Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij - Erik De Noorman

Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij - Erik De Noorman

Beer Club featured in Rare Beer Club

Style:

Barleywine

Country:

Netherlands

Alcohol by Volume:

9.00%

Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij - Erik De Noorman

  • Alcohol by Volume: 9.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter
Is it just us or do Dutch brewers have a need to be clever in their beer names? Beer after beer that we try from The Netherlands (and other northern European countries) has had some intellectually wise-ass name. Eric De Noorman is the name of a fictional comic strip character authored by Hans Georg Kresse from 1946-1964. The stories chronicle the various escapades of the eponymous Viking king. Dutch Brewer Erik Bouman seems to have written himself into the story by working his name into the name of this beer. So is Erik claiming to be a Viking? A sort of marauding beer maverick on a quest to colonize the surrounding regions with his legacy of better beer? Is he equating his homebrewing prowess to the naval superiority of the Vikings? He did not return our calls requesting an interview, so we can’t say. Let’s let the beer do the talking, shall we? Look for a fruity, floral, quite rose-like nose, with a sharp edge of hops and wafts of rum-soaked raisins and apricots. On the palate, the beer’s alcohol content makes its presence known—which is perfectly appropriate for a barleywine. Expect some dark berry skin notes and a distinctly Chardonnay-like flavor and feel with white grape skins and some tannin-like bite and edge. The beer finishes with earthy, floral hoppy bitterness and quite a bit of berry-like tartness. This sipper is great on its own, but feel free to serve up an earthy, blue-veined cheese alongside it.
Klein Duimpje Huisbrouwerij translates to the Tom Thumb Homebrewery. Tom Thumb, for those unfamiliar with the story, was a character said to have been born to a couple in the times of King Arthur. The pair longed for a son, even one no larger than the size of a thumb. Being a sort of genie-in-the-bottle-style trickster, Merlin granted them their wish, casting a spell that would give them their tiny son, Tom. Clearly, the brewer is making a statement that this is one tiny brewing outfit. That brewer is Erik Bouman, who started his fermentation foray as an amateur winemaker around 1990. Not too long into his amateur winemaking career, he traded grapes for grains, becoming a beer homebrewer in 1994. In early 1997, with just a few years of homebrewing under his belt, he entered a beer to be judged in the “winter beer” style of the 1st Dutch Championship for Amateur Beer Brewers, and won with an early rendition of his homebrewed barleywine, “Erik De Noorman” (the current version of which we’re featuring this month). Shortly after that, he submitted his Porter to be judged at the General Dutch Championship, where beers of all styles compete for best in show. His porter beat out more than 400 other beers to be selected as the Best Beer of the competition. ’97 was a good year for Erik, and no doubt played a big part in his drive to make beer brewing his living. These days, Erik is selling his homebrewed beer on a larger scale, but that ‘larger scale’ is relative to brewing five gallons at a time in his kitchen. He still brews a lower volume of beer than what probably goes down your drain in a couple months of washing up for work. His beers are truly a handcrafted product—the way all beers used to be made. We’re looking forward to trying more of his beers one of these days—there just wasn’t enough to go around for us to get most of his offerings to our beer panel for review. We did, however, appreciate the samples of Barleywine that we received. We found it a flavorful and individualistic beer, selecting it as our first featured Collector’s Beer Club brew this month. Check out www.kleinduimpje.nl for more information (at the time we visited, it was in Dutch only, and was pretty light on info… Apparently, when you’re the only person brewing your beer and you’re trying to keep up with demand, there’s not much time for website maintenance. Hey, we’ll take beer over bandwidth any day).
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