Review: Straffe Hendrik Wild 2015

Straffe Hendrik Wild - 2015

Today we’ll be reviewing Straffe Hendrik Wild (2015 Edition) from the Haalve Maan Brewery over in Bruges. It’s a derivative of the Straffe Hendrik Tripel, produced on a limited run, with these ‘Wild’ versions of the popular Tripel first being introduced in April of 2014.

Where does the ‘Wild’ tag come from?

I’ll quote the Haalve Maan themselves on this….

The traditional tripel beer is re-fermented with a wild Brettanomyces yeast, that creates unusual fruity aromas in harmony with the rich use of aromatic hop varieties. The wild yeasts also provide a longer natural shelf life to the beer and taste developing over the years.

Sounds like it might be interesting to follow this review up after giving the beer a year to mature – we’ve put aside a couple of bottles.

Abv wise it weighs in at 9%, comes to us in 330ml bottles and has a recommended serving temperature of 6°C (43F). Shelf life is recommended to be no more than 5 years.

Carl’s Review

First I’ll talk about the bottle: The Straffe Hendrik range has a fantastic clean modern design – they looks classy, especially the quad, and the Wild is no exception. The white label with brewery logo, distinctive Straffe Hendrik typeface with the highlighted date and then the eye-catching Wild tag around the label base – looks tasty.

I pour the 330ml bottle into a Straffe Hendrik glass – colour wise it’s golden, very clear with a nice head and like the label, looks great. It smells fruity to me and I can smell apples and peach – a nice smell indeed.

Once the head dissipates a little I give it a taste…  It’s quite a bitter taste actually which turns a little sweeter once it lingers. Perhaps it’s the drinking of it on a nice summers day but this really goes down nicely. The finish is dry – I think it’s quite refreshing.

To sum up – I like this, I really really like this – everything about it I like – the label, the colour, the aroma the taste.  I’m a little annoyed I only bought 4 as I wouldn’t mind putting more of these away for a year to see how it develops with time.

A very very excellent and highly recommended –  9/10

Helen’s Review

Straffe Hendrik Wild (in Glass)

This beer is presented in a brown beer bottle with a white label featuring the Halve Maan brewery logo and cheerful green typography.

When I poured the Straffe Hendrik Tripel Wild the first thing I said is “wow, what a beautiful colour”. It’s a bright, crisp orangey amber colour with a lovely white head. It’s quite cloudy and makes me feel happy.

I’m not one for smelling beers as you might be able to tell from my previous reviews, but this one has a lovely fruity aroma. It makes me want to go and sit outside in the sunshine.

The first mouthful of my beer and I’m struck first by a lot of bubbles, so much that it takes a few seconds to pick up any distinct taste at all. Then bitterness sets in on the tongue. It’s not an unpleasant bitterness, but is definitely the main flavour for me. Once that’s died down I’m left with a fruity-coffee taste on my tongue. Again it’s not unpleasant, but not driving me wild either.

That fruity-coffee flavour lingers in the back of my throat for quite a while. Once it’s gone my tongue is left excited and a little fizzy, and I’m left wanting more. It seems to bring quite a lot of saliva to my mouth too. The flavour has definitely made a distinct impression on my tongue.

I like this beer and appreciate the flavour, but I can think of others I’d go for before. I do really like the branding though and find the bottle one of the most attractive I’ve seen. I much prefer my darker beers.

I’d give this beer a decent 6 out of 10.

Delirium Nocturnum Beer Review

Delirium Nocturnum

Our first beer review is of Delirium Nocturnum – a dark beer 8.50% ABV – from Brouwerij Huyghe of Melle, a few miles South East of Ghent in East Flanders. Bottle is the usual 330ml.  We’ll both be reviewing the beer and giving it a score out of 10.

Helen’s Review

I like the logo with the Delirium brand. It reminds me of the first time we went to Belgium for a surprise New Year trip to Bruges and, not really knowing where we are or where to go, we ended up in an Irish Bar just off Grote Markt. At the time I had no idea that the iconic pink elephants had anything to do with a brewery, I just liked the pretty pink elephants all over the ceiling of the otherwise fairly average bar (with fairly grim toilets if I remember correctly).

Presentation is unusual in the fact that the bottle is painted an off-white colour with a bright blue almost trippy label and foil to the neck. This is a whole new level of making a beer stand out on the shelf! I can’t imagine many men wanting to be seen with that bottle though, which makes me look forward to tasting it, knowing the brand has stood the test of time.

Pouring the beer pleases me: I like my dark beers and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s a very deep red colour with a beige head which disappears pretty quickly. It looks quite syrupish. The smell is hardly noticeable at all even with my nose right next to the liquid.

The Delirium Nocturnum is, to me, a pretty complex beer to taste. The first thing I think when I taste this beer is fruity, but that taste disappears pretty quickly to reveal a bitter chocolatey flavour, which in turn again disappears after a few more seconds to leave a sweet, deep but refreshed after-taste which continues to develop for a good 30 seconds after I’ve swallowed the beer. It’s fizzy, but that doesn’t last long in my mouth.

I like it, and I find the complexity enjoyable, but it’s not a beer I’d drink regularly.

I’d give this a solid 7.5/10.

Carl’s Review

This is a beer we’ve often seen but were yet to try. The other Delirium beer I’d tried had been a couple of bottles of the 10% Delirium Noël over New Year in Ghent – so I decided pick up 8 bottles of this to sample.

Helen has previously discussed the bottle and the infamous “Pink Elephant”  so I won’t really go there apart from to say that the Delirium brand is certainly a strong one. As well as the beer, Delirium Café franchises can be found as far away as Tokyo and Brazil.

On to the drinking… the first thing I notice is the a fruity taste with quite a strong alcohol feeling in my throat. I’m thinking this would feel great on a cold winter’s evening. The initial fruity-alcohol hit gets momentarily sweeter and then dissipates leaving a lingering taste of caramel. The texture seems slightly watery – for want of a better phrase! Very drinkable – it never feels heavy.

Overall I like this – a good winter warmer, although could be drank at any time.

I’d rate this at 8/10.

Delirium Nocturnum