Best Belgian Strong Dark Ale?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Preluderl, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. Preluderl

    Preluderl Devotee (461) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Let me preface this by saying I have very little experience with Belgians. I love Troegs Mad Elf and while I realize it's a bit unique, I was curious about some opinions on other good bets in this style?

    I see Chimay Blue ranks pretty highly and I know that's pretty easy to get your hands on. What else would the masses recommend that's not too hard to obtain?
  2. mklisz

    mklisz Champion (849) Dec 31, 2010 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Gulden Draak and Trois Pistoles are always nice and easily obtainable.
    phooky likes this.
  3. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (961) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Rochefort 8, Unibroue Trois Pistoles, Gulden Draak just to name a few. Thought Grande Reserve 17 was awesome too, as is Maudite & La Terrible. If you get Allagash, Odyssey & Black are good.
    alexipa likes this.
  4. PackPride

    PackPride Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2011 North Carolina

    Try the Stift Engelszell Gregorius. I just had it on tap it was really good.
  5. LampertLand

    LampertLand Poo-Bah (1,731) Nov 2, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    Unibroue's got 4 Belgian Strong Dark Ale's to try ,
    'La Terrible' & 'Grand Reserve17' both are a bit rare & $$ ,
    'Trois Pistoles' & 'Maudite' both are more common & only $
    Squidly likes this.
  6. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (961) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Oh and RR's Salvation when it's released.
  7. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    These categories are unclear sometimes. Nevertheless, I LOVE Struise Pannepot.
    MarcatGSB likes this.
  8. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I have no idea what difference, if any, exists between a Dubbel a BSDA or a Quad for that matter.

    So my answer is Chimay (red label).
    denver10 likes this.
  9. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,436) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I tend to lump all BSDAs and quads together, just as I do with all imperial stouts.
    Try any of these or these, I think you generally won't be disappointed.
  10. Preluderl

    Preluderl Devotee (461) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I know little to nothing about Belgians so I appreciate the input on any of them, really. Thanks guys.
  11. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,698) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    Ommegang Three Philosophers should be right up your alley.. it has some similarities with Mad Elf, especially the use of cherries. Three Philosophers is extremely easy to find too, great beer..
    gengle likes this.
  12. Preluderl

    Preluderl Devotee (461) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I actually already have a bottle of Three Philosophers but I've not opened it yet. That's good to hear.
  13. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (335) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Chimay Grand Reserve and Rochefort 8.
  14. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Allagash Black one of my favorites, certainly better ones though, but I keep coming back to it.
  15. MarioM

    MarioM Zealot (514) Sep 13, 2009 California

    +1 on this

    Unibroue's BSDAs are all great beers at a great price, besides Reserve 17 but here in CA at least, even La Terrible is usually the same price as Trois Pistoles and Maudite at ~$10 (750 mL).

    Other good ones: Rochefort 8, Gulden Draak, Allagash Odyssey, Delirium Nocturnum, Chimay Blue & many more.

    BSDAs are probably my favorite style at the moment...
  16. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Savant (934) Apr 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The word "best", of course, is completely subjective. My advice is to use this list:

    and try a couple from there near the top of the list. That's the "best" list for that style as compiled by the beer reviewers here.

    My personal favorites are Chimay Blue and Rochefort 8. I also like Delirium Nocturnum quite a bit as well.
  17. Rochefort10nh

    Rochefort10nh Champion (866) Sep 30, 2005 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    mmikey8 likes this.
  18. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    I've always liked Delirium Nocturnum.
  19. mmikey8

    mmikey8 Disciple (305) Aug 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Delirium Nocturnum and Gulden Draak is what I turn to
  20. mmikey8

    mmikey8 Disciple (305) Aug 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

  21. MarkJBurch

    MarkJBurch Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Brooklyn Local 2!
  22. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (439) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    La Terrible is my personal favorite. Everything from Unibroue is great though. Collaboration not Litigation from Avery is fantastic, but a bit harder to come by.
  23. PetieP

    PetieP Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Gulden Draak is my go-to. Brother Thelonious is ok, but not as good.
  24. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Dubbel is lighter, lower alcohol, less complex than a Quad or a BSDA. One (really bad but simple) way to think about it is a Triple is an Imperial Single, and a Quad is an Imperial Dubbel.

    BSDA vs Quad is an eons old discussion that has no great answer. Quad is a much narrower category, but quads basically are BSDAs. Cuvee van de Keizer Blue is the best BSDA out there, and also a great example of the difference between a quad and a BSDA.
    Providence likes this.
  25. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Disciple (357) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Sidebar - Cbeer88, have you seen this recently in MA, particularly north of boston?
  26. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,330) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    If I were to choose one favorite from all those listed here I'd go with Unibroue La Terrible, though so far this thread has turned out to be a very solid list overall.
  27. colty42

    colty42 Initiate (138) Nov 14, 2011 District of Columbia

    If you can still find it, I would add St. Bernardus Christmas Ale to the list. Definitely one of the best that I've had
  28. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Definitely seen it south of Boston recently... probably just between batches at the moment if your local stores are out of it. Hopefully, because if this beer comes hard to get I think I'm quitting.
  29. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Disciple (357) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Honestly, that beer has been on my mind several times while shopping and i just haven't spotted it.
  30. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    BM coming...
  31. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (856) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw!
    Jwale73 likes this.
  32. philbe311

    philbe311 Poo-Bah (2,005) Jan 21, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I'll second that and add the much underrated Alesmith Grand Cru
    glaze3 likes this.
  33. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I third this. You win +500 internetz.

    Great beer!

  34. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Defender (684) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia


    Also agree on Gulden Draak, Chimay Blue, Delirium Nocturnum, and thye Unibroues.
  35. Radome

    Radome Meyvn (1,296) May 24, 2009 Florida

    I'm living in Europe at the moment so I'm out of touch with what is easily available "stateside". But I can't resist because this is my favorite style, so I'll just list a few of the standouts for me.

    You gotta try some of the classic examples (after all the style is called "Belgian") like Chimay Blue, Gouden Carolus Classic, Gulden Draak and Rochefort 8. You can’t go wrong with any number from The Bruery or Lost Abbey. Try 2 Turtle Doves and 10 Commandments, respectively. Unibroue has several good ones, but the best I’ve tried is Maudite. And, as has been pointed out, Three Philosophers is an amazing and fairly available beer.
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