Beer has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I first discovered craft beers ( or as we call it in Belgium: beer ) – I must have been 14 or 15, I fell in love with the complex aroma’s and the palates beers can possess.
As a Belgian, great beer was never far away. Every small village has its own brewery and if it hasn’t, you can just walk into the nearest pub to try a “pintje” of the local brew.
Yes, it was hard when I moved to the UK. Belgian beer is quite expensive ( £6 for 33cl – about the amount of a can) and hard to find ( thank you Prince Charles Cinema to stock my favourites) and so I had to learn to acquire a taste for the local beers and ales.
It was hard.
Not only is the UK beer culture very – VERY, different from the Belgian one, the tastes and aromas were very unfamiliar for me. No complex or delicate savours, the fragrances were completely different and the alcohol percentage was a piss-take in comparison to what I was used. Even Stella Artois here is incredibly different from what I am used to: here it is a vile ( I hate the UK variant), cheap and not at all high regarded beer with a percentage of 4.4% alcohol while in Belgium it is draught with collar ( as it should be ), it has a completely different taste ( my boyfriend actually LIKES Stella in Belgium) and it has an alcohol percentage that is normal for a pilsner in Belgium : 5.4%.
But enough of me missing my Belgian beer, it is time to talk about a British beer that I have recently discovered ( 20 minutes ago) and that highly deserves my praise: Mc Ewan’s Champion Whiskey Edition.
Mc Ewan’s brings together my two favourite things in the world ( beer and whisky) in one 500 ml bottle and I am absolutely ready to RAVE about it!
The first thing I noticed when I poured the beer ( I always pour with collar… sorry not sorry) was the incredible smell. It smelled of exceptionally well-burnt barley and it has a very sweet – almost caramel undertone running through it. The label told me it would be butterscotch I should be smelling and yes… when I push my nose into the glass for the second time and close my eyes I can indeed smell a soft hint of butterscotch! Incredible!
But do you taste the butterscotch? No, not really. I mean there is a very soft and sweet aftertaste that will have you guessing if this is the hint of that sweet caramel smell but it is not as strongly present as the fragrance. And although I know this is an ale, the beer does take me back to heavy, black Belgian beers such as Sint Bernardus Abt and Orval.
Now, this ale is blended with whisky and although this was one of the very first things that made me take the beer from the shelves, I do not taste it at all bar for the little hint of caramel and butterscotch that might be ascribed to scotch. But you know what? I do not care. I do not care at all. This is SUCH a great beer! Definitely,one that can stand next to the ones I used to drink in Belgium.
This beer is AMAZING. The taste is amazing, it smells amazing, the colour is warm and full – almost like whisky, and I honestly do not have a bad word for Mc Ewan’s Champion Whiskey Edition. Would buy again? Thousand times yes! YES YES YES!
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