It’s actually been two whole days since I had this beer by now; December is a busy month.. There’s generally several social engagements per week, there’s getting everything ready for Christmas (I spent a good chunk of last weekend gift-shopping, wrapping and writing cards, today we’re going to get a tree, and I still need to do my Christmas baking), and there’s getting everything ready to hand over at work before I take a long (and even if I say so myself – well-deserved) holiday. This means among other things that I have at least 6 blog drafts going, but am struggling to have time to finish anything. So partly for that reason I think I’ll skip reviewing my beers in blog form for a while. The other reason is that although I very much enjoy tasting different beers and learning a little bit more about beer in the process, I’ve come to the conclusion that beer is pretty much beer. Shocking, right?! What I mean is, although there’s a huge variation of colours, flavours, scents and brewing methods, in the end they’re all usually somewhere in the spectrum of yellow/gold to black in colour and taste and smell like malt and hops and a few other things that are added to that particular beer. I do want to keep track of all the different beers I try, but I can do that faster and more efficiently using the Untappd app.
That being said, if I come across a really interesting/unique beer I still reserve the right to blog about it. 😉 Right, on to the review…
Colour: coffee/coke dark brown, very little head.
Smell: burnt sugar, coffee, a little buttery.
Taste: very sweet, but a dark and rich kind of sweetness so it suits the style. It did have a little bit of a brown sugar and biscuity flavour to it, but I didn’t really taste speculaas, the defining part of which IMO is the spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves..).
Suggested pairings: Beery Christmas suggests pairing it with deserts/chocolate, which I definitely think would work – particularly dark chocolate. I had it with a bit of cheese, which as previously discussed always works. 😉 It went well with the brie with caramel and pecans I bought at the Christmas market.
Serving temp: 10 degrees Celsius.
Personal comments: I had very high hopes for this one as stouts and porters are my favourite beer types, and adding seasonal spices like cinnamon and cloves to that sounded amazing. In the end although it was definitely a nice beer, it feel short of expectations. Try as I might I tasted none of the spices (and looking at some other comments in the Untappd app, I am not alone in that). It also wasn’t that balanced as it was mainly sweet. I did enjoy the sweet, rich, biscuity flavours though.
About this beer type: Stouts are very similar to porters, and were originally just used to describe the strongest porters (there’s still debate about whether or not they should actually be qualified as different types). They are brewed using roasted malt or barley, and are both dark and strong. The most well-known stout is perhaps Guinness. Guinness is a dry stout, whereas Spectaculoos is a milk stout (or sweet stout). Milk stouts contain sugar or lactose from milk, which is where it gets most of its sweetness. It was originally said to be nutritious and was even recommended to nursing mothers and pregnant women in the 1920s (as was Guinness).