The De Molen (it means ‘Mill’ in Flemish) brewery is another new one on me, from Bodegraven in the Netherlands.
The brewery was founded in 2004 in the historic and rather photogenic ” (Ark’s Dove) windmill on the Oude Rijn river.
They’ve since opened a larger brewery a few hundred yards away but, like many other breweries (Thornbridge, Oakham, Meantime…) they retained the smaller brewery for experimental brews. The windmill also houses a bar, a café and retail store selling – by all accounts – European & American Craft Beers and local cheese.
Their beers tend to be on the darker side of things, and strong, including range includes “Hel & Verdoemenis” (Hell & Damnation), an Imperial Stout brewed to 12% ABV.
Today’s brew, you won’t be surprised to learn, translates as ‘Hammer & Sickle’ and is brewed to a ‘mere‘ 5.2% ABV.
It boasts Munich, Choco, Brown and Oatmeal malts, with Saaz and Chinook hops. An interesting blend which the brewery suggests gives “a mainly roasted, malty character. Giving it chocolate, coffee and wood flavours finishing in a soft but intense bitterness.” Sounds like my kind of porter.
It pours dark, very dark, possibly the darkest brew I’ve tasted this year, with a rich, foaming off-white head that fades gracefully leaving a delicate lacing down the glass.
There’s not too much nose to speak of, subtle hints of chocolate and mincemeat.
It’s lighter in terms of mouth-feel than I expected, not as chewy as I might have hoped, but the flavours are of dark roast malts, no real evidence of coffee or chocolate and that, in itself, is interesting. It’s dry, and despite those exotic hops, not too bitter.
I’m happy to give this three and a half Brewclub Stars, and look forward to seeking out “Hel & Verdoemenis”.
And, it must be said, I really like De Molen’s labelling style, it’s clean, distinctive and informative.