St. Martin Abbey Ales Hit the Market
The latest Belgian Brewery to delve into the Chicago market is Brasserie De Brunehaut. The new brewery features four beers, which go by the name of St. Martin. The St. Martin line consists of a Blond, Dubbel, Tripel, and Cuvee De Noel. We had the pleasure of sampling these delicious beers last night, and were impressed not only by their flavor, but by their authenticity.
St. Martin Blond pushes the envelope as far as Belgian Blond Ales go, as it clocks in at 7% ABV. This doesnt take away from its drinkability though; the beer is light and smooth. The taste consists of things like dried fruits, lemon, and grains. There is perfect amount of yeast flavor, along with a very mild bitterness from the hops. If you are a fan of Belgian Blond Ales like we are, St. Martin Blond Ale will not disappoint.
St. Martin Triple is a classic example of this popular Belgian style. It is brewed using three varieties of malts and hops, which adds to the complex nature of this brew. It has a robust character, and clocks in at 9% ABV. It is sweet, yeasty, grainy, and goes down way too easily for a beer this high in alcohol.
The St. Martin Dubbel is well carbonated and bottle conditioned, which was confirmed by the fizzing overflow we experienced upon cracking the bottle open. The Dubbel is a hazy dark brown, perhaps darker than your standard Dubbel. This heavily malted brew tastes of caramel, nuts, and grains. There are also hints of spices and brown sugar. A touch of Belgian yeast and a candy sugar like presence provides an interesting twist on this brew.
Cuvee De Noel was perhaps the most complex of the St. Martin line. It pours a thick dark brown color. The thing that sticks out most about the Cuvee De Noel is the black licorice flavor. This goes along with a heavy does of dark fruits, and an above average amount of holiday spices that seems common in many Belgian Christmas beers. The finish is all about the spices, as well as a slight alcohol burn that can be expected from an 8.5% ABV brew.
The St. Martin beers are abbey ales, meaning that they were once brewed by monks, but now the recipes are being used by brewers outside of the monastery. Like all other abbey ales, the St. Martin line of beers is a delicious part of brewing history. What is your favorite abbey ale?