STYLE: Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Aroma: Complex with significant fruity esters, moderate spiciness and low to moderate alcohol and hop aromas. Esters are reminiscent of lighter fruits such as pears, oranges or apples. Moderate spicy, peppery phenols. A lot to moderate yet distinctive perfumy, floral hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, perfumy and low-to-moderate in intensity. No hot alcohol or solventy aromas. The malt character is light. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Yellow to medium gold in color. Good clarity. Effervescent. Massive, long-lasting, rocky, often beady, white head resulting in characteristic "Belgian lace" on the glass as it fades.
Flavor: Marriage of fruity, spicy and alcohol flavors supported by a soft malt character. Esters are reminiscent of pears, oranges or apples. Low to moderate phenols are peppery in character. A low to moderate spicy hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, often a bit sweet and are low-to-moderate in intensity. Bitterness is typically medium to high from a combination of hop bitterness and yeastproduced phenolics. Substantial carbonation and bitterness leads to a dry finish with a low to moderately bitter aftertaste. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, although lighter than the substantial gravity would suggest (thanks to candi sugar and high carbonation). Smooth but noticeable alcohol warmth. No hot alcohol or solventy character. Always effervescent. Never astringent. Overall Impression: A golden, complex, effervescent, strong Belgianstyle ale. History: Originally developed by the Moortgat brewery after WWII as a response to the growing popularity of Pilsner beers.
Comments: Strongly resembles a Tripel, but may be even paler, lighter-bodied and even crisper and drier. References to the devil are included in the names of many commercial examples of this style, referring to their potent alcoholic strength and as a tribute to the original example (Duvel). The best examples are complex and delicate. High carbonation helps to bring out the many flavors and to increase the perception of a dry finish.
Ingredients: The light color and relatively light body for a beer of this strength are the result of using pilsner malt and up to 20% white candi sugar (sucrose). Noble hops or Styrian Goldings are commonly used. Belgian yeast strains are used - those that produce fruity esters, spicy phenolics and higher alcohols - often aided by slightly warmer fermentation temperatures.
OG: 1.070 - 1.095
IBUs: 25 - 35
FG: 1.010 - 1.016
SRM: 4 - 6
ABV: 7.5 - 10%
Commercial Examples: Duvel, Hapkin, Lucifer, Brigand, Judas, Delirium Tremens, Dulle Teve, Avery Salvation, North Coast Pranqster, Unibroue Eau Benite