Brouwerij Roman - Ename Tripel
- ABV: 8.5%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
This abbey-style tripel presents a bright, lightly hazy, amber-golden color, topped with a robust crop of foam. On the nose, look for a base of sweetish, honey-like malts overlaid with stone fruits, mild earthy hops, and some soft, yeast-driven herbal phenolic notes. On the palate, the malts deliver a big, round, and honeyed character shot through with prominent fruity esters conjuring peach, nectarine, and apricot, plus some light citric impressions. Look for those hoppy and yeasty notes to come forth here, too, with a nice dose of earthy and herbal spice along with a touch of drying alcohol in the finish, especially as it warms in the glass. Round and full-bodied, this brew is excellent and quite satisfying on its own, but it also makes a nice accompaniment to bolder dishes which can play off of the spice and/or fruity notes, such as a Margherita pizza with plenty of basil, sweet honey-glazed ham, duck a l'orange, roasted venison with grilled peaches, prosciutto with creamy cheeses, or a dessert of peach cobbler. Cheers!
Let’s discuss for a few moments the explosion of Belgian beers in the USA. Whether it was your first Hoegaarden, perhaps a Saison Dupont, or that first magic sip of Duvel or Chimay, chances are your first taste of Belgian beer left a profound impact on you, and maybe even expanded your own working definition of what beer “is.” Maybe it was the shock that a pale Belgian ale could taste so interesting, be so palatable, and carry an 8%+ ABV without any indication of its strength catching your interest in the flavor profile. Or perhaps it was your reaction to the spicy phenolics inherent to so many Belgian yeast strains. Or possibly you tried your first Trappist Tripel and it tasted like nothing you’d ever sampled before. And it is that very difference that has helped make Belgian beer so popular in the US.
US craft-brewers, and even macrobrewers, have capitalized on Belgian beer popularity, creating their own “Belgian-style” beers. Therein lies the problem. Now with so many Belgian-themed beers out there, what happens to the family brewers of Belgium who really lay claim to being traditional Belgian brewers? While they remain unique and limited, the consumer can understandably be confused by the virtually ubiquitous use of the word “Belgian” on beers found at their favorite beer bar or retail store.
So what’s a brewery like Brouwerij Roman, brewing since at least 1545 – making it the oldest family brewery in Belgium, to do to distinguish itself from other Belgian-labeled beers? Join a sort of guild of Belgian family brewers, of course. Belgian Family Brewers is a non-profit association whose members have been brewing in Belgium for at least 50 years, non-stop. Together they represent just 15% of Belgian brewers, with a total of more than 1,500 years of experience in traditional beer brewing. The label denoting this status can be found on each bottle of beer brewed by Brouwerij Roman and other members. Seeing the BFB logo lets the consumer know that the beer is a genuine Belgian beer brewed in Belgium, comes from an independent family brewery that has been making beer for at least 50 years and is thus a traditional brewery, and that it is an original beer, meaning no copies of the recipe are sold under any other name or label.
Brouwerij Roman's story begins in 1545 when Joos Roman began brewing at his inn along the Franco-German trade route. Though he also ran a farm and a mill, brewing would become the family's main focus over the next few generations. Today's current brewhouse in Oudenaarde dates to around 1930, inside of which Brouwerij Roman produces a range of traditional Belgian beers, including abbey-style ales, blonde and dark ales, witbier, and more. This family brewery is currently run by the 14th generation, Carlo and Lode Roman. To learn more about this historic Belgian brewery, visit them at www.roman.be.
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