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    Brouwerij De Smedt/Affligem, Belgium
    Posted under The New England Beer Reviews by Avery Glasser (c366822-a.htfdc1.ct.home.com) on Monday July 02 2001 @ 08:36PM CEST

    Brouwerij De Smedt/Affligem
    Belgium

    Sighted at: Spiritus Wines, West Hartford.


    Affligem, a Flemish Abbey with roots to brewing that span over 800 years, stopped producing beer at the abbey after their brew-house was destroyed in WWII. Now the beers are produced at the neighboring Brouwerij de Smedt under the direct supervision of the Benedictine Friars of the Affligem Abbey.

    Pater's Vat
    Affligem's most recent beer formulation, Pater's Vat is a brew that is closer to a Belgian Strong Ale than the other beers offered by this brewery. A holiday ale, this beer is a nice hazy gold with tons of live yeast still in the bottle. If you purchase a bottle of Pater's Vat, treat it with care. As with a fine wine, this beer needs at least a week in a stationary position to let the solids settle to the bottom, and then it needs to be properly decanted into a serving carafe (stoneware pitchers are traditional, but anything will do). Only then is it ready to be served.

    The Pater's Vat is so drinkable that it's practically dangerous if you are a lover of fine beers. The taste falls somewhere between a Golden Strong (like Duvel) and a classic American Pale Ale: very malty with a pronounced hop astringency... but to simply leave the description at that does an extreme disservice to the beer. Pater's Vat also has the mild candy-sweetness found in traditional abbey ales, and the sourness that one would find in a Belgian Witbeer (like Hoegaarden). The flavors run from orange to honey to a light peppery finish. A definite beer to search out and to purchase by the case, this beer will be drinkable for years if stored properly.
    (Avery Glasser)


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