Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sound Monk's Indiscretion Belgian Ale

Type: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Origin: Poulsbo, WA
Price: $8.99/22oz
ABV: 10%
NSP: 7.23


The one and only Belgian I grabbed at Gravity.  I actually had Sound's tripel in my basket, but Roma insisted I get this one instead, and at a dollar less so I guess she's pretty serious about it.  The name of this one makes me think of that fake movie trailer with Robert Downey Jr. and Tobey Maguire at the beginning of Tropic Thunder- Satan's Alley.

Right out of the bottle it's clear that this is one of those highly dangerous Belgians- the color looks demure, but there's 10% ABV waiting in ambush.  The nose is a bit of a rabbit warren, in the best possible way- there's so many aromas in there it's hard to untangle them.  A lot of spice and richness from the yeast that makes this smell (as with a lot of Belgians) a bit like summer sausage.  I also keep getting something that reminds me of Bazooka bubble gum, which is strange but enjoyable in a nostalgia-y kind of way.  And way back in the back, I'm picking up a slightly off-putting ammonia-like note.  It's not strong enough to overpower anything, but it keeps popping its ugly little head up.

Sound's website says this is dry-hopped, but maybe my palate's thrown off by all the IPA I've been drinking because I barely detect any bitterness or obvious hop-driven citrus or pine in either the nose or the flavor.  Or maybe I'm incorrectly chalking most of the flavors up to the yeast, I don't know.  But it tastes pretty damn good.  The yeastiness is pretty potent (as it should be), with all of the same spice and fruit.  And that bubble gum thing is still sort of there, as is, unfortunately, a little bit of the ammonia.  But the latter doesn't get in the way, it's just a minor flaw.  I can't say that this is on the level of, say, Don De Dieu, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it.

Incidentally, just in case you have some laying around (which you should at all times), this beer is well complemented by Tillamook sharp cheddar- it removes the ammonia and makes it taste more fruity.  

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