You generally can't go wrong with De Molen beers.
They make quite exceptional beers that have a complex depth of taste and flavour underscored by an adventurous and experimental streak that not only borrows from the past but also, potentially, sets the standard for the future.
Their closest UK comparison is, in my view, The Kernel Brewery. I say that because both produce a wide variety of short production one off beers that don't shirk in terms of experimenting with a variety of styles with diverse and interesting hop and malt flavours. Not only that but they, like The Kernel, don't shy away from recreating and replicating historic and long forgotten beers recipes.
So, it's with considerable pleasure and a grin on my face that I sit, on a Friday night, with an empty glass and a 750ml bottle of De Molen's Vuur & Vlam in front of me that are both crying out to be joined in beery matrimony. It's a big old beast weighing in at 6.2% ABV that comes in a rather attractive corked and caged 750 ml bottle.
No time to waste, I unite the beer with the glass as it spurts aggressively into the glass with a lively gaseous splurge of golden orange liquid with a head so big it would make John Merrick green with bitter envy. The over carbonation may be down to this beer being both top and bottom fermented. Whatever the reason, it's a frothy headed gusher of a beer.
It smelled fresh with an aromatic nose of warm spice pepperyness that carried through into the mouth and beautifully collided with the piney, citrus and kiwi fruit essence from the Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The Galena hops give a rounded bitterness that stood it's ground very well against the fairly robust caramel sweet malt spine.
The pepper notes are fairly constant throughout and even lingers through into the dry and substantive bitter finish.
De Molen's Vuur & Vlam translates as 'Fire and Flames' and it's appropriately monikered.
There's a very elegant spicy pepper edge to the beer that sits very well against the body of a punchy, well hopped IPA.
It's not half bad.