Don’t let the name Silly confuse you; it has nothing to do with the English adjective, but is the name of a village in the Hainaut region, 40km. south west of Brussels. The name comes from the local river Sylle and was first adopted in 1973; the brewery itself dates back to 1850 and is in its fifth family generation and a member of the Belgian Family Brewers Association.
Perhaps its most popular brew is the Saison but I’ve decided to go for something a bit stronger, the 9.5 % tripel, La Divine.
According to the brewery, the name ‘La Divine’ refers to the divine qualities of the brew and its existence to the fact that in the early nineties a beer distributor near Liege, having found an old local beer recipe, asked the brewery to produce it.
The beer pours a cloudy orange amber with a thin off white head that quickly recedes. The aroma is heavy on fruit esters with a little yeast and doesn’t hide the alcohol. The taste kept up the theme; intense ‘pear drop’ with some strong sweetish cider. A light bitterness is apparent from the Kent and Hallertau hops and some malt comes through.
The alcohol warms adding to a distinct spiciness (pepper, nutmeg, clove). The follow through is fruit, spice and warming alcohol but becomes increasingly sweet and malty.
Apart perhaps from the spiciness the ‘divine qualities’ were missing for me; the beer was too heavy with the alcohol, too intense with the estery element and finished too sweet. All in all, a bit of a chore to drink when one has a good stock of Karmeliet and Westmalle in the cupboard.
Happy beer drinking!