Special Roman (5.5%, 25 cl)

Special Roman is made by Brouwerij Roman from Mater, Belgium. Mater is in the Oudenaarde municipality, a region where Flemish Brown Beer is made. Brouwerij Roman was founded in 1545 as a farm brewery and inn, and has an impressive portfolio of beers. Amongst others the Ename Abbey Beers are made here as well as Sloeber and the Adriaen Brouwer Beers. In the list of products Special Roman is absent, but the page about Special Roman does still exist. Maybe it’s discontinued?

Color: Dark Brown, coffee-colored foam.

Nose: Murky, dark but also fresh. Candied Sugar, putty and hints of acidity.

Taste: Candied Sugar and unexpectedly only lightly acidic. Maybe some acidity fell victim to the additional ageing? Likeable. Malty (roasted) and hints of burnt sugar. Definitively some hops are in the mix. Not a lot of yeast is noticeable. It seems light and the finish is short. Nice stuff nevertheless. Elegant and perfumy and half-sweet. The sweetness isn’t dominant at all.

This beer is less acidic than other Flemish Brown Beers due to the use of hops. It is a top fermenting beer, and this example was aged 10 months past it’s best before date, and it aged well. 8ºC is the advised drinking temperature.

Points: 83

Zottegemse Grand Cru (8.4%, 33 cl)

Some time ago I reviewed Oud Zottegems Bier by Brouwerij Crombé and there I mentioned they also make a Zottegemse Grand Cru. On Oud Zottegems Bier there was the statement that it was a beer with an evolution in taste. This suggests a third fermentation in the bottle and for us ‘agers’ this also means that this could get better after some time (years) in the cellar. So time for me to have a look at this Grand Cru that was also aged and was best before 2009. So you’ll have to bear in mind that this bottle was aged for another three years.

Color: Murky gravy-brown.

Nose: Very yeasty. Candy-sugar. Just the sugary smell, not necessarily announcing sweetness. Murky, deep with some citrus shining through.

Taste: Deep, with roasted malt, but also fresh with orange peel. Great chewy body, which reminds me a bit of dark chocolate when added to chili con carne. Tasteful bread, with a slightly hoppy bitterness. This has great balance, with a slightly atypical sourness standing out. The sourness continues into the warming finish.

This is a great Belgian ‘wine’. This will be a perfect companion to the traditional Flemish stew. Great stuff. I guess the ageing made this a bit flat. Not much carbonation going on. But even after extended ageing, no off notes whatsoever.

Points: 83

Oud Zottegems Bier (6.2%, 33 cl)

What catches the eye with this beer is the statement: “bier met smaakevolutie” thus stating that this is a beer with an evolution in taste. Great! I love that in my drink. Evolution.

Oud Zottegems Bier is made by the Crombé brewery in Zottegem Belgium established around 1800 and is called a (sour) brown beer. To be frank. The installations of Crombé are crap and worn out, so the beer is really made by Strubbe in Ichtegem upholding the original traditions.

Color: Murky brown, not much foam.

Nose: Muddy yeast and toffee. Malt.

Taste: Slightly sour, which adds to the complexity and balance. To be appreciated here. Very tasty and carbonated feel. Toffee with a hint of banana and spice. Mocha and slightly bitter. Citrus.

Ehhh didn’t catch the evolution there… but it has its complexity.

Well some tips then. It is said that this beer get better when you put it in your cellar for a while. Mine was lagered and was quite nice.

I would say. Drink this beer! It’s very nice ánd nearly extinct. It has become a very regional beer and deserves a lot of attention. Losing this would be a shame. I’m definitively buying this again, but sure am curious for the Grand Cru version of this. So thumbs up and a well-earned:

Points: 82