with it, this combined tasting. This beer pours jet black. It smells of licorice and a hint of yeast. When you sip it it has a real similarity to a Russian Imperial Stout, if RIS’s were fruity. It has all the strength I expected, but it is smoother as well. There is a real plumby taste at the back of the tasting. Later I tried a second tasting but with the beer served at room temperature. This really jacks up the licorice smell. The malts and sweetness is excentuated, giving it almost a pungent flavour. The Alcohol in it is more prevalent, so it loses that smoothness it had when chilled. It may be hard to drink warm, but I enjoyed it.
Leapbeer #163 is Belgian Black by Lighthouse
Well I appreciate the time and craftsmanship it took to make these delicious beers. Thanks again to Lighthouse for their work. And Thank you for reading it.