Sunday, 18 March 2012

De Molen Tsarina Extra Imperial Porter

Due to a trade with Jan, aka FoneFan on Rate and its highest recorded ticker of beers at this period of time, I was able to obtain a bottle of De Molen Tsarina Extra Imperial Porter from 2007. A limited bottled range from the windmill brewery in the Netherlands, not too far from the city of Utretch. The containing vessel is a 33cl bottle. Bottle number 53. Highly limited and highly collectable.

The bottle is brown and has a long neck. The label is white on top of an orange background. It has their logo and information recorded for export and domestic selling rights as well as technical information on the beer.

The beer is 93 on the EBU scale so I suspect it will be quite dark but also a shade of brown and not fully black as it is not on the extreme EBU side of over 100 units. EBU is the European method for measuring the colour of the beer. Americans use a different value and therefore have a different title. Theirs is SRM.

The beer was pooured into a goblet, a St Bernadus Watou glass, and it was left to decant over night. I hoped that the natural wild yeast would inject a new aspect of sour flavours and textures. I fell asleep whilst the magic of the live yeasts were working.

On the eye the beer is black and has a brown, sugar-like edge. I suspect sugar was used considerably for this beer as it is very sweet and quite potent on the OG scale. Sugar increases the OG scale, or abv as commonly registered, when it is mixed into the kettle during fermentation. Belgian brewers use a considerable amount for their traditional beers, especially saisons.

On the nose the beer is still quite hoppy for an imperial stout. They have clearly bottled this well. There is no sulphar or eggyness on the aroma which means there are little signs of bad bottling.

The taste is extreme. Loads of booze hits me like a juggernaut. There is thick velvet, dark chocolate, hot and burnt toast, massive chocolate malts, maybe some smoked malts from Bamberg, but definitely a smokey element.

The palate is sticky toffee pudding with a high chocolate malt factor. The burn from the alcohol in the finish is hot and long. The vinous port-like character is exemplary for this fine version of a classic Russian Imperial Stout. This is like the great old English imperial stouts which are now even harder to find and I am sure Menno used a vintage recipe from England. I will have to enquire when I see him next. Pretty positive that this beer has a high level of the Fuggles' hop variety.

I am staggered by the qualities of flaovur in this beer. It is a massive impy and perfect for a celebration. Perfect for my 30th birthday beer of choice. Menno is a master brewer and this has aged well. Five yeaars' old. No brett and funk textures or aromas which is unfortunate but I would love a version with added brett. It is not oxidised either but the flaovur is there. Superbly drinkable despite the hotness.

You can buy De Molen from English beer retailer Ales By Mail. I have linked an alternative which is available for retail. Also their festival in September is world class and well worth visiting.


  1. EBU is the European equivalent of IBU

  2. EBC it should be. Brain-dead. Cheers.I don't know why I did that. Thanks for the spot.