Dilewyns Vicaris Winter 2012

Reviewed by on February 27, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Brouwerij Dilewyns

  • Origin: Belgium

  • Rated On: December 15, 2013

  • Best Before: September 21, 2015

  • ABV: 10.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The Vicaris Winter Ale recently arrived in Alberta, having been aged for a whole year for us beforehand. What a deal, eh? I suppose it remains to be seen what effect that may have had on it.

This beer pours a very dark reddish-brown colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, silkenly foamy beige head, which leaves some dramatic elongated cloudy lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of heavy caramel malt – one well toffee-accented – milk chocolate, gritty stale nuts, muddled black fruit, and a light red wine informed booziness. The taste is bready caramel malt, somewhat concentrated and centered, with a dried up dark fruitiness – prune, black raisin, and mild fig undertones – a persistent, but mild chocolate-ensconced nuttiness, the suggestion of the earthy yeast that was, and rather shy earthy, musty hops.  The carbonation is fairly tame, after that initial frothy outburst, the body on the wan side of medium weight, and generally quite smooth, no hops around to muss with things, and the alcohol already established as a behind the scenes operator. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt, fading baker’s chocolate, fleshy black fruit, and well-masked booze encountering little opposition.

A decent strong dark Belgian ale, but not as heady or densely pleasurable as the headliners of the style. Everything, every metric just comes up a bit short, but only that – there’s nothing disagreeable overall about this offering, other than the basic lack of seasonal spices one might expect for a beer with this one’s given name. Maybe the extra bit of age wasn’t that big of a deal after all.

Brady White

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