Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck – Bacchus

This is one of those beers that I recently found in my cellar and didn’t recall anything about it at all. I don’t know where I bought it, and don’t remember why I picked it up in the first place. So I went into it totally blind. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The bottle is a thick green glass with black wrap around the cap, kind of like a wine bottle. The labeling is fairly simple, “Bacchus Belgian Ale” with cheerful fellow on the label holding a mug of beer.

Since I was in the mood for something different, I grabbed a glass and popped the top.

The Beer

Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck – Bacchus
Belgian Ale – 9% ABV – 375ml

In 1798, the Flemish peasants (the “brigands”) drove the French soldiers (the) out of Ingel munster. Following the example of these defenders of liberty of the past, Brigand beer is strong and potent.
This blond-coloured beer owes its full-bodied and slightly bitter taste to the quality of the hops.

The Review

Bacchus pours brown with a slight tan head up top that dissipates quickly into the beer. Right off the bat I could smell that this was going to be a Flemish sour ale. There was a hint of sour cherry in the nose, along with a musty smell. It’s got great carbonation and is a medium sour with not very much aftertaste. So it leaves you wanting more. As far as sours go it’s very drinkable.

It actually reminded me of one of my first home brews back in 2008 called Alien Goat. I was brewing with my good friend Chris and we followed an extract recipe for a Belgian Brown Ale. At the time I was not familiar with the idea of sour ales. So when we had our first taste of Alien Goat on bottling day, I thought the yeast had gone bad and soured our beer. I was still new to home brewing and blamed it on my lack of experience. It was still very drinkable, but had a distinct sour cherry tinge to it that we weren’t expecting. So we thought it was off and didn’t share that batch of beer with many people.

the label for our unintentional sour ale

The few folks that did try it got a warning from us that it may be a little sour. They had a sip and then poured the rest out thinking they had a bad bottle. Ah well, live and learn. Now I know that we actually followed the recipe correctly and brewed a perfectly good Flemish Sour Ale without even knowing it. You hear that Chris? We did it right!

Anyway, bringing it back to Bacchus, it’s a fine sour, not a mouth puckerer by any means, and very drinkable. I’d buy it again, in fact I may even buy a bottle for Chris and stick an Alien Goat label on it for him. 😉

Three and a half beer soaked bottle caps from me on this one.

Beer Soaked Erik

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