For Whom the Belg Tolls...
No. For Whom the Belg Tolls!
No!! For Whom the Belg Tolls; the recently released Belgian Extra Special Bitter (ESB) from The Fort Collins Brewery (5.6% ABV, 34 IBUs).
Image courtesy MSBeer.com
Such a title, remindful of the artists named above, quickly brings to thought strong passions - the power of prose, the violence of heavy metal rock music.
So, it's unfortunate how utterly listless one finds a beer sharing such a similar, stimulating moniker.
The Fort Collins Brewery fails to mention For Whom the Belg Tolls on its website, but another site describe it as a "Belgian session beer." Indeed, it is sessionable. To a fault. It achieves such easy drinkability at the immense sacrifice of body and character.
The Fort Collins Brewery is a growing beer-producer and has been in the game since 2003. While capable of producing quality beer (their 1900, an amber lager, is at least decent), they severely miss the mark with For Whom the Belg Tolls.
The beer was served to this reviewer from draft to a tulip. It produced a persistent head, approximately an inch in thickness. That head, snow white, was more cream than foam, and left behind pleasing layered tracing along the inner glass.
Beautiful, no doubt.
The tint was amber and surprisingly dark. On the strength of the aesthetically appealing white top especially, For Whom the Belg Toll’s overall appearance was striking.
Appearance, though, was about all that impressed from this beer.
The drinker’s nose was met with hardly any aroma of note. Which suited this beer appropriately as nothing that followed was any more remarkable.
So far as the scent goes, more was extracted from a remaining hint of glass cleanser than from the beer itself. Seriously, that tepid.
Upon reaching the mouth, For Whom the Belg Tolls continued to disappoint Immediately noticeable was the startling absence of any expected spicy yeast bite. Sadly, this seemed a “Belgian” in name only.
Meagerly fighting through the mostly watery flavor profile was a gentle malt backbone that was accented (barely) by a touch of lime (mostly upon the front of the palate), and some equally subtle orange peel (which peaked at the middle).
The mouthfeel did have some very mild stickiness. And, while the flavor was not nearly as lackluster as the scent, it was only marginally better. Far too light.
In retrospect, the highlight of For Whom the Belg Tolls was its appearance.
It missed the worst with its aroma (of which it nearly completely lacked). In the middle of the good/bad spectrum was the content of the beer's flavor, which also left very much to be desired.
This is a beer that TheCraftBeerGuru.com can not recommend. 1 star (out of a possible 5).
Pass on this one. If set on drinking a Fort Collins production, opt for the 1900.