Kasteel Cuvee du Chateau
Gourmet Beer?

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In 2009 Xavier Van Honsebrouck took over the helm of the family brewer; the fifth generation since Amandus started up in 1811. The first achievment of Xavier was to add a new beer to the already successful Kasteel range: Kasteel Cuvee du Chateau, a quad style beer comparable to the Donker quad but as if aged for ten years.

According to the brewery, a ‘premier grand cru’ of the beer world which would provide a perfect match to haute cuisine. The video on the brewery website reinforces this gastronomic aspect showing the beer paired with pan fried foie gras and sweetbreads as a sauce and as an accompanying drink.

I’d like to see how it shapes up on its own. I took a standard 33cl crown capped bottle, although the 75cl. with cork lives up to its cuvee name far better. However,with the intention to drink alone and with 11% alc. vol, definitely the right choice.

The beer pours a clear dark brown with a medium beige, short-lived head and a hint of amber red when held up to the light. An alcohol vinous non specific fruitiness together with yeast are the first aromas followed by malt and licorice sweetness.

The taste immediately picks up on the dark malt; initially dry with bitter chocolate together with smoky tobacco, wood and leather elements and then a caramel and licorice sweetness starts to take over. The fruit struggles to find a place, the carbonation is medium, the alcohol warming and the hop bitterness light to medium.

The finish is predominantly malty sweet with a little bitterness.

A good beer but not as balanced or as complex as Rochefort 10 or St Bernardus 12 so to call it a premier grand cru is, in my opinion, an exaggeration.

As for accompanying food; rich dishes need intensive wines or beers as partners. Sweetness certainly pairs well with foie gras and sweetbreads. If you like a big malty taste then this would be the accompanying beer. If not go for the Trappist Rochefort or stay with the classic wine partner; a good Sauternes.

Cheers!