Too Wild to Live, Too Rare to Die: The Belgian Devil
Sure, your go-to flagship brew is great. Something that you know you’ll enjoy every time. We all have our go-to seasonals that we stock up on as the season approaches as well. But what about the rarities? What about those limited releases that come and go before you blink an eye? Are they worth it?
Flying Dog Brewery releases their “Brew House Rarities” once a month for a limited time. Even more limited is the release of bottles. All but a select few are released on draft. Lucky for you (and me), I was lucky enough to get my hands on their August Rarity:The Belgian Devil. Let’s begin.
Weighing in at 8.5% ABV in a 750-ml bottle, the Belgian Devil aims to fulfill the characteristics of a golden Belgian with an amped up kick. I expected a malty undertone with the yeasties providing a spiced profile throughout. When I heard “amped up,” I thought it may be sweeter and spicier than a typical Belgian. I poured into tulip glass (I’m experimenting with glassware—be prepared). PS: when you’re drinking a beer for the taste – you should ALWAYS pour into a glass. Get your nose in it and it will provide more of an overall flavor fo ya. Anyway, here’s the taste profile:
Appearance: Hazy orange color with light “airy” head. Medium head retention.
Aroma: Grapefruit, herbal, “yeasty” spices, light banana scent.
Taste: Like a saison, I like to taste the yeasties of a Belgian style brew. The Belgian Devil lets those yeasties come through right at the start. Then, a mix between pear and pineapple (seems like I’m the only one who tastes that?) Sweet malty flavors carry the beer through, but not as sweet as I thought it would be. Earthy hops throughout that do not overcome the beer, but are definitely noticeable.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation that tingles the tongue at the beginning and end. After, a pleasant aftertaste remnant of pear and a bit of a kick. Creamy/buttery mouthfeel ending it.
Overall: Complex flavors throughout starting with spicy pineapple and pear (and even banana) while ending with sweet malt flavors (while earthy hops carry throughout). One 750 ml bottle will put you to bed at night AND leave you satisfied. A good replacement for a sweet wine (put the pinky down for once). Tongue tingles from beginning to end, while your tastebuds are asking for more. Leaves the mouth a bit confused but also happy. Like WHO.
I enjoyed the devilish aspect of this rarity and glad that Flying Dog decided to bottle it. I’d get a couple of them and see what happens to one if you wait six months. I’m hypothesizing that it will tone back in the spices and tang and become a sweeter brew. Try it yourself and let us know your thoughts!