The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 140

GADD'S SIXPACK Recent Revelations You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can always send an old reviewer new beers. Here's a sixer of some of the latest samples that have crossed my cluttered desk. by David Gadd A NEW ITALIAN IMPORT Giuseppe Collesi's family has been farming for three centuries in the medieval Apennine village of Apecchio, near Urbino, at the border of Tuscany, the Marche, Umbria and Romagna. He began making grappa and later, after developing a taste for Belgian ales, began a small brewery. The Collesi beers—crafted with guidance from Belgian brewer Marc Knops and marketed under the brand name Imper Ale—made a splash when they arrived stateside. The packaging is pure class—beautiful, curvaceous flasks and eye-catching labels—and what's inside the bottle is just as sophisticated. These are simply some of the best beers I've tasted this year, or any year, for that matter. These are just three of the impressive line-up. Collesi Imper Ale Ambrata This Italian-made ale is curiously American-influenced, with West Coast amber ale tones. Medium-bodied, it packs nice white-fruit notes seasoned with a judicious dose of hops that never goes into full-scale Calfornia or Oregon mode. Bottle-fermented, like all the Collesi beers. Collesi Imper Ale Triplo Malto Haunting pale yellow, the faded color of long-lost love. A thick-cream texture that would probably coat the back of a spoon, had I been adventure- some enough to try that. Bursting with spice and citrus on the palate, with bitter tones playing around and through the ongoing music. Truly a great beer. Just gorgeous. Collesi Imper Ale Chiara A cloudy— hardly chiara (clear)—yellow the color of that long-lost crayon you remember from third grade but can never find again, even in the Crayola 64-pack. Straightforward, elegant, linear tones on the palate with subtle citron/ white grapefruit overtones. One of the more monochromatic of Collesi's brews, but what a monochrome! Very fine. WEIN-BAUER INC. 56 / the tasting panel / november 2012 HERE COME THE BELGIANS! Importer Steve Villani, President of Global Beer Network, hosted sixth-generation Belgian brewer Jef Versele, owner of Belgium's Brouwerij Van Steenberge, in Los Angeles in October. I caught up with them at Blue Dog Beer Tavern, where Versele was pouring his Gulden Draak and other ales. Gulden Draak —just one of the 23 different beers that Versele crafts—is from a recipe created by his grandfather in 1982. The latest version, Steve Villani (left) of Global Beer Network with Jef Versele of Brouwerij Van Steenberge. Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple, just released last month, was the result of a fortunate "mistake" at the brewery, relates Versele, who said that an extra batch of malt was accidentally added to the fermenter. The U.S. is now leading the export sales market for Van Steenberge, thanks to hard work on the part of the Global Beer Network sales team. "We're one of only two importers who are 100 percent focused on Belgium," says Villani, who was knighted by the Belgian Brewers Association for his contribution to Belgian beer. Gulden Draak 9000 Quad The billowy head of white foam sits like hand-whipped shaving cream on top of a luminous body of burnished copper. The nose is pure Belgium, rich with history and sugges- tion. The palate is lacquered and deep, a complex fugue of bitter and sweet that's underscored at every bar with a heady dose of alcohol. The finish goes dry rather suddenly, but the mixed-spice notes linger on and on. GLOBAL BEER NETWORK PHOTO: DAVID GADD

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2012