De Struise Brouwers Pannepot has become a classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale in only a short time since the brewery’s founding in 2003. De Struise has quickly made a splash domestically in Belgium and in their export markets, including in the US by brewing unique beers of distinctive quality. They’ve also done a good job marketing themselves by doing collaboration beers with brewers around the world which helps introduce them to the locals. I first tried their beers last year when Urban Coutteu, De Struise’s brewer, was in Portland to collaborate with Alan Sprints at Hair of the Dog Brewing. You can read about the tap takeover they did at Hair of the Dog here.
The label graphic here says “2010” but this bottle was the 2011 vintage. This beer was named after the famous fishing boats of West Flanders, De Panne, and was brewed in honor of the strong dark beer the fishermen used to drink.
Appearance: Murky brown/black, brown head, good retention.
Aroma: Rum, whisky, mocha, cinnamon, chocolate, dark dried fruit.
Taste: Spicy, rum, alcoholic warmth, cinnamon.
Overall Impression: This is an impressive beer. It’s slightly sweet with a very long, spicy finish. Definitely let this beer warm up to release its complex aroma. If you’re a fan of Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Quads, this should be near the top of your list of beers to try. It’s complex, rich, deep, interesting yet very drinkable and highly enjoyable. It’s perfect for a blustery fall day.
Availability: At better bottle shops that carry products by their importer, Shelton Brothers.