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Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 88 Rating - Bastogne Ardenne Stout by Brasserie de Bastogne

April, 2018
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Ardenne Stout by Brasserie de Bastogne is a Belgian Stout and is being judged as a Mixed-Style Beer (category 34B in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines). The Mixed-Style Beer category is a catch-all category for hybrid beers that are not covered elsewhere in the guidelines. Belgian Stouts are typically not as full-bodied and roasty as British or American Imperial Stouts; they are typically fermented with a Belgian yeast strain that contributes peppery phenolics to the flavor profile. Ardenne Stout uses grilled spelt in addition to typical malts and is fermented with the Orval yeast strain.

This stout pours black in color, opaque, with a huge, finely-beaded, dark brown head. The aroma is moderately smoky with complements of black licorice, dark cherry and black pepper and a light, funky barnyard. The flavor adds moderate chocolate, treacle and a light acidity to the smoky, dark cherry, licorice and pepper characters. A light wild yeast-like barnyard and leather add a little funkiness. The body is medium with moderate-high carbonation.  A light bitterness lingers in a long, dry finish with roasted malt, black licorice, and pepper.

This is a very interesting, complex Belgian stout.  The smokiness adds complexity and the black pepper and dark cherry complement the dark malts well. The funkiness was unexpected but melds well with the other flavors. Enjoy!