Policarpa La Fuerte - Bogota Beer Company
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Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Andreji:
4.33/5 rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This is the 2011 version of the Policarpa which came out yesterday, bottled and had the great chance of trying tonight.
I can't say I have great recall of the past edition other than the remembrance of a genuinely belgian, tripel feeling beer with a great taste.
Part of the joy (and at times, sorrow) of going through the cycles of a craft brewery is seeing the variations in the taste from tier to tier, batch to batch. what's the point, otherwise?
So according to my scant notes, this beer had a thick, frothy head. None of that now. This pour is much more stable, hardly any head to it (scarce, white one) but leaving some lacing alongside my Trappe chalice into which it was poured. On top, that petri-dish, yeast growth appearing film of bubbles that just sits and stares back. below, still glowy and tending towards the habits of the more translucent (and still flavourful) tripels such as the karmeliet, a golden, pale tone; a modest fizz.
Smell...provided my current convalescent phase (i'm coming out of a rather mild flu) i had to dig my nose right in. but no less, this is spicy. It isn't as hoppy as the 2009 version I described. nowhere near. nor does it go to the extent of fruitier tripels like leffe or de leckere. There's tonnes of alcohol to toughen the schism of its components. but there's definetly a mouldy, malty feel. not to sweet, either. some slight cumin feel. an unmistakable grapefruit whiff....some ripe bananas as well, but i confess i dug long and deep to get there. but it's there (i'm not just pouring out adjectives, mind).
Taste is still intentionally bittersweet. but albeit delicious, not as balanced as before. maybe the hops were slightly overdone. but it is generously complex to many levels. It strikes up in a sweeter, fruitier fashion. a gentle, nectarine feel at first i would say. simultaneously embraced by the alcohol feel- this must still be their strongest at 8%ABV- but more intriguingly developing as the temperature rises in the mouth. just afterwards, there's a generous malt feel through the sides of the mouth. it's sweet and wheaty to some extent....before the hops come and knock you over. And in all, this very imbalance can be applauded for making it further complex- I mean, this is sort of belgium-meets-england at some point.
Now, while the body is thinner than your average tripel (and I'd even risk rethinking this as either a strong belgian pale or a saison at this point), the alcohol level stricking you insidiously and the rugged tastes make it far from a thirst quencher or sessionable. Its rugged feel makes it worthy of respect.
Overall it is a brilliant beer, again by the BBC. I reckon they still remain slightly shy from mastering the style (at least one of the three I propose, because they can definetly pull off their belgian pale, Zipauquira) but it does bring a thrill to the scene to see the blends progressing towards better ends. the 'Pola' (short for Policarpa or slang for beer, here, incidentally) is worthy of one, two or a dozen tastings, and is still a top offering. But it seems we will have to wait for what next year brings.
Serving type: bottle
03-25-2011 03:08:20 | More by Andreji
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
A: Super light golden - almost yellow – bright and clear. Small to medium size frothy & big bubbled just off-white head that drops too fast. Just a few streams of bubbles rising, and just a little bit of lace.
S: Moderately spicy with a hint of pepper. Fruity – muted citrus, tropical (esp. mango), and some banana – with an estery and floral background. A bit of a sugar cookie & candi pils malt background. Hint of pleasantly musty yeast. Very nicely Belgian and good strength.
T: Nicely balanced between yeasty notes, malts, and hops. Malts & yeasts Belgian goodness are more forward. Malts are lightly caramelly & richly malty pale, a touch doughy and bready, and with just the barest hints of bread crust and toasty grain. Quite rich for a relatively light colored beer. A decent bit of sweetness too. Yeast notes are spicy with a few earthy/musty notes, and some estery hints. Hops are spicy & softly herbal with a fair bit of muted citrus. Hop character and bitterness lingers in the finish the spicy, yeasty Belgian character.
M: Just a little bit over medium body with carbonation bit under-matched. A tad too sweet & rich and low on CO2 for the style. Nice fine texture to the CO2 though. Some sticky sugars, but the hops do take it reasonably drying with a just noticeable assist from the alcohol. Hint of warming.
D: The big sister of the BBC Zipaquira. Very clearly Belgian, and only a little less clearly a Tripel. It is not the most elaborate or nuanced rendition, but it is very solid & even quite good. Very drinkable. A bit sneaky, but not overly so. Feels just a bit unrefined, but not overly so for the style. I wonder how far I would have to go to find another local example of a Tripel?
Serving type: bottle
05-16-2012 01:28:59 | More by SickGnar
Policarpa La Fuerte from Bogota Beer Company
- out of 100 based on 3 ratings.