Monday, October 1, 2012

De Struise Brouwers Pannepot Riserva (2009)

 De Struise Brouwers, or "The Sturdy Brewers," is a craft brewer located in Woesten-Vleteren in the Belgian province of West Flanders.  According to Wikipedia, the owners of an ostrich farm in Lo-Reninge -- Urbain Cotteau and Philippe Dreissens -- partnered with a local winemaker, Carlo Grootaert, to found the brewery.  The name De Struise is derived derives from the Belgian word for ostrich, which is also slang for "tough."  Thus, the Sturdy Brewers.

Those brewers have produced a wide range of beers.  One of those beers is the Pannepot Riserva.  The label tells the story: "we first brewed Pannepot in 2001, as a tribute to the local fishermen from our village of De Panne."  It continues, "Pannepot Riserva was the idea of my colleague, Carlo, who proposed to age Pannepot in oak barrels that he found in France."  The first brewing to be aged in barrels was in 2005.  The brewers have continued the tradition, including the aging of the 2009 brewing of the Pannepot.  I recently opened a bottle of this beer to give it a try.  

This is not my first experience with Pannepot.  Previously, I reviewed the Pannepot Grand Riserva (2005), which was one of the bottles from that initial aging of beer in oak barrels.  The Pannepot is brewed in the style of a Belgian Quadrupel.  The Riserva (2009) shares a lot in common with its older brethren, the Grand Riserva (2005).

The Pannepot Riserva pours a chocolate brown or cola in color, with a light brown foam.  The aroma has elements of caramel, malts, alcohol and yeast.  There is also a sweetness in the nose of this beer, reminiscent of Belgian candy, sugar or dark fruits. The sweetness of the aroma carries over to the taste of the Pannepot.  The aging of this beer in oak barrels has left its mark on this beer, rounding out the flavors and, perhaps, accentuating the alcohol.   As with the Grand Riserva, there is a little Bourbon vanilla interlaced in the taste of the beer. 

I picked this beer up at a Binny's outside of Chicago.  I have not seen it at any stores in the United States.  If you should happen to see one, you should pick it up if only for the fact that you might not see it again.  


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