Last weekend we had a party and we bought a few types of beer for our guests, namely Chimay, Maredsous, Duvel, Postel, Westmalle Tripel and Jupiler. All are strong beers except Jupiler which is a draft beer. I have definitely tried Westmalle and Duvel before, and maybe Jupiler too. But I have not tried this pretty beer called Postel until last night.
Yes, I called it a pretty beer because it has got a rather pretty label with a blue background and a picture of an abbey on it. It is a tripel and an abbey beer (but not a trappist) with 9% alcohol. On the bottle, you can see the words "Abdij Bier, Anno 1140", 1140 was probably the year that the abbey was founded, and not the year that the beer was founded. It also says in English (and in Dutch, French, German and Italian) that this is a golden belgian abbey ale, bottle conditioned and contains barley malt. Goldkleurig, Belgisch abdijbier hergist in de fles, bevat gerstemout. The bottle also mentions that "De Abdij van Postel, gelegen in de Noorder Kempen, te midden van groene omgeving, is een bezoek overwaard", which means that the abbey of Postel, lying in the Northen Kempen region, in the middle of a green environment, is well worth a visit. Apparently this Postel beer is now being brewed by the Affligem brewery and no longer by the monks at the Postel abbey.
By the way, did I tell you that, monks in belgian monastries had been brewing beer since the middle ages? This was because at that time (between 500 and 1500AD), it was advisable to drink beer rather than water, since beer went through a distillation process and was hence safer than water which was often contaminated. Beer was also more nutritious since it contained grain and yeast and vitamin B. So the western monks had it good as compared to the asian monks in Shaolin Temple since the latter are not allowed to touch alcohol at all, hahaha.
Ok, back to this beer. If you were to ask me how it tastes like, honestly I can't differentiate one beer from another unless it is something like Rodenbach (my favourite). Unless you let me taste 2 types of beer side by side, then I can tell you if one beer is stronger/lighter, sweeter/bitter than the other. I am pretty clueless when it comes to beer. (I guess practice makes perfect, so I must keep trying, and at the end of beer-spotting number 100, I should be able to give you a good commentary ;p) But I think my hubby is also like me. He claims to be the belgian beer expert but whenever I ask him how a certain beer tastes like, he will say "just like any other light beer/dark beer/abbey beer (just fill in the blanks)...". That is not very helpful when it comes to choosing a beer at a cafe, isn't it?
Ok, let's just say that it is less rich than Westmalle Tripel, if you know how Westmalle tastes like...hahaha.