Friday, November 7, 2008

Bornem in East L.A.

If you've scoured the Belgian shelves or aisles of your favorite beer stores, surely you've seen Bornem. There it sits with the other stubby 330 ml bottles. Alone, tossed aside, collecting dust while the big bomber bottles from larger labeled monastery beers get all the attention, it gets very little attention or respect.

It's sad, really. I mean, how can you compete with the big boys, who sit along the top shelf, like kings on their thrones getting first class treatment (usually in the cooler). The bottom shelf is usually reserved for, well . . . bottom shelf products.

This, my friends, is simply not the case. Not with Bornem Tripel, anyway.

Pouring with a nice rich, thick head, which dissipates somewhat quickly, it's very pretty in the glass. Pale to amber in color, it's apparent that when fresh, this beer would certainly be bright yellow. I'm sure age and mistreatment on store shelves takes it's toll.

With aromas of classic Belgian spices and fruit, it has all the earmarks of a classic Belgian Tripel. Musty, peppery, and what I can best describe as "history." It smells like Belgian history.

The flavor is of sweet fruit, and what I detected to be a little hint of apples. Just as the aroma detected, Bornem has a sharp pepper essence to it, and that is one thing that I just love about this style. It keeps me coming back to it every time. Bornem is very well balanced, and at 8% ABV, very easy to drink, especially at this size.

So the next time you're at your favorite beer store, notice the little guys and pick one up. They're all there together, waiting to surprise you.

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