Review of Bellegems Bruin

Hello everyone.  Thanks for checking in on another craft beer review.  Sorry that’s it’s been a bit since I last posted.  Well, for today’s tasting I’m going to be trying the Bellegems Bruin produced by Brouwerij Bockor N.V. located in Bellegem-Kortrijk, Belgium.

I’ve really been craving an Oud Bruin lately, so I figured I’d give this one a go.

Let’s check on the website,, and see what they have to say about this beer.

Originally called “Ouden Tripel”, this ancient West Flanders Brown beer has found a new élan as a regional specialty under its current name: “Bellegems bruin”. The main ingredients of our Bellegems Bruin are malted barley, wheat, hops, water, and caramelized malts. These are used to brew a bottom-fermented beer. Blending this beer with lambic beer aged in oak for 18 months results in this specific West Flanders Brown beer. Its typical flavour is characterized by a well-balanced, hardly noticeable sourness. This first flavour impression is soon followed by a second pleasant discovery: a slight bitterness followed by a hint of sweetness.

Sounds good.  Let’s drink.


This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.5%.

It poured a brown color with some ruby highlights showing through when held toward the light.  A fairly well sized, off white head was formed from a relatively easy pour.  It was a bit fizzy and soapy in texture and it subsided a little quicker than I’d hoped.  The lacing was thin and a touch inconsistent, however a small ring of foam was left on the liquid around the edge of the glass.

The nose brought forth hints of soured grapes and cherries.  It smelled tart and acidic.  Only a minor amount of oak was found and it seemed to be buried deep within.  It was very “red wine” like with the bouquet, which is always a good thing in my opinion.  It wasn’t overly complicated, yet solid and true to the style I thought.

The taste let loose of more of the soured grapes and cherries.  I also detected a dab of soured red apple, which added to the semi-tart profile.  A slight relish of acidity and vinegar was found along side a nice savor of wood/oak.  Towards the end some earthy goodness intermingled with all of the characteristics to create a very nice and harmonious palatableness.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Bitey, semi-sharp and mostly dry.  The carbonation was of medium strength and a good deal of seasoning was left behind of the roof on the mouth and tongue for me to enjoy between each sip.

Overall, I found this to be a very, very nice and proper brew.  It wasn’t extraordinary, however it still had plenty to be happy about and enough personality to sit and ponder.  I know I really enjoyed it that’s for sure.  It was plenty easy to drink and I wouldn’t have a bit of a problem sharing or recommending this beer to anyone interested in trying a traditional Oud Bruin.  So, if you guys happen to run across a bottle of the Bellegems Bruin, pick it up and give it a go.  I think that you may find it to be very satisfying.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I’m forever grateful.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5

Grade:  A-


Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Brouwerij Bocker, Country: Belgium


Review of Orkney Red MacGregor

How’s it going guys?  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s tasting I’m going to be trying the Orkney Red MacGregor brewed by the Orkney Brewery located in Orkney, Scotland.

I’m still new to the Orkney line of beers, so I haven’t really made up my mind as to what I think of them as a whole yet, but I’m definitely going to have fun giving each one a test drive.

From the website,, they provided us with this tid bit of information regarding the Red MacGregor.

Red Macgregor is a unique beer: delicate and sophisticated yet the robust cask conditioned version of this beer was the first Scottish beer to win the BIIA World Cask Beer Gold Medal.

Ok.  Let’s turn this thing up.


This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle with a 4.0% ABV.

It poured a ruby red to deep burgundy color.  A relatively easy discharge produced a medium sized, semi-smooth, off white head.  The retention time was below average, however the lacing looked ok I thought.

The nose produced hints of fruity cherry and grape.  A very agreeable and engaging sweet smelling toffee and/or caramel malt amalgamated itself with a congenial waft of lightly toasted dark breads.  Overall, the bouquet wasn’t extremely complex or bold, but it was well suited.  Definitely nothing off putting or out of place with this one.

The taste let the caramel malt and the slightly toasted breads stand out a bit more than they did in the aroma. The cherry and grape savors were there, however they were understated quite a bit to be honest.  The maltiness was, without a doubt, the star of this show.  Again, nothing too convoluted, yet nothing perplexing either.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  It was very soft, smooth and delicate.  It was semi-dry and the carbonation fell toward the medium side of things as well.  The flavor vanished from the palate a little quicker than I would have liked, but that’s ok.  It just tempted me to take another sip a little quicker than normal.

Yeah, I thought this was a decent beer for sure.  It’s not the best brew I’ve ever had, but it’s worth a try if you happen to run across it.  It’s an easy drink and with the low ABV a person could enjoy a few of these during one session and not have any problem whatsoever.  It has a lot of positive atributes.  Most notably when it warmed and the breads and malts began to shine.  With that being said, give the Orkney Red MacGregor a try and see what you think.  Be sure to tell me of your opinion when you do.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5

Grade:  B

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Country: Scotland, Orkney


Review of De Ranke XXX Bitter

Hello everyone.  It’s time for another craft beer review and today I’m going to be trying the De Ranke XXX Bitter produced by the Brouwerij De Ranke located in Wevelgem, Belgium.

I’ve only ever had the De Ranke XX Bitter and I thought it was wonderful, so I’m guessing that this beer should rank right up there with it.

I checked on the website,, and didn’t find any info for the XXX Bitter, but I did check on and found this.

Brewed especially for the Shelton Brothers “The Festival” 2013 in Portland, ME.  Limited kegs and 75cl bottles productions. Not to be confused with the regular XX Bitter.

Not much to go on there, but that’s ok.  Let’s drink this thing.


This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle with an ABV of 6.0%.

It poured a beautiful, mostly clear, golden color.  It formed a billowy, soft, fluffy, rocky, white head from a very easy pour.  It was sized great and the retention time was awesome.  The lacing was patchy and soapy, but very nice looking.  This was a gorgeous looking beer and just staring at it in the glass made me want to turn it up and take a sip.

The nose was very floral.  Tones of fruity green apple and pear made their way into my nostrils while spices of pepper and coriander followed.  Fresh smelling grasses, yeast and bready goodness added more complexity, depth and roundness.  This brew smelled very, very nice.

Within the flavor a fresh grassy, grain and hay-like component began first.  The fruitiness didn’t seem as strong, however it was still noted.  The green apple gave it the slightest bit of tartness.  The yeast and bready characteristics were rather profound though.  At the back end a very nice hop bite tickled the tongue while a peppery sting complimented.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very crisp, refreshing and dry with a wee bit of bite.  A good, medium strength carbonation allowed a lot of flavor to completely cover the palate for enjoyment between sips.

I tell ya.  I thought this was a great beer. It was very easy going and it would be a great Spring time brew.  The freshness would totally match that point of the season.  It was well balanced and intricate in both the aroma and the taste.  Not to mention that it looked spectacular standing in the tulip.  I have no doubt that this beverage could be appreciated by even the most advanced craft beer enthusiast as well as someone just getting started in the world of better beer.  I know that I really enjoyed it and I hope that De Ranke brews the XXX Bitter again sometime because I’ll definitely pick it up.  Did any of you guys get the opportunity to sample this brew?  What did you think of it?  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about your experience.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.5 out of 5

Grade:  A

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Country: Belgium, De Ranke

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