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Belgian Strong Ale Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dar482, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. dar482

    dar482 Champion (815) New York Mar 9, 2007 Beer Trader

    I have always liked beer, but only recently in the past few months became a BAer. I've been trying to expand my tastes in beer and I definitely have had a few of the Belgian Strong Ales before, but I guess I want to have them again as my tastes have matured.

    I'm in NYC, so I should be able to find a decent amount. What should I go after first? Chimay? Delirium? St. Bernardus?
  2. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,180) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    No replies yet? Try this.

    In the beer styles section of this site there are lists like this one


    When it comes up it is sorted by frequency of review which should be related to availability. Also you can sort the list by popularity and find out what BAs like best. From those you can make a pretty decent shopping list.

    Enjoy the journey.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  3. You can probably spend a whole year just to taste the "mandatory ones"... :) It's an easy-drinking style, since they are usually quite sweet with a strong malt character and, at the same, quite fruity (strong notes of dark fruits) with a moderate and smooth bitterness. However, they normally have a high ABV in the way that I prefer enjoying them during the winter season. In any case, good luck in your quest!

    Cheers from Switzerland!
  4. SStein

    SStein Advocate (510) Colorado Dec 26, 2012 Beer Trader

    Start with any of the Trappist stuff and branch out from there. Rochefort, Chimay, Achel are all excellent. Delirium is fantastic, and St. Bernandus is a solid selection. Get what you can and enjoy.
  5. papaholmz

    papaholmz Savant (250) South Carolina Nov 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    My favs...

    Westy 12
    St. Bernardus 12
    Rochefort 10
    La Trappe Quad (oak aged)
    Westmalle Tripel

    I also recently tried Gregorious, from the new Austrian Trappist abbey, it's quite good.
    Mediczod likes this.
  6. Brenden

    Brenden Champion (860) Ohio Feb 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    Having access to Ommegang helps. I love those guys. Otherwise, I second the recommendation of starting out with Trappist versions and branching out from there; of course, you could go the opposite route and try some American breweries' versions, then go and compare the originals. There are no rules and a lot of freedom to do it however you want.
  7. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012 Verified

    Delirium Tremens and Rochefort 8.
    Mediczod likes this.
  8. Delirium Tremens, Rochefort 8 and 10, St. Bernardus 12, Westmalle are all fantastic. Ommegang makes some excellent ones as well. Being in NYC, you should also be able to find Unibroue, which makes some outstanding ones. Their La Fin Du Monde and Maudite are among my favorites of theirs.
    TongoRad likes this.
  9. papaholmz

    papaholmz Savant (250) South Carolina Nov 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    My first experiences with Belgian quads were all Trappist; my first ever being a Rochefort 10. When I finally tried an American "Belgian Style" quad (Ommegang, Allagash) they all seemed one dimensional compared to their real Belgian counterparts.

    I wish I didn't feel this way because Ommegang and Allagash brews are a good bit cheaper than the usual Belgian suspects!
  10. Someone above posted the BA link to the most popular and the most highly-rated beers in this style. Get what you can afford from this list, or get to know your banker. You just chose a pricey hobby, my friend. :cool:
    ColdOne likes this.
  11. Goosey

    Goosey Aficionado (240) Missouri Jan 18, 2012

    When I hear Belgian strong, I think Duvel. Personally, I would start with Orval, though. Also, you should definately check into some stuff by Chouffe, especially their ipa tripel. Piraat is great, especially fresh. Peterus strong pale is a must, and if you want to see a good American example of the style, try Pranqster. Also you should check into some Gulden Draak.
  12. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,035) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    Also from Unibroue-
    Le Terrible
    Trois Pistoles
    excellent strong dark ales- each is a 'must-try'
    BeerMeInStl and Mediczod like this.
  13. Gunson

    Gunson Aficionado (170) Michigan Jan 17, 2013 Beer Trader

    Not sure if Dragonmead's Final Absolution is exactly the style your looking for, but is a solid Belgium trippel.
  14. TheEpeeist

    TheEpeeist Savant (260) Pennsylvania Nov 5, 2008 Beer Trader

    Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru, Triple Imperiale & Brune are all delicious and available in smaller bottles.
  15. Nesued

    Nesued Savant (440) South Carolina Jul 6, 2003 Verified

    Chimay Blue, Gulden Draak, Delirium Tremens, Rochefort 8.

    Don't get your Belgian Strongs confused with your Quads. Unfair comparison.
  16. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    I much prefer the BSDAs and Quads over Tripels and BSPAs, but here goes:
    St. Bernardus 12 (and Christmas)
    Cuvee Van de Keiser Blauw
    Val-Dieu Grand Cru
    Pannepot (and Pannepot Reserva and Grand Reserva)
    Rochefort 10
    La Trappe
    Chimay Grand Reserve
    Lots of people will mention Westy 12 and it's great, but if you haven't had the ones above don't go out of your way to get Westy yet.

    I believe he is just looking for stronger Belgian beers, not necessarily just BSDA and BSPAs. He said he is new and he mentioned St. Bernardus.
  17. KegKicker

    KegKicker Aficionado (220) New York Aug 11, 2008

    If you live in NYC I suggest a trip to BXL East (210 E 51st St). You won't be disappointed by the fine selection of Belgian's they have on tap. If you aren't careful it is easy to walk out of that place really, really drunk!
  18. baconman91

    baconman91 Advocate (505) Ohio Dec 13, 2009

    check out the Unibroue lineup..they make some Solid stuff.
    Mediczod likes this.
  19. litheum94

    litheum94 Advocate (675) California Dec 29, 2008

    Rochefort 8 & 10
    St Bernardus Abt
    Mahler 10
    Russian River Salvation
    Allagash Dubbel
    Mediczod likes this.
  20. In terms of easily available, and in no particular order...

    Duvel, Gulden Draak, Chimay Blue, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Ommegang Abbey, St. Bernardus Christmas (Even better than the 12, in my opinion), St. Bernardus ABT 12, Delirium Tremens, Delirium Noel, Pannepot, St. Bernardus 8, Goose Island Pere Jacques, Allagash Curieux, Boulevard Sixth Glass, etc.
  21. dar482

    dar482 Champion (815) New York Mar 9, 2007 Beer Trader

    Fantastic! Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll try any of the names I can get my hands on and start deciding how I should expand on it.