The time is right to open what is undoubtedly one of my favourite styles of Belgian beer, namely Christmas beers - there's something magical about their dark, richly spiced, high ABV content that so appeals to my taste-buds.
So here we have a beer from De Glazen, a brewery founded in 2004 by Jef Van den Steen and Dirk De Pauw, who both met in the late 80's whilst working at the town hall of Erpe-Mere.
Together they started experimenting in home brewing in a small 50 ltr kettle, but keen to brew better beer they enrolled on a three year training course at the CTL institute in Gent.
Now qualified brew-masters they had ideas of a brewery of their own - and so after much searching the installation was eventually set up in the newly built property at the Glazentorenweg in Erpe-Mere (hence the name of the brewery)
In 2002 Dirk and Jef were joined by Mark De Neef, head librarian in Aalst and in 2004 the business was born.
Okay so on with the beer - firstly a word of warning this is a VERY lively beer, I'm always gentle when opening beer, especially ones with a cork and cage but this one really took me by surprise - after (oh so gently) removing the cork a massive three inch brown volcano erupted from the bottle, completely depositing the contents of it's neck into the strategically placed jug I had sat the beer in (you live and learn) luckily I had also taken the bottle out of its paper wrapper or the would of been ruined for the photo.
Any way drama (and fountain) over Canaster pours a very deep, dark, chestnut brown, topped with an enormous, foamy, tan coloured head. As you can expect the pour was extremely carbonated so patience whilst decanting.
Aroma is full of candied dark fruits (raisins and dates) sweet caramel, roasted malts with plum bread notes, there's also gentle spicing and a pleasing alcohol waft on the finish.
Magnificent taste is crammed with rich dark fruits, sweet buttery caramel, doughy - bready yeasts and a slight bitter note is there before a spicy liquorice laden finish.
Without doubt a fantastic beer BUT a word of caution - is very much one to open with care, it's contents are eager to escape........oh a don't forget the jug.