Brewery: Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Belgium
Style: Belgian IPA
Date Poured: December 2009
I'm not 100% sure that this is meant to be a Christmas beer but I'm taking the Three Wise Men on the label as a sign that it is. The label claims that it is one of the hoppiest beers in Belgium, hopped with Hallertau, Goldings and Saaz.
The body is a lightly hazy copper in color and upon even a gentle pour grows an enormous, billowing white head that leaves a thick sheet of lace on the glass. Yeasty fruitiness in the nose, with apples, muscat grapes and ripe pear interspersed with a peppery spice.
The first taste reveals three competing major flavors: bitter, boozy and fruity. These major themes blend for various combinations throughout the glass of beer. Bright fruit (apples, pears, etc), herbal and citrusy hops, sweet rich malt and some understated alcohol flavors with a bit of warming in the mouth. Medium bodied with a finish that's more bitter than sweet.
Is this the hoppiest beer in Belgium. No way. I like Belgian IPAs and Urthel Hop It and Houblon Chouffe are hoppier in the same style and, off the top of my head, Westvleteren 6 is a hoppier golden ale. But Gaspar is still a pretty tasty beer.