You don't have to tell me how sexy that assemblage of Belgian styles ales is. I'm aware. Last night I took part in a belated birthday celebration of a good friend, who happens to a heck of a beer brewer himself. After a completely unrelated health scare, we were all even more ready to relax and accept a chalice of something strong and brown.
It's hard to find beer that is both good, and something Erik hasn't had before. I managed with four of the above. Well, the Corsendonk was terrible, but at least it was new to everyone (and never to be repeated). Okay, it wasn't terrible but too insubstantial to justify drinking.
Allagash Black, my one ringer and non-Flemish offering, was expectedly awesome and as good as it was, it was near forgettable compared to the trappist offerings that remained. Achel, Koningshoeven, and Westmalle, were nothing short of transcendental, to run the risk of sounding melodramatic. I'll spare you the particulars on each in hopes that you may discover the goodness within on your own. If you look carefully at the picture you'll see that oak aged Isid'or. Really hard to find and completely worth whatever price it's being sold for: it-will-not-be-cheap.
Concerning pictures, people tell me all the time to add them to the blog; book covers and such to accompany commentary. Readers, ironically, like pictures and I'd probably get more views and looks, but don't hold your breath. I have my reasons. But that picture above, it's too good to not share.