Cellaring Beers: Urthel (De Leyerth) Vlaemese Bock Flamy Dark Ale At 10 Years From our “Vault”
Date: February 26, 2018
The Story— The de Leyerth brewer — a mom and pop operation — talked about this beer to All About Beer: “A dark beer of 7.5% ABV: the color is all due to roasted malts so it gives a very chocolate aftertaste—women all like that. It’s also more bitter than a normal dubbel. We call it “Vlaemse Bock,” but it’s not traditional German bock style. Here in the US, everything is put into styles. I just brew a beer, and people put it into a style category”the other way around.
The brewery claims to produce only 4 beers. But we’ve had 8 of them and we suspect we’ve missed many more. They do, however, brew the core four as the foundation of their brewery. But, really, don’t sweat styles with this creative brewery, just enjoy this rich dark Belgian ale.
When we tasted this at the iconic Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia in 2007 it more than impressed us. A distinctive dark malt played to cherry, grape and a very nice prune range of fruits and made for a very gentile strong, but far from disabling Belgian pleasure
The Beer— Dark fruits and dark malts. Dark malt. Some caramel. Just a bit of oxidation, but really, for over 10 years, not a whole lot. Some orange; some nutmeg and less cinnamon. Dry spices as it drinks. Quite good for the age and the brown caramel still has some clarity. It’s remarkable successful at 7.5% — practically a session for a vault beer. Ellie’s notes: grape & cherry gumdrops,deep sweet but clean fruit candy, slightly smoky dark booze; if there are spices here, they’re dry.
Value —Very Good. These beers, like many European gems, have risen in price in the last several years, but this one is still in the “don’t have to sell your car” range.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.