23 May 2011

Pep talk

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.

10 comments:

  1. So, this is their Leffe Brune, to Matilda's Blonde...?

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  2. I've given up trying to figure these things out.

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  3. keeganales5:30 p.m.

    Pepe Nero competes as a saison, which doesn't explain the black malt or the rye.

    Matilda is the Orval tribute/clone - Orval abbey was founded with the help of Mathilda of Tuscany.

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  4. I feel sorry for the poor thing now, forced out into beauty pageants it has no hope of winning due to its unconventional style.

    It's not a saison, but there's no reason it has to be anything else.

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  5. I have a bottle of this, but have hidden at the back of a random beer shelf, hoping to find it in a couple of years and then I will see how it ages. Hopefully it develops better than your review would imply :-)

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  6. I think it has a lot of potential.

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  7. So the asparagus is bad, not good like the yummy asparagus beer of Copenhagen fame?

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  8. Definitely the wrong kind of asparagus.

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  9. argh....got one in the cellar. Must admit, the Vegetal notes are not selling it.....!

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  10. I've just had one arrive today...sounds like an ager!

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