Name: Hemel & Aarde
Brewery: Brouwerij de Molen (Bodegraven, Netherlands)
Style: Imperial Stout
Source: The Beer Store
OK, so tonight’s post is going to be a bit all over the show thanks to the 9.5% beer I’m drinking so just bear with me.
I started out tonight with a Hallertau Luxe – took the photo and everything. Unfortunately I had eaten an eclipse mint about 20 minutes before I tried to do the tasting and, unless luxe really does have a strong minty vibe, I think my taste buds were ruined. I made an executive decision to pull the plug on it (after I had finished the bottle of course) and crack open something I thought could stand up to the mint.
Enter Hemel & Aarde.
I knew as I got this close to my nose that it was going to be one of the weirdest beers I’d ever tried. It will be difficult to explain so here’s a pic of my very profesh tasting notes:
As you can see I’ve underlined Smoky – peat, because this was one of the most discernible flavours, owing to the fact it’s made with heavily peated malt. More predictable stout flavours were there – coffee, dark chocolate and spice – but there was something else, something really strange. I wrote down feet, sweat, cheese, fermented fruit – none of which are quite right.
I just had a look on ratebeer.com to see what other people are saying, and I see Hemel & Aarde has an almighty score of 100 overall. I also see that most other people seem to be describing pretty normal stout characteristics, so maybe I’m the only one who found this bizarre. Could it have been the dreaded mint!!?
I thought I better test it on my flatmates just to be sure, and I think Hollie summed up my feelings nicely when she said “I feel overburdened by it.”
I want to say I love this beer because it’s different, but truth be told it’s not quite for me. The warm, sour, sweet, funkiness of it is making me feel slightly ill… Not at all helped by all the booze.
Even if I didn’t go crazy over this one it’s always great to try something totally new. And who knows – maybe just I got a funny bottle? Maybe I need to try it again without the mint? Maybe I just need to stop this drunken rant and go to bed…