At last I get the chance to review what is possibly my favourite beer - it's certainly the beer I try to sample most when I'm in Bruges (this beer is a whopping 12% ABV so this is very much a night cap) also it makes up the greatest portion of the bottles I bring back home.
Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is the Christmas beer from Esen brewery De Dolle and unlike other winter beers this one is brewed without the heavy use of spices, it also has the highest density of any Belgian beer (27PI) having been boiled for 5 hours.
The beer pours a hazy amber that is crammed full of tiny yeast particles that swirl around the glass, topped with a large, fluffy, cream coloured head that quickly fades to leave a flat bubbly topping.
Heavenly, sublime, gorgeous, addictive aroma that explodes with sweet, jammy, caramel, alcoholic notes (right up my street) there's also citrus and banana but also a rich tropical (pineapple) edge. This beer really is one that you can just sit and smell.....beautiful.
Well with a great start like that you know the taste is going to be equally special......and boy it is - a deep caramel malt flavour with again citrus then ginger like heat and a honey sweetness balanced out by a lactic bitterness.
This truly is a flagship amoungst Belgian beers and one that I cherish - the beer I sample now is as special as my first taste back in 2005.