Cambridge Park Beer Club

Coming together over craft beer.

Beer Review – Palm Speciale Belge Ale

20130720_212046Recently we had a heat wave.  It was a classic New Jersey heat wave, the kind where you can’t tell where your sweat ends and the humidity in the air begins.  Of course, we also are having the wettest spring and summer on record, so while a normal summer heat wave just leaves my lawn dusty, this year if is growing like mad.  In other words, in 90+ degree heat and humidity, I made my way out to mow the lawn.

My neighbor, who was engaged in the same task, saw me and thought “Well now, look at that pour chap, sure does look like he could use a drink.  Yep, indeed, a cool beverage he needs.  Perhaps I shall head to my fridge and gift him a refreshing beverage as a gesture of neighborly will”.  Ok, I don’t know what he was actually thinking, but I can’t prove my version isn’t accurate, so I will go with it.

He walked over and handed me a Palm Speciale Belge.  I was most pleased, to say the least.  It was 9am (yes, and it was 90+ degrees at 9am) and I had not finished my task, so I did not indulge, but I did rush it inside for safe keeping till the time was right.

20130720_212218Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into medium red wine glass

Appearance: Light tan with slight rose overtones.  A hard pour left little head, and the roughly one finger that did emerge faded quickly to a white, thin, partial lace cap.  A pretty beer, there is no lacing on the glass at all.

Aroma: Some fruit sweetness when I smell the bottle.  I don’t drink a lot of Belgian imports, but this has the sweet fruity banana smell often described.  Other fruit smells to, but I can’t quite place them.

Taste: First sip is confusing.  I don’t know why, but not quite what I expected.  It is drier I think, not as sweet as the nose might suggest.  Very lightly carbonated, and the carbonation doesn’t really mess with the taste at all.  Easy to drink, more complex then a Stella, but equally unoffensive.  Soft flavors, nothing dominate.  It has a champagne quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Hard to describe for me, I don’t quite have the vocabulary… it is a little puckering, both from a slight lingering bitterness and the subtle, but present sense of the carbonation.

Overall:  The bottle talks about honey, but honey, I ain’t tastin’ it.  Nor am I smelling it either.  I mean, its a good enough beer, like so many I am enjoying sitting and contemplating it, but it is not remarkable.  Much like the few other commercial Belgians I have had, this is easy to drink, non-offensive, and acceptable probably by most.  A good beer, but not something I will run out to try again.


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This entry was posted on July 25, 2013 by in Beers and tagged , , .
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