Now for a beer that I've been wanting to get my mits on for some time and it was whilst attending the annual Bruges beer festival earlier this year that I managed to pick up a couple of bottles, from Rudy at his fantastic bar and bottle shop De Bierboom (a great place to pick up bottles not seen in other shops) and so after much longing here it is.
L'Ensemble is a barley wine from De Dochter van de Korenaar (the daughter of the corn) that weighs in with a mighty 13% ABV and for a beer with such power comes in a very generous 500ml bottle. It's brewed just once a year and is available at Winter time (just perfect for warming the cockles)
an all-malt barley-wine, double mashed to obtain 27 degrees Plato; two brews, blond and dark brewed seperately and blended in one fermenter, where it was fermented with both beer- and wine-yeast. Dry-hopped lightly one day before bottling. A beuatifull red coloured-beer, rich and full with a scent of cherries
L'Ensemble pours a very deep brick red that has a slight haze and despite the high ABV is topped with an impressive tan coloured, dense, bubbly head that really hangs around, fading in time to a lasting cap.
Intense aroma of pureed raisins, sticky toffee, sweet syrup (almost jam like) malt loaf and biscuits....bloody wonderful.
Taste follows along with a malty bitterness on the finish that stops the beer becoming too sweet and no way do you detect the 13%, yes it's intense and sweet but there is no burn at all...a masterpiece in brewing.
I'm thrilled to have finally sampled L'Ensemble and so glad I picked up 2 bottles, come next February I'll certainly be picking up 2 more.