Shockingly, Brussels has only three breweries, Cantillon of lambic fame which has been around since 1900 and two new-comers including Brasserie de la Senne since 2010. Senne produces an innovative and consistently good line up of beer. X-mas Zinnebir is their Christmas ale. I’m reviewing a one year aged bottle.
X-mas Zinnebir pours cloudy reddish-brown with a fine head that disappears quickly. Dried plums, raisins, nuts, spices and sweet malts meet your nose. It tastes wonderful. The dried fruits – cherries, plums, raisins – mixed with caramel malts and a touch of chocolate. Spice notes with brown sugar sit in the next layer with bitter hops. It’s dark and medium sweet, almost cherry brandy-like.
All of Brasserie de la Senne’s beer are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and bottle conditioned and X-mas Zinnebir is no exception. It has a low carbonated, old-world feel. The ABV is 7.8% with no booziness.
I love Brussels. The past decade brewers Senne are reclaiming Belgium’s place as the center of the beer world.
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