Style: Strong ale
Brewery: Tynt Meadow
There are 14 breweries in the world currently producing Trappist beers, with only 11 of them allowed to show the hexagonal Authentic Trappist Product label. Although Belgium is considered the home of Trappist breweries, there are a few that are outside the region. Tynt Meadow is the only English Trappist brewery, and this is the only beer they produce. I knew I needed a Belgian style dark ale to pair with the robust cheddar I had planned for the tasting, so this felt like the perfect fit. Unfortunately, it didn’t blow me away.
This was a light chocolate brown colour with hints of ruby red and a slight haze, with a head that held fairly well. The head had a saffron hue to it and hung around the edge of the glass for a long time. The body was medium to thick and coated to the glass well when swirled. The aroma was delicious, with some lovely milk chocolate, plums, figs and brown sugar notes all noticed. The taste though was somewhat of a let-down, with a rather strong metallic tone that I thought was a bit harsh. There was a big sweetness there, which was almost cloying on the palate. Yeasty, sweet and bready, this stuck to the tongue and almost felt like it wasn’t completely ready. The dried fruit notes such as sultanas and figs were there but rather far in the background.
This is akin to a dubbel, but I must say the Trappist breweries in Belgium are doing a better job at it than this. This is hard to recommend when you could easily have other beers such as Westmalle Dubbel instead. I think I would like to try this again, but after it had aged for a few years, to see if the slightly harsh notes have mellowed a bit and the fruit had risen to the forefront. As of now though, I wouldn’t be purchasing this again. To be continued in a few years!