This beer definitely keeps you guessing. It trips across the tongue, first tasting of apricots and then brown sugar followed by a hit of lemon zest and a peppery bite. Grab a pint and get cozy, because this is one you'll want to sip slowly.
Beer Details: Inferno Ale from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA (Belgian strong ale, 9% ABV)
Appearance: Hazy orange-lemon color with a massive head of sticky meringue-like foam.
Aroma: This brings to mind sun-ripened stone fruits: light and floral with a promise of juiciness.
Taste: This beer unfolds in layers like a gobstopper. My first impression is of those ripe summer fruits. I taste rich apricot, sweet peach, and tart nectarine. This gets tossed with a squeeze of lemon and sour orange.
Brown sugar sweetness sinks in mid-sip and mid-palate. A foamy, frothy mouthfeel makes this taste creamy and extra-rich. Herbal hops are left until the end, coriander and perhaps some white pepper to clean up the big malt flavors. Lemon zest hovers in the finish.
I had to check the bottle twice when I read that the ABV was 9%. That alcohol is very sneaky. You'll never know it's there until you stand up too fast.
Food Pairing: Try this with grilled white fish and a simple salad. Fresh, clean flavors will compliment this big beer very well.
Have you tried this one? What do you think?
Related: Quick and Dirty Guide to Belgian Beers
(Image: Emma Christensen)