Initmate. Wonderful Belgian draft selection. Great glassware. Inventive food. Characteristics I love in a watering hole! The Encintas Ale House on the 101 is a must stop for beer lovers in San Diego County. It is a regular stop in for me, as I work right across the street, and I love having an relaxing place to decompress. Don't we all?
Brouwerij Bosteels Kwak (Belgian Strong Pale) 8.1% ABV:Pretty amber color with orange highlights. Lots of orange, with a bit of caramel and nut on the nose. Not a terribly complex nose or palate. A measurable heat on the palate and finish. As it warms, it becomes more sugary with notes of light toffee and cookies. Good but not great.
Gouden Carolus Tripel 9%. Wow! What a nose!! Fresh juice of apricot, orange. Think LOOZA apricot nectar. A perfumed nose of honeysuckle and orange blossom. Ladies you might want to put this on your wrist. Lighter in color with honey and straw notes in color and palate. As it warms, more yeasty notes emerge. My favorite of the day.
2000 Kasteel Cuvée Du Chateau Aged 10 years in steel 11% ABV: Pours a deep, luscious brown-black with lovely almond flesh-colored head. Interesting nose here! Wet bark, wet charred wood. Think of that smell when your campfire's been rained on. I'm serious! This is a good thing Add to that dark dried fruit, of fig and black cherry . Some heat on nose and palate definitely, but not overbearing. I liked this beer and it was a nice variance in my Belgian quest!
You HAVE to check out their website! You go in the front door, ride an elevator, go down to the cellar to look at the beers, up to the library for information, and into the kitchen for recipes. It's amazing! CLICK HERE.
Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) (Quad) 11%: Whoa. A lot of heat here! Big aromas of dried fruit, banana, clove, dark baking spice, such as allspice. Intense nose and palate. This one is a heavy-hitter, so take it slow and easy. Would love to see this one aged and re-tasted!
OHHHH, and as a final treat to myself? CONSECRATION.