Kapittel Prior - Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Ciocanelu:
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3.78/5 rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
330ml bottle. Those are some happy-looking monks there on the label.
This beer pours a surprisingly clear red-brick amber colour, with a teeming climbing tower of fizzy, frothy, and loosely creamy beige head, which leaves a few wayward instances of wavecrest lace around the glass as it ever so slowly dissolves.
It smells of brittle caramel and toffee candy, earthy yeast, dried Christmas cake fruit, a sharp dry walnut nuttiness, and weedy, slightly perfumed hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, edgy dry yeast, musty dark fruit - raisins, prunes, and dried cantaloupe - almond and pecan nuttiness, the usual suspects of holiday cookie spice, and more earthy, wet leafy hops.
The carbonation is more than a tad frothy on the high, low, and everywhere in between palate, the body a sturdy medium weight, and adequately smooth, a faint hint of creaminess worming its way into my consciousness. It finishes off-dry, the weirdly subdued caramel and toffee sweetness almost consumed by a cellar dustiness, and some lingering earthy, musty hops.
I like me my BSDAs, and despite the frivolity surrounding this one, it's not quite up to the world beaters of the style. That shouldn't be a knock here, as it's a relative thing, and well, at this time of year, there's tons of good stuff from its Belgian brothers (laic and otherwise) available in Christmas and standard formats kickin' around. Still, try it if you can.
Serving type: bottle
12-14-2013 07:31:26 | More by biboergosum
3.99/5 rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Kapittel Prior has a deep tone but still plenty of colour; almost as orange as amber-brown, highlights aren't many to come by but they do exist and they do reveal some clarity. It is topped with the perfect mold for Belgian head; it is the Michelangelo's David of beer foam.
I think when Christmas cake was invented they got the idea from Kapittel Prior (or any number of other spicy, dark Belgian ales). With the spotlight on the yeast, there's lots of fruit cake and plum pudding flavours as well as sweet baking as well as more savory spices.
The beer (indeed the style) can be distinguished by a marzipan and dried fruit profile that encompasses notes of prune, raisin, candied cherry as well as cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. You might also taste black licorice and caramel squares. Whatever you taste, it's nice.
The mouthfeel has a surprising degree of creaminess amongst all this spicy and savory yeastiness. There's also loads of brown sugar-like sweetness and a toasty breadiness that resembles near-burnt whole grain crusts and/or heavily toasted nuts (almonds especially). I would have guessed the alcohol at little more than half what it actually is.
Kapittel Prior is a classic Belgian strong dark ale with the mellow and manifold embarrassment of riches that characterizes the style. Beers like this are so tremendously detailed they are worthy of the same attention sommeliers pay to wine, but, unlike the latter, they are low-key and accessible enough for anyone to enjoy readily and at a more reasonable price.
Serving type: bottle
08-06-2013 00:50:51 | More by biegaman
Kapittel Prior from Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.