I will be completely upfront with everyone and tell you that I am still new to the world of Belgian beers. I have had a few in the past and I have enjoyed some of them, but there is this beautiful mysticism to the style that I have barely begun to crack. The wonderful folks of North Coast Brewing Company produce a rather famous Belgian Style ale that I have been wanting to try for a while. Since the nice folks at Birra Moretti sent me a gift card for BevMo (and you can only buy so many bottles of Birra Moretti) I decided to grab a few random bottles including this aforementioned Belgian. How was it, and how does it stack up to more American styles of beer?
North Coast Brewing Company Pranqster pours a lovely golden blonde with a nice hazy orange glow. Not exactly a wheat and not exactly a typical unfiltered beer, this brew has a color and opaqueness all its own. The head comes light and fades faster than I thought it would, but it leaves a great lacing on the glass. Good looking beer overall.
Pranqster smells absolutely delicious. Stone fruit, malt and sugar hit the nose and give the beer a nice earthy smell. I detected notes of grain, bread and even a bit of honey in the aroma that were beyond pleasant. This beer smells like a good beer should. You know that awesome smell of baking bread? Add a fruit stand, a beer farm and your wife’s shampoo.
Oh yes, this is another amazing beer (and not a bad week I do say so myself). That stone fruit I mentioned earlier? Alive and present in this beer. Peaches and apricots blend with roasted malts, freshly baked bread and honey in the mouth. This is a complicated beer that is sweet and savory and just wonderful. As the beer warmed up the flavors mellowed and the booze came forward and made the nice warm flavors turn into nice warm feelings. Hell yes.
If you have never enjoyed a Belgian beer I have a feeling that this is a great place to start. The flavors are right, the smell is awesome and after drinking it you feel right as rain. This is a beer-lover’s beer, and I love this beer. If I had to describe it in two words those words would be: damn good. Great job North Coast, you really did it.
Style: Belgian Golden Ale ABV: 7.6% IBUs: 20 Bottling Date: Unknown Calories: 224