The Beer Review: Affligem
by Peter Hall, July 2015
A sunny Tuesday evening is a perfect time for a cold beer – sitting out enjoying the last rays of sunshine, watching the world go by.
It is even better when that cold beer has, in large writing ‘strong beer’ on its label. (Don’t go telling my AA sponsor though, they aren’t to know I’m still drinking.)
At 6.8%, Affligem is certainly up there with some of the strongest beers I drink. A true Belgian blonde beer, apparently ‘immersed in a 1000 years of heritage and craftsmanship.’ To those craftsmen (and maybe women, who knows) I raise my glass.
The sweet-smelling golden nectar that has flowed from the tall, slim 300ml bottle into my favourite glass certainly is a site to behold. The sweet smell mixes with a strong, potent traditional Belgian beer taste that is strong on the tongue, and certainly strengthens as an aftertaste. But surprisingly, it does not make you curl your nose at the taste. Strong beers as commonly known in the UK, Tennent’s Super Strength or Carlsberg Special Brew come to mind, certainly taste like bread in a tin, and that’s where the Belgians are different. Rather than brewed for the masses, this kind of beer has certainly been made with the contemporary Continental drinking style that is now becoming abundant in the UK in mind; strong sipping beers that are full of flavour. This one does not disappoint.
Slightly gaseous, but not pumped full of bubbles, smooth to drink with a certain spiciness, that mellows to an almost sweet fruity finish and dry hoppiness that makes just pause to think, before you dive in for that second mouthful. Splendid!