It’s Christmas eve and I have been busy hosting some friends and family over ours for lunch, after spending most the day on my feet I have just sat down with two bottles chilling in the fridge. Both the bottles are some homebrew recipes from Roman Hochuli of Solvay Society, the first I have drank has been brewed at the brewery and is a Pink Peppercorn Rye Tripel. It pours a darker shade of gold I expect from a tripel and it does have a rouge haze to it, on the nose you get the sweet aromas of a Belgian tripel mixed with the spiciness of the rye and peppercorn. I’m not surprised that this beer has been brewed on a larger scale at the brewery recently, not only is it unique flavour of pink peppercorn, warmth from the rye but also that sweet Belgian sugary taste but it all works really well and a perfect balanced. It leaves a great prickly tingle on the tongue after drinking and although you get a sense of the ABV it doesn’t feel like 9%. I’m looking forward to trying this again when it is bottled.
The second beer is a 7.5% Dubbel, it pours an incredibly dark brown, so dark its almost black with a lively white head. On the nose there is a sweet treacle aroma with the slightest of hints of prunes. Its heavily carbonated in the mouth, even with a bit of aging as I have had this since the Summer and I’m not sure how long before that it was brewed. Flavours of malt biscuit and burnt caramel finishes in a nicely dry Dubbel. As the beer warmed up more of those dark stone fruit flavours you expect from a Dubbel shone through. This beer is banging, I’m really impressed by this beer and I know I have said this before about Solvay Society beers but I honestly think there is a unique feel to them, the Belgian flavours are like nothing else being brewed in London right now, it feels like a modern Belgian beer from the likes of Brussels Beer Project or De La Senne. I’d like to see this brewed at the brewery too, especially as I don’t think there is another Dubbel brewed regularly in London off the top of my head?
Both these beers were the perfect end to a busy day. I’ve been having back and forth messages with a few beery friends today and we have discussed what we want out of next year beer wise. One thing a couple of us want to see the end of is these murk bombs, although I have enjoyed the taste of a few I have to agree that I am completely put off by a photo of some pineapple juice beer with no head posted up on Instagram. I’m all for unfined beers but when it’s a competition to the murkiest I have a bit of an issue. I hadn’t planned on having these beers from Roman tonight to give an example of what I want from beers in 2017 but they have actually turned out to be perfect to what I would love to see, unique well balanced beers that give a nod to traditional brewing but with a modern twist and not following a trend. With that in mind I’m looking forward to what Solvay have in store for us next year.
Disclaimer – I was given both these beers for free, I don’t feel this has changed my opinion of the beers however.