With a label that looks like the nameplate on an upmarket nightclub, Pepe Nero is from Chicago's Goose Island, and purports to be a Belgian-style ale of 6% ABV. My bottle is very young, capped just ten weeks ago, and the makers state that it should be good for about 5 years. Perhaps the youngness is the reason it poured quite flat, with just a thin layer of short-lived foam on the murky dark brown body.
Definite Belgian dark fruit esters on the nose: the plums and figs of a light dubbel. The tasty is oddly vegetal, though. It has the dry metallic notes of asparagus and brussels sprout first which only afterwards lets any mellow fruitiness through. It needs a few minutes to warm up before it stops tasting thin, and at this point I got a little bit of chocolate and treacle with my vegetables.
An odd fish and I don't quite know what to make of it. It could well be that it's still a bit green and in need of a good cellaring. As is, it doesn't give you the satisfying fullness of a strong dark Belgian ale. Approach with caution.
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