Gregorius - Stift Engelszell
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Ratings: 319 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
3.96/5 rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Gregorius is a mighty sounding name but this beer looks like hoisin sauce: dark, thick, flat. Not terribly intimidating. The bottle had so much sediment that the glass looks half full of liquid, half full of sand. Indeed yeast has a more visible presence than carbonation; there's no head at all.
Speaking of Asian sauces, the way this smells it could double as a sticky balsamic and soy glaze. The malt has a tinge of burnt sugar and ripe purple plum. There's also a substantial amount of anise seed and black pepper; the aroma may be darker than the appearance.
I've never tried knotting a bruised banana peel with my tongue but I imagine this is the taste it might leave in my mouth. This beer combines numerous fruits (banana, date, raisin, fig, apple) and what each flavour has in common is that they taste heavily bruised. The anise, clove, and mace give it a compote-like profile. It is at once spicy, savory, and sweet.
This particular sample is approaching one year in age but shows no signs of slowing down; the yeast is perfumed and effervescent as always. The alcohol enhances that spiciness and, as such, stays relatively disguised (there's enough maltiness to keep it at bay anyhow). The beer ends on a note of black licorice, baking spice, and clover honey.
Gregorius may lack that certain 'je ne sais quoi' of time-honoured Belgian monastic Quads, but Austria's first (and thus far only) Trappist brewery seems to be off to the right start. This is a very serviceable and satiating strong, rich, dark ale. The use of honey is purely incidental amidst such spicy yeast, formidable alcohol, and heavy maltiness, but still this recipe needs no changing.
Serving type: bottle
03-30-2014 19:46:31 | More by biegaman
3.69/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Very dark brown, not quite black. Good head retention that leaves streaks of tan lace. Aroma has more dark, toasted malt than dark fruit notes, unlike many other BDSAs. A little bit of sweetness on the nose that doesn't smell like Belgian candi sugar. Given that honey is listed among the ingredients, I'll attribute it to that. Faint solvent-like alcohol detracts a bit.
The robust, malty flavor is nonetheless well-balanced. Some sweetness upfront is attenuated by hop bitterness. Toasted malt is prevalent, almost stout/porter-like in that respect. Carbonation is active and abundant but not harsh. There's a slight alcohol note that's OK for a nearly 10% ABV beer.
If I didn't know this was a Trappist brewery out of Austria I'd think it was an American brewery trying their hand at the style, what with the seemingly aggressive hopping to keep things balanced. It's a good beer but not nearly as refined as the established Trappist offerings.
Serving type: bottle
02-16-2014 01:21:59 | More by gr0g
Gregorius from Stift Engelszell
86 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.