‘Ardennes’ is one of those beers that I forget about for ages, only to pleasantly surprise myself when I go back to it. In this case, I was cleaning out the fridge one night — as I do; I’ve turned it from a chore into a sport and an artform, and have dubbed it ‘Kegtris’1 — and discovered an unlabelled (and so unsellable) bottle. Since I’d recently had the Golden Bear ‘Bear Trappe’ and ‘Ardennes’ was a candidate for Hopinator treatment, we had a little sampling. Almost certainly inspired by the Golden Bear, my vote was for peaches in the Hopinator, but we eventually went with pears, which did go quite nicely. Part of the fun of these extra-stuff-in-beer experiments is seeing how they change over time, from subtle to sometimes overwhelmingly (but not necessarily unwelcomely) heavily flavoured, depending on the doubtless-very-complex chemistry going on inside that neat little gadget.
Peter and I did try actually eating some of the pears when he was cleaning out the Hopinator after we’d gone through our supply of Ardennes; that was a bridge too far.
Verbatim: Tuatara ‘Ardennes’ 30/9/10 6.5% 330ml ÷ 3 w/ Peter & Amanda. Ages since we’ve had it on tap and there was an unlabelled bottle in a delivery a while ago. It’s a hopinator candidate, and the Bear Trappe made me curious. And it’s really lovely, actually. Big, fruity, dry. I definitely think we should run it over peaches if we Hopify it.
1: A fairly-cursory Google search — a.k.a. “research” — does begin to suggest that I might actually deserve credit for coining this useful word. It’s possible that that’s mostly because I’m just about the only person in the world who enjoys the combination of a) prolonged exposure to zero degrees Celsius, b) heavy lifting (boxes ≈ 16kg, kegs ≈ 65kg), and c) a task that boils down to Organising Things Into Rows and Piles like some kind of gibbering compulsive.