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Simon Girty | Draai Laag Brewing Company

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Simon GirtySimon Girty
BA SCORE
3.75/5
Very Good
75 Ratings
Simon GirtySimon Girty
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Draai Laag Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
draailaag.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OneDropSoup on 02-22-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#23,639
Reviews:
20
Ratings:
75
pDev:
15.2%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by AWS2111:
Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -20%

More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It was difficult to contain my excitement when the FGBS initially began receiving distro from this Pittsburgh-area brewery, so I purchased what was then available & subsequently added to them. It was never my intent to create a Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but its eradication allows me the opportunity to conduct horizontals as I go. I am finding the results to be VERRRRY interesting & not at all stupid, per Arte Johnson of "Laugh-In".

From the bottle: "Ale Brewed with Honey, Cocoa and Orange Peel"; "Wild by Design"; "Original Gravity: 17.5 (deg.) P (1.072 S.G.)"; "Apparent Degree of Attenuation: 86%"; "Made With: Orange Peel, Honey, Cocoa"; "At its freshest, this complex Belgian brown ale boasts crisp notes of orange peel backed by rich malts and cocoa. Let it age a year or two and see why some beers are totally worth a wait."

As with many of their previous beers, I am going to perform two separate pours, one leaving the lees in the bottle, the second with the lees swirled in.

I Pop!ped the cap & commenced a gentle pour. Unbidden, I got a finger of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention, eventually becoming a skim atop the beer. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27), closer to 22, but with NE-quality clarity. Nose was redolent with honey & chocolate (cocoa) & my mouth began to water! Man, this has been a wild ride with these guys. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a lot of carbonation. Taste was a riotous combination of flavors - milk chocolate and honey with a tart dose of citrusy lemon and orange. The latter was undoubtedly due to a mild dose of Brett, a common theme in their beers. I wonder what this might be like if they left out the Brett & went with a more standard Belgian yeast. No matter. That would be an idle musing on my part. Finish began tart and dry, kind of vinous, but then it subsided to allow the sweetness of the cocoa and honey to make a reappearance. An interesting, lingering semi-dry finish was the result, in total.

And now for the second, lees-swirled pour. I still managed to get an unbidden finger of head. Color was a muddy Brown to Dark Brown. Nose had a more assertive orange presence. Mouthfeel was on the thin side. The taste was more orangey and chocolaty than earlier with less lemony tartness. Finish was semi-dry. Another interesting experiment.

 2,364 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to cosmo4u for this kind gift.

Turbid light brown, unattractive, but with killer tan head that drapes lace graciously as it drops.

Rounded tart yeast and overripe berry, light acetic hints, very light cocoa and candi make up a light strength but alluring aroma.

Wow, this ferment almost has a lactic acid quality to it, crazy flavors thrown by this yeast. I get berry, leather, tobacco, bitter apple, overripe plum, earth, grapes, other hard to name flavors that create something really delicious around the scant candi sweet and light bitter hop. It is a beer that morphs into different taste as it warms. Not much cocoa, even though I am looking for it.

Medium carb., full bodied, clean flavors, excellent finish, frames the beer impeccably.

What a surprising treat! Highly recommended, great American take that dares to be different.

 856 characters

Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce SN style stubby here. 8% abv, with honey, cocoa, and orange peel. Pours dark mahogany ruby tinted brown with a big khaki tan head forming thick. Fine even lacing, surrounds my chalice. Aroma has big phenolic fruitiness, with hints of cocoa, honey, and orange peel citrus notes. Deep vinous layers of fruity with herbal earthiness, I'm getting raisins and tart apples. Flavor big alcohol assertive up front with dark fruit, more vinous grapes/raisin sweetness with dry cocoa bitterness weighing heavy with dark roasts on the palate. Also honey hits with sweetness and the citrus peel bitterness almost overwhelms the palate. As I add the rest of the yeast sediment the dry chalkiness subdues some of the harsh flavors and it melds a little better than my first few initial sips. Most of honey ferments out in this one very few residual sugars are left behind, a bit cloying still with the cocoa and bitter orange peel clashing together. Carbonation is mellow body is medium to full, and it just doesn't go down with ease. Complex yes, adventurous yes, a beer I want to try again, not sure. I did love their Belgian style golden ale, very creative thus far, keeps me open to try more of their beers maybe just not a huge fan of this one.

 1,244 characters

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Iparedman
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of brother_rebus
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Stigs
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kbuzz
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of acostuhhh
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of ArtAttackEd
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kayaker
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honey and cocoa and Belgian do not mesh well. Nice flavor but just all over the place.

86 characters

Photo of dannyfayy
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of JustinM
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of gopens44
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off, this thing gushed on like a proud grandma. Very tough to pour without losing too much. Once it settled down, we were left with a mountain of beige foamy time. Further settled, it's a bit more of a creamy head that is stubborn to leave lacing but will in reluctance. Beer itself is a murky, brownish opaque orange with active little floaties that eventually peter out.

First noticed on the nose is a vinous thing. As I delve further along in the aroma, I start to get some honey before the heat component plays in a bit more. Last thing I get is a very faint hint of orange candy.

Tart, puckeringly so, at first. Need to let the tart shock dullbefore I can really get down to detecting much more...... Ok. Got some other things happening now. Directly after tart is when bitter orange peel steps in to pave the way for a not very well hidden heat. Mid way through a touch of sweetness does a drive by before the "tastes like the smell of rose" finish wraps things up.

Thin, maybe deceptively so when you consider the abv. Virtually no aftertaste whatsoever. Nothing left on the tongue, throat, nose or anyplace else.

Very interesting beer despite it being a style I rarely investigate.

 1,206 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure when it was bottled and even that their was a brewery in Millvale just 12 miles from my house. Paid $3.50 for the 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a clear dark amber brown with a half inch of tan colored head. Lacing is excellent.

S - First whiff I get the cocoa powder, strong and sweet. Repeated smells I get the orange and Belgium yeasts that smell sweet.

T - I really like the balance of cocoa in this it's not overly dry or sweet it nicely compliments the yeast giving it a fruity aspect which I assume is the orange. Finish is honey sweet so as advertised!

M - Medium bodied and drinks more like a Belgium Pale than a Belgium strong ale.

Overall I really like balanced Belgium's that are not overly dry, sweet flavored, and balance the hops the alcohol well enough to not be very filling. Wonder if I can hit up the brewery and pick up a six pack...

 860 characters

Photo of psuKinger
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into one of my Bruery Tulips.

A: Pours a deep deep dark murky brown, with a big creamy off-white head, over a fingers worth. Leaving nice lacing along my glass as I work my way through, as well.

S: Candied sugars, malt sweetness, and orange peel.

T: A surprising amount of cocoa accompanies the candied sugars. Orange Peel on the back end. A hint of "fig", but not much in the way of "dark fruits" here for such a Belgian Dark.

In my mind, the most distinguishing flavor is the orange peel. It's certainly pronounced, but initial impressions are not that of it being "unbalanced". Certainly unique, though. Based on the two brews Draai Laag has put out so far, they don't seem to be concerned with coloring within the lines when it comes to "style guidelines".

M: Lively, with great carbonation. A lot of *heft* behind those bubbles, though. Great viscosity underneath, with lots of dry sticky malt sugars left behind on the finish.

D/O: Enjoyable from start to finish. Definitely drinkable.

 1,011 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter: Deep, raisiny brown under a finger of soft, light tan head with loads of little nucleation bubbles rising. Head sinks to a thin, uneven dusting with a thick collar. A few deep crimson highlights.

Nice nose of light molasses, dark stewed fruits, honey, overripe banana, & a moderate baking spice like anise. Not overdone, & a lot to pick out here.

IN the taste, there's a sweetness like root beer barrel, some more dark fruit & that spicy anise character, a little brown sugar, mildly doughy. When I swish it around, I notice a very dry, rum-like boozy character that's not there if I just swallow. It's kind of unpleasant when I do that, so I just don't do it & it's alright. I'll split the difference.

Medium-full-bodied, with a sweet, slightly sticky note that turns dry & a little warming toward the end.

Really reminds me of a lot of Belgian Christmas beers - has that BSDA character with an added bit of spice & sweetness. A little problematic at points, but still a solid one & a good companion to Aureus, with a lot of shared characteristics.

 1,084 characters

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Simon Girty from Draai Laag Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 75 ratings
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