RateBeer members have spoken! And after 2 million beer reviews from
all over the world were tabulated, the results are in. Here are
just some of the winners for 2009 by country.
RateBeer boasts that it has the largest beer competition in the world
and, no doubt, it has. With reviews of 91,000 beers from 8700 breweries, the sampling seems to be rather large. But because its reviewers are worldwide and may not have
been exposed to all 91,000 beers, I thought I would focus today's
column on the winners of the Best Beers By Country 2009.
The lists by country are 50 beers long, so I picked the top 3 from each country to tantalize you. Countries
included by RateBeer were Belgium, England, Canada, Denmark, The
Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. Other countries' beers
were included in the overall competitions, but not in this one because of the limited number of reviewers.
Best Beers Of Belgium 2009
1. Westvleteren Abt 12, brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus (Rated number 2 of world's best beers.)
is an ultra-strong very dark Trappist ale. Westvleteren beer has the
smallest production of the Trappest breweries and very little is
available outside of Belgium, so save your pennies for a trip if you
would like to taste it. The alcohol content is over 10 percent!
2. Struise Dirty Horse, brewed by Struise
(Rated number 5 of world's best beers.)
beer was actually an experiment following a recipe of someone who had
made the beer 20 years ago. Several fermentation processes were used in
the making of Dirty Horse and it was made in very small quantity and
will not be available for export. Tsk.
3. Struise Cuvée Delphine, brewed by Struise
The Cuvée Delphine is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for a year. Again, sales are very limited.
Best Beers of England 2009
1. Good King Henry Special Reserve, brewed by Old Chimneys
imperial stout from Diss, England, has the raters roaring, citing a
dark, strong, chocolaty, roasted, sweet malt beer with a long vanilla
aftertaste. Available for export.
2. Six Hop Ale, brewed by Dark Star
An India Pale Ale, reviewers liked the hoppiness, the grapefruitiness, the syrupyness, and the golden amber pour.
3. Moor JJJ IPA, brewed by Moor
JJJ is known as an imperial/double IPA, or DIPA. It is a strong, very
hoppy version of the traditional India pale ale. A bit stronger than
the pale ale, darker, and sweeter.
Best Beers of Canada 2009
1. Péché Mortel brewed by Dieu du Ciel
as an imperial stout, the Péché Mortel is, according to tasters, an
impeccable blend of coffee and stout flavors, so if you love coffee and
love stout, this beer is for you! (distribution)
2. Aphrodisiaque brewed by Dieu du Ciel
A stout among
stouts, according to tasters, the Aphrodisiaque pours almost black with
a thick beige-colored head, very roasty, vanilla, coffee, chocolate,
sweet followed by somewhat bitter. Only available locally on tap.
3. Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus, brewed by Microbrewery Charlevoix/Le Saint Pub
available in bottles helps the DVL get around a bit more but,
unfortunately, it is not widely distributed. Light to medium hazy gold
pour; fruity (descriptions ranged from citrusy to sweet, spicy, and
Best Beers of Denmark 2009
1. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, brewed by Mikkeller (Rated number 6 of world's best beers.)
imperial stout from Copenhagen, the beer claims to be brewed from on of
the most expensive coffees. Why? Well the beans are not harvested in
the most customary manners. These beans are the droppings of a
Southeast Asian Civel or Weasel Coffee. This stout pours black and has
a very strong coffee taste and smell, bitter cocoa, and strong fruits. (distribution)
2. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch One-For-One, brewed by Mikkeller
An experimental brew of only 350 bottles. Strong black brew with strong
flavor and odor, a bit of sweet, with heavy roasted coffee, maybe a
3. Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast
You can get your oatmeal breakfast in this stout which is 25 percent oat-based with a "nice touch of gourmet coffee." (distribution)
Best Beers of The Netherlands 2009
1. De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis (Hell & Damnation), brewed by Brouwerij de Molen
An imperial stout with heavy burnt malt, chocolate, licorice and coffee. Rich, somewhat sweet, bitter finish. (distribution)
2. DeMoeln Cuvée, brewed by Brouwerij de Molen
Cuvée is a blend of beers, triple-fermented and matured on French oak
for 6 months. Tasters report a strong very dark beer, characteristic of
American strong ale, with lots of different deep flavors like dark
fruits, licorice, caramel, and chocolate.
3. De Molen Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter, brewed by Brouwerij de Molen
dark medium-bodied beer with less roastiness and more malt, soy,
licorice, chocolate, and caramel. "Sweet and sticky," wrote one
reviewer. Available in The Netherlands and Italy.
Best Beers of Sweden 2009
1. Närke Kaggen Stromaktsporter, brewed by Närke Kulturbryggeri (Rated number 1 of world's best beers.)
as an imperial stout, the Stormaktsporter is described as a full and
complex-flavored beer, with a black pour and a small tan head, with
reported flavorings from chocolate and vanilla to raisins and plums to
oak, cigar, and bourbon barrel.
2. Närke Stromaktsporter, brewed by Närke Kulturbryggeri
Also an imperial stout, this edition has very similar ratings and descriptions as the above beer. Unfortunately, these beers are only sold in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.
3. Dugges No. 100, brewed by Dugges Ale & Porterbryggeri
An imperial/strong porter, this beer pours black, tastes of roasted malt, espresso, chocolate. Sweet and malty.
Best Beer of The United States 2009
1. Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Three Floyds Brewing Company (Rated number 3 of world's best beers.)
Dark Lord Russian hails from Indiana and most reviewers suggest the 2007 or 2008 brews, as they suggest aging does not do justice to the beer. Chocolaty, very sweet, sticky, pours thick and dark. Described as earthy, fruity, toffee or maply syrupy (must be the molasses!).
2. Lost Abbey Yellow Bus, brewed by Port Brewing/Lost Abbey
(Rated number 4 of world's best beers.)
Described as sour ale with peaches, this brew hails from San Marcos, California. 'Funky" comes up a lot in its description, as well as fruity, light, tart, smooth, refreshing. Pours light orange with white head.
3. Oak Aged Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Three Floyds Brewing Company (Rated number 7 of world's best beers.)
The oaky flavor is there, according to reviewers, but not terribly pronounced, so this beer received comments very similar to those for the Dark Lord Russian (1, above). If you don't like thick, you probably won't enjoy this beer. Otherwise, it's very rich with lots of complex flavor. Maybe, skip your meal for this one.
Check out 100 Best Beers in the world for 2009. Or check out 100 Best Breweries in the world for 2009. If you're just not into dark, thick beer, try the Best Beers by Style list for 2009. (Sorry, no lite beers anywhere on these lists!)
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