Irish Style made in Brussels


A few weeks ago I reviewed the excellent Taras Boulba from the small Brasserie de la Senne. The comic cartoon label had tempted me then and once again, with Stouterik, an interesting label stood out on the shelf. This time, however, I knew the brewery so I hoped for another good beer in.

Stouterik in style is an Irish Dry Stout; stout is no longer uncommon in Belgium but usually it comes in the stronger varieties. The IDS is comparatively weak at 4.5% alc. vol but as the Taras Boulba showed, strength isn’t everything.

For those of you who still don’t know what to expect, think of the big three: Guinness, Beamish and Murphy’s. For the record: the beers are relatively light bodied which makes them good session beers, they have a good bitterness from both the roasted barley and the generous dose of English aromatic hops.

As for the label; it reminded me of 1930s socialist art; two angular, presumably brewery workers, with cloth caps and brown leather aprons stemming themselves against enormous glasses of black stout.

The beer is very dark brown, not quite black with a reddish tinge against the light; the light brown head is thick and creamy and hangs around for a bit. Roasted malt is the first aroma together with bready yeast; coffee and dark chocolate start to unfold together with a little fruit and spice.

The taste is more of the same with bitterness leading. Get over this and you come immediately to the dry coffee and dark chocolate but the fruit doesn’t come out.

Overall Stouterik is a very smooth drink with a bitter, dry, almost chalky feel to it. An excellent example of its style but at the price (2.50 Euros in a Brussels beer shop), hardly a session beer.