I stare at the round little man. He’s laughing. Again. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice… St. Bernardus, with its pesky little carbonation problem, has struck again. This time in the form of Prior 8. I knew the chance of explosion was again present, as the other few of this brewery had done the same, but I was still helpless against the escaping beer, simply dying to get out of that bottle, all cooped up in there, and into my glass. Despite the preparation issues, however, I was able to get a substantial amount of the brew into my glass for drinking.
The liquid was a deep, rich, almost soil-like brown. It smelled a bit nutty, repeating a brown sugar theme that I had sniffed in the others. There was also a bit of raisins and malts filtering through the faintly tan head. Now, in most of my beer tastings I use several senses, but almost never sound. With this beer, however, I could hear the little bubbles of carbonation rushing, like monks to prayer time, to the top of the brew. The earthy, dark brown did not let me see them, but I knew they were there. The taste expounded on the smell, with a bit of caramel and a very sweet after taste. It finished almost sour with a long, stinging linger on my tongue. Again, those bubbles were almost overwhelming, it was like sipping a glass of heavy, dark champagne. It was alcoholic to begin with, seeming even more than its reasonable 8%, and as it warmed it became medicinal and overpowering.
No, I’m not bitter at St. Bernardus for his little tricks, I just wasn’t too thrilled about this one.